If you aren’t very wealthy, a car really isn’t an impulse purchase. Which means you will probably do a lot of research ahead of time. You look at reviews, you assess prices, and you consider gas mileage. Google is your best friend these days. It makes sense to do this level of research. You’re about to drop tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying for it (unless, again, you are very rich). So you want to make certain your investment is well spent.
Not only do you look at the concrete factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. What style of vehicle do you want? Do you need a lot of room to carry supplies around? How fast do you want your car to be?
Put another way, to get the most out of your new car, you have to assess your options and make some choices. And that’s the same mindset you should take when choosing your hearing aids. They’re still an investment even though they cost much less than a new car. Determining 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 advantages
In exactly 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 pretty great!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most people, the benefits are more tangible than that. Staying connected with your friends and family will be much easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandkids tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and converse with the cashier 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 costly hearing aids work better?
Some individuals might think that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the most expensive device.
Hearing aids are certainly an investment. There’s a reason why some hearing aids are expensive in the first place:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is very tiny and very advanced. That means you’re purchasing an extremely potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. If you take good care of them this is especially true.
But the most expensive model won’t automatically be your best fit or work the best. There are a lot of factors to think about (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Of Course! But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will need regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your specific level of hearing loss.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your options? You’ll be able to choose from numerous different styles and types. You can work with us to determine which ones are ideal for you and your hearing needs. Here are the options you will have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and are generally quite discrete (great for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall lifespan is usually shorter. And some of the most state-of-the-art functions are typically missing because of their smaller size.
- 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 features being a bit larger than CIC models. These devices are still fairly small and some of the features can be a bit hard to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also include some sophisticated functions, this type will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to fit entirely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally in your ear. If you have complex hearing issues or need more powerful noise control, the more sophisticated technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids a great choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device sits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part sits behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The little tube that connects the two parts is still rather discrete. These devices are popular because they provide many amplification choices. When you want the best of both visibility and power, these devices will be the perfect solution.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this design, the speaker part sits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. This makes them even less visible, with the additional advantage of decreasing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re wearing the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. This makes them a good fit for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have trouble with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good option for everybody.
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 consider. OTC hearing aids work okay in general, much like OTC medications. But if your hearing loss calls for a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices could fall somewhat short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is a feature generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what kind of hearing aid you decide to buy, it’s always a good idea to consult us about what might work best for your specific needs.
Repair and maintenance
Of course, once you’ve taken all of the steps to select your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. This is, again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be assessed? In general, you should schedule a regular upkeep and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working order.
It’s also a good idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some cash! So now you’re wondering: how can I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good upkeep and a strong warranty.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There’s no single best hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and ask for the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with twelve different models.
Which hearing aids match your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Some individuals will go for a minivan, others for an SUV. The same goes for hearing aids, it just depends on your situation.
But the more you understand beforehand and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to find the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Call us to schedule a consultation today!