A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will most likely do a ton of research first. You check out reviews, you compare prices, and you consider gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) 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 really wealthy). So you want to make certain your investment is well spent.
You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a particular type of vehicle you really like? Do you need a lot of space to carry things around? How much power do you need to feel when you press down that gas pedal?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some choices. And that’s the same mindset you should have when selecting your hearing aids. They’re still an investment even though they cost much less than a new car. Figuring out which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
The benefits of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of buying hearing aids can be broadly compared with the example of purchasing a car. Hearing aids are a great investment!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than merely helping you hear. Staying connected with your family and friends will be much easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandchildren tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the cashier at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it seems sensible 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 best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just purchase the most high priced device possible.
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 very tiny and very sophisticated. So the package you’re paying for is very technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. If you take good care of them this is especially relevant.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will inevitably work best. How severe your hearing loss is and, of course, what you can afford are a couple of the factors to think about. Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your ears and adjusted for your specific level of hearing loss.
Be sure you get the right hearing aids for you
What options do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and kinds to pick from. You can work with us to determine which ones are ideal for you and your hearing goals. Here are the options you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and tend to be quite discrete (perfect for people 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 sophisticated features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to fit your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re a bit larger than CIC models, they may contain more high-tech features. These devices are still rather small and some of the functions can be a little difficult to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also have some sophisticated features, this style will be appropriate.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These hearing aids are also molded to your ears. No part of the hearing aid sits inside your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. Two types are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which sits in the lower 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 two parts are connected by a little tube, but for the most part, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids offer many amplification solutions making them quite popular. These types are a good compromise between visibility and power.
- 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. They have the benefit 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 using the device. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies fairly 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.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep inundating you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to think about. OTC hearing aids work fine in general, much like OTC medications. But if your hearing loss warrants a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices may fall somewhat short. In general, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically calibrated to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.
No matter what type of hearing aid you choose to purchase, it’s always a good idea to talk to us about what will work best for your particular requirements.
Repair and maintenance
After you decide on the ideal hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is crucial. This is, again, like a car which also requires maintenance.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be checked? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and maintained every six months to a year. This gives you a chance to make sure that everything is working effectively and as it should!
You should also become familiar with your warranty. You will save some money when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. 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 isn’t a single best all-time hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and ask for the “best” hearing aid, they may provide you with a dozen different models.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be the right choice, 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 best for you if you are well informed beforehand. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!