A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will most likely do a great deal of research first. You look at reviews, you compare prices, and you consider gas mileage. Google is your best friend these days. It is sensible to do this amount of research. You’re about to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying it off (unless, again, you are really wealthy). So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. What type of vehicle do you enjoy? How much room do you need for weekly groceries? How much power do you want to feel when you press down that accelerator?
So you should take a close look at all of your options and make some informed decisions so that you can get the most from your purchase. And that’s the same attitude you should take when choosing your hearing aids. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. And getting the most from your investment means determining which devices work best, in general, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
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 talk about the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly general way. Hearing aids are a great investment!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than simply helping you hear. Staying connected with your friends and family will be much easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a story about dinosaurs over dinner with your grandkids, and enjoying conversations with friends.
With all these benefits, it stands to reason that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You don’t want those benefits to go away.
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
There may be some individuals out there who would assume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to simply buy the most expensive device they can.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids might be costly:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very advanced technologies, and they need to make those technologies as tiny as possible. So the package you’re purchasing is extremely technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also designed to last for quite a while. If you take good care of them this is particularly true.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will automatically work best. How severe your hearing loss is and, of course, what you can afford are a couple of the variables to consider. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Of Course! 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 continue working effectively. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your exact requirements.
Get the correct hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your options? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and kinds to select from. We can help you determine which hearing aids will be best for your hearing needs. Here are the choices you will have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and are usually quite discrete (great for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). The only problem is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. The small size also means you won’t get some of the most modern features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly discrete because they are molded to fit your ear canal. Because they’re a little larger than CIC models, they may contain more high-tech features. These devices are still rather 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 contain some sophisticated functions, this type will be ideal.
- 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 fits in your outer ear. Two types are available (full shell, which fits the entirety of your ear, or half shell, which sits in the lower ear). If you have complex hearing problems or need more powerful noise control, the more advanced technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids a great choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a way, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This type of device 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 little tube that connects the two elements is still fairly discrete. These devices are popular because they provide many amplification choices. These types are a great compromise between power and visibility.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit fits in the ear canal. They have the advantage of reducing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids tend to allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re using the device. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have problems with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good option for everybody.
How about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep inundating you with acronyms) are yet another option to consider. The trouble is that OTC hearing aids are sort of like OTC medications, they work okay in a general sense. But if your hearing loss calls for a set of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices may fall somewhat short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is an option generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you decide to purchase, it’s always a good plan to talk to us about what might work best for your specific requirements.
Maintenance and repair
Of course, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. Just like your car needs oil changes now and again.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be assessed? 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 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 do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good upkeep and a great warranty.
So… what is the best hearing aid?
There’s no single best hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and request the “best” hearing aid, they may 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 with hearing aids, it just depends on your specific situation.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed beforehand. Schedule a hearing test with us today!