A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re really rich). So a great deal of research is most likely the first thing you do. You check out reviews, you assess prices, and you consider gas mileage. Google is your best friend right now. 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’re about to spend. So you want to make sure it’s worth it!
Not only do you look at the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. What type of vehicle do you enjoy? Do you require a lot of space to carry things around? How much pep do you want to feel when you push down that gas pedal?
Put another way, to get the most from your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some choices. And that’s the same mindset you should have when choosing your hearing aids. They’re still an investment even though they cost a lot less than a new car. Identifying which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
The benefits of hearing aids
In just the same way that you can discuss the benefits of a car in very general terms, you can also discuss the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly broad way. Hearing aids are a wonderful investment!
Yes, they help your hearing, but for most people, the benefits are more tangible than that. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll be able to better follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandkids tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it makes sense that you’d begin to ask, “How can I make my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits going!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more expensive?
Some people may think that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the most expensive device.
And, to be sure, hearing aids can be an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids tend to be expensive:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really tiny and very state-of-the-art. That means you’re purchasing an extremely potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for a long time. 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 a lot of variables to consider (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But that isn’t always dictated by how costly the device was in the first place.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working condition, as with any other purchase, they will require regular care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is unique to you and your hearing aids will have to be programmed to your specific requirements.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
What choices do you have? You’ll be able to choose from numerous different styles and types. You can work with us to figure out which ones are best for you and your hearing needs. Here are the choices you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For individuals who want their hearing aids to be hidden 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 is usually shorter. The small size also means you don’t get some of the most sophisticated functions.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they may include more high-tech functions. These devices are still pretty small and some of the features can be a bit tricky to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also include some advanced functions, this style will be appropriate.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to sit entirely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely in your ear. These devices are more visible but can include advanced and powerful microphones, making them a great option for noise control or complex hearing conditions.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device fits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part sits behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The two parts are connected by a small tube, but in general, it’s fairly non-visible. These devices are popular because they provide many amplification solutions. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the best option.
- 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 a lot like BTE models. This makes them even less visible, with the added benefit of reducing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. This makes them a good fit for people who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have difficulty with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many people, it won’t be a good choice for everybody.
How about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Another possibility to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. OTC hearing aids work okay in general, much like OTC medications. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you require if your hearing loss is more pronounced or complex. Generally, OTC hearing aids can’t be specially calibrated to your hearing like prescription hearing aids can.
No matter what type of hearing aid you decide to invest in, it’s always a good plan to speak with us about what might work best for your particular requirements.
Upkeep and repair
After you choose the best hearing aid for your hearing requirements, taking care of it is essential. This is, again, like a car which also requires maintenance.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be assessed? You should get your hearing aid cleaned and maintained every six months to a year. This gives you an opportunity to be sure everything’s working effectively and as it should!
It’s also not a bad idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what’s not can save you some money! A good warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There’s no single best hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they think is the best.
The key is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Some people will go with a minivan, others for an SUV. The same is true with hearing aids, it just depends on your situation.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s best for you if you are well informed ahead of time. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!