A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re very, very rich). Which means you will most likely do a lot of research ahead of time. You take a good look at things like gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) It makes sense to do this level of research. For most individuals who aren’t wealthy, it will take a long time to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to make certain your investment is well spent.
Not only do you consider the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. What style of vehicle do you like? Do you require a lot of space to carry supplies around? How much power do you want to feel when you press down that gas pedal?
So you need to take a close look at all of your options and make some informed decisions so that you can get the most out of your investment. And that’s the same attitude you should take when selecting your hearing aids. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are an investment. Identifying which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best in general, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
The benefits of hearing aids
In exactly the same way that you can talk about 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!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most individuals, the advantages are more tangible than that. With a pair of hearing aids, you can stay connected to the people in your life. 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 cashier at the grocery store.
It’s only logical 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 coming!
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
There may be some people out there who would presume 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 are an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are expensive in the first place:
- Hearing aids are designed to include very advanced technologies, and they have to make those technologies as small as possible. So the package you’re purchasing is extremely technologically potent.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is particularly relevant.
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? Certainly! But that isn’t always determined by how costly the device was in the first place.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good working order, as with any other investment, they will need regular care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will have to be programmed to your exact requirements.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
What options do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous different styles and kinds to select from. We can help you identify which hearing aids will be best for your hearing needs. But in general, here’s what you’ll have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and are generally very discrete (great for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). The only trouble is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. The small size also means you don’t get some of the most sophisticated features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are specifically molded to fit your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they may contain more high-tech features. Some of these functions can be a little tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still rather small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also have some advanced features, this style will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These hearing aids are also molded to your ears. No part of the device sits in your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits entirely inside your ear. If you have complex hearing problems 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): In a sense, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This type of hearing aid has one bit that sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but transfers all of the bulky electronics to a housing that sits behind your ear. The pieces are connected by a small tube, but for the most part, it’s fairly non-visible. These hearing aids provide many amplification options making them quite popular. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the best choice.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is much like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker part fits in the ear canal. This makes them even less visible, with the additional advantage of cutting down on 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 people who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have difficulty with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good choice for everybody.
How about 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 think about. The problem is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work okay in a basic sense. But if your hearing loss calls for a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices could fall a bit short. In general, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically programmed to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.
No matter what type of hearing aid you decide to purchase, it’s always a good idea to consult us about what will work best for your specific needs.
Repair and upkeep
Of course, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select your perfect hearing aid type, you should take care of it. Just like your car needs oil changes once in a while.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be assessed? In general, you should schedule a routine maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. This gives you an opportunity to be sure everything’s working properly and as it should!
It’s also not a bad idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some cash when you are familiar with what is and isn’t covered. A strong warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
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 twelve different models.
The secret is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Some families will opt for a minivan, others for a sport utility vehicle. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed beforehand. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!