A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re very, very wealthy). So a lot of research is most likely the first step you take. You have a good look at things such as gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) It makes sense to do this level of research. For most individuals who aren’t rich, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you will spend. So you want to make sure it’s worth it!
Not only do you consider the concrete factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a particular type of vehicle you really enjoy? How much room do you require for weekly groceries? How fast do you want your car to be?
So you should have a close look at all of your possibilities and make some informed decisions so that you can get the most from your purchase. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s important to have this same attitude. They’re still an investment although they cost much less than a new car. Figuring out which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best in general, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
Hearing aid benefits
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are a great investment!
Yes, they help your hearing, but for most individuals, the advantages are more tangible than that. Staying involved with your family and friends will be much easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll be able to better follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandchildren tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and converse with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it stands to reason that you’d begin to ask, “How can I make my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits coming!
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
There might be some individuals out there who would presume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just purchase the most expensive device they can.
Hearing aids are certainly an investment. There’s a reason why some hearing aids are costly in the first place:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very sophisticated technologies, and they have to make those technologies as tiny as possible. That means you’re paying for an extremely potent technological package.
- They’re made to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is especially relevant.
But the most expensive model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. There are lots of factors to consider (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Sure! But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your ears and adjusted for your unique level of hearing loss.
Be sure you get the correct hearing aids for you
What options do you have? You’ll be able to pick from several different types and styles. You can work with us to determine which ones are the right choice for you and your hearing needs. But in general, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For people who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also deliver high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal choice. The only difficulty is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. The small size also means you don’t get some of the most modern features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to your ear canal. They will typically have more high-tech functions being a bit bigger than CIC models. Some of these features can be a little tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also contain some sophisticated functions, this type will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These hearing aids are also molded to your ears. No part of the hearing aid sits in your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally in your ear. These devices are more exposed but can include advanced and powerful microphones, making them a great choice for noise control or complex hearing conditions.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device sits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part goes behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The small tube that connects the two parts is still pretty discrete. These devices are popular because they offer many amplification solutions. These types are a great compromise between power and visibility.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this design, the speaker part fits in the ear canal but they are otherwise similar to BTE models. They have the benefit of reducing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have trouble with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good choice for all forms of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep inundating you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to consider. OTC hearing aids work okay in general, much like OTC medications. But if your hearing loss warrants a set of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices might fall somewhat short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is an option generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
The best way to find out what type of hearing aid will be best for you, you should talk with us.
Repair and maintenance
After you decide on the ideal hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is crucial. This is, once again, like a car which also requires maintenance.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be checked? You should get your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working condition.
You should also become familiar with your warranty. You will save some money when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. A strong warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There isn’t a single greatest all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist might have a different model that they think is the best.
Which hearing aids match your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be best, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But the more you know ahead of time and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to find the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!