A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will most likely do a lot of research first. You take a good look at things like gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) It is sensible to do this level of research. For most individuals who aren’t wealthy, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a particular type of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you need a lot of space to carry things around? How fast do you want your car to be?
In other words, to get the most from your new car, you have to evaluate your options and make some choices. And that’s the same attitude you should have when choosing your hearing aids. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. Figuring out which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
Hearing aid benefits
The example of the benefits of buying hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of purchasing a car. Hearing aids are a great investment!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than just helping you hear. With a set of hearing aids, you can stay involved with the people in your life. You’ll be able to better follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandchildren tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the checkout clerk at the supermarket.
It’s only natural that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as possible given all of the benefits. You want to keep those benefits going!
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
Some people might assume that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the most expensive device.
And, to be certain, hearing aids can be an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are expensive in the first place:
- Hearing aids are designed to include very sophisticated technologies, and they have to make those technologies as tiny as possible. That means you’re purchasing a very potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. If you take good care of them this is particularly relevant.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will inevitably work best. There are a lot of factors to think about (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Of Course! But that isn’t always dictated by how costly the device was in the first place.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to keep working effectively. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your ears and adjusted for your distinct level of hearing loss.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
What options do you have? You’ll be able to choose from numerous different styles and types. We can help you figure out which hearing aids will be ideal for your hearing requirements. But in general, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For individuals who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also deliver high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall lifespan tends to be shorter. And some of the most sophisticated features tend to be missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to fit your ear canal. They will often have more high-tech features being slightly bigger than CIC models. These devices are still rather small and some of the features can be a little difficult to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also include some sophisticated functions, this style will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the hearing aid sits inside your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally inside your ear. These hearing aids are more visible but can include advanced and powerful microphones, making them a great choice for noise control or complex hearing problems.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This type of hearing aid has one bit that sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but transfers all of the bulky electronics to a casing that sits behind your ear. The small tube that connects the two elements is still fairly discrete. These hearing aids are popular because they offer many amplification options. 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 model, the speaker part sits in the ear canal but they are otherwise similar to BTE models. This makes them even less visible, with the additional advantage of reducing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids tend to let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re using the device. If you have problems hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really an issue, these hearing aids will be a great fit for you. It’s not a good option 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 flooding you with acronyms) are yet another option to think about. OTC hearing aids work okay in general, much like OTC medications. But if your hearing loss warrants a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices could fall a bit short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is an option generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what kind of hearing aid you decide to invest in, it’s always a smart plan to talk to us about what will work best for your specific needs.
Repair and maintenance
After you decide on the best hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is essential. This is, again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be checked? In general, you should schedule a routine maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. This gives you a chance to make sure that everything is working effectively and as it should!
It’s also not a bad idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some money when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. So now you’re wondering: how can I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is sometimes simple: good maintenance and a great warranty.
So… what is the best hearing aid?
There isn’t a single best 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 needs will be the ones that are best for you. Just like with an automobile, for some an SUV will be best, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. The same is true for hearing aids, it all depends on your situation.
But you will have an easier time finding the hearing aid that’s best for you if you are well informed beforehand. Schedule a hearing test with us today!