If you aren’t really rich, a car isn’t really an impulse purchase. Which means you will probably do a great deal of research first. You have a good look at things like gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) This level of research makes sense! For most people who aren’t wealthy, it will take a long time to pay off the thousands of dollars you will spend. So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
Not only do you consider the concrete factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a particular style of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you require a lot of room to carry things around? How much power do you want to feel when you push down that gas pedal?
So you should have a close look at all of your options and make some informed decisions so that you can get the most from your investment. And that’s the same mindset you should have when selecting your hearing aids. They won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. Identifying which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best in general, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
The advantages of hearing aids
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 a great investment!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than just helping you hear. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandchildren tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the cashier at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it seems sensible that you’d begin to ask, “How can I make my hearing aids last longer?” You don’t want those benefits to stop.
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
Some people might think that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the most expensive device.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. There’s a reason why some hearing aids are expensive in the first place:
- Hearing aids are designed to contain very advanced technologies, and they have to make those technologies as tiny as possible. That means you’re paying for a very potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for a long time. If you take good care of them this is especially true.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will inevitably work best. How severe your hearing loss is and, obviously, what you can afford are a couple of the variables to consider. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Sure! But that isn’t always determined by how expensive the device was in the first place.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working order, as with any other investment, they will call for regular care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your specific needs.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your choices? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous different styles and types to select from. You can work with us to figure out which ones are best for you and your hearing goals. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and are usually quite discrete (perfect for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). The only difficulty is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. And some of the most state-of-the-art features are typically missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to your ear canal. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they may include more high-tech features. These devices are still pretty small and some of the features can be a bit hard to manipulate by hand. Still, ITC models are ideal for individuals who need more features but still want to remain discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the device 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 completely 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 option.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device fits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part goes 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 hearing aids offer many amplification choices making them quite popular. When you want the best of both visibility and power, these devices will be the best choice.
- 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. This makes them even less visible, with the additional benefit of decreasing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really a problem, these hearing aids will be a great fit for you. Though it works well for many people, it won’t be a good choice for everyone.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. OTC hearing aids work fine in general, much like OTC medications. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you need if your hearing loss is more pronounced or complex. Prescription hearing aids can be fine-tuned to your particular hearing needs which is an option generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
The best way to figure out what type of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Repair and maintenance
Obviously, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. Just like your car requires oil changes now and then.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be assessed? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working order.
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 maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There’s no single best hearing aid. Every hearing specialist might have a different model that they think is the best.
Which hearing aids fit 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 is true for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed ahead of time. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!