If you’re not really rich, a car really isn’t an impulse purchase. So a lot of research is most likely the first thing you do. You take a good look at things like gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend these days. It is sensible to do this level of research. You’re about to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying it off (unless, again, you are very rich). So you want to make sure your investment is well spent.
You’ll be considering how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. What type of vehicle do you like? Do you require a lot of space to carry things around? How much power do you need to feel when you push down that accelerator?
So you should take a close look at all of your possibilities and make some informed decisions in order to get the most out of your purchase. And that’s the same attitude you should have when selecting your hearing aids. They’re still an investment although they cost much less than a new car. Figuring out which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
The advantages of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of buying hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are a wonderful investment!
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 a lot easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll be able to better follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandkids tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
It’s only natural that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as you can given all of the benefits. You don’t want those benefits to go away.
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
There may be some people out there who would assume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to simply purchase the most expensive device possible.
And, to be certain, hearing aids can be an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids tend to be costly:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is very small and very state-of-the-art. That means you’re paying for a very potent technological package.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. Particularly if you take care of them.
But the most costly model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. How severe your hearing loss is and, obviously, your budget are a couple of the variables to consider. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Sure! But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will need regular maintenance in order to continue working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your ears and adjusted for your distinct level of hearing loss.
Make sure you get the correct hearing aids for you
So, what are your options? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous different styles and types to choose from. You can work with us to determine which ones are the right choice for you and your hearing goals. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For people who want their hearing aids to be hidden and also deliver high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. The only difficulty is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. And some of the most sophisticated features are typically missing due to their smaller size.
- 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 include more high-tech functions. Some of these functions can be somewhat tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). 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: This style of hearing aid is molded to fit entirely inside your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits entirely in your ear. These devices are more exposed but can contain advanced and powerful microphones, making them an excellent option 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 style of hearing aid has one bit that sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a housing that sits behind your ear. The little tube that connects the two elements is still rather discrete. These hearing aids offer many amplification options making them quite popular. These types are a great compromise between visibility and power.
- 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 similar to BTE models. They have the advantage of minimizing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re hearing the device. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have problems with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good option for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
What about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep flooding you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to consider. The difficulty is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work okay in a general sense. But if your hearing loss calls for a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices may fall a bit 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 choose to buy, it’s always a smart idea to consult us about what might work best for your specific needs.
Upkeep and repair
After you decide on the best hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is crucial. This is, once again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So how often 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 condition.
You should also get familiar with your warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some money! So now you’re wondering: how can I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is sometimes simple: good upkeep and a great warranty.
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 feel is the best.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Some people will opt for a minivan, others for an SUV. The same is true for hearing aids, it just depends on your specific situation.
But the more you understand ahead of time and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to get the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!