A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really rich). Which means you will probably do a lot of research first. You have a good look at things such as gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) This level of research is logical! 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 it’s worth it!
You’ll be considering how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. What style of vehicle do you enjoy? How much room do you need for weekly groceries? How fast do you want your car to be?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you need to examine your options and make some decisions. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same attitude. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. And getting the most from your investment means figuring out which devices work best, in general, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
The benefits of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of purchasing hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!
The advantages of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than simply 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 at the dinner table, listen to your grandchildren tell you about cool dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the checkout clerk at the supermarket.
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 want to keep those benefits going!
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 just purchase the most high priced device they can.
And, to be sure, hearing aids are an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be costly:
- 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 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 the most expensive model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. There are lots of factors to think about (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Certainly! But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good working order, as with any other purchase, they will call for routine care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is unique to you and your hearing aids will need to be programmed to your specific needs.
Get the appropriate hearing aids for your hearing loss
What choices do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous different styles and types to pick from. We can help you determine which hearing aids will be best for your hearing needs. Here are the options you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and are generally very discrete (great for people who want to hide their hearing aids). The only difficulty is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. And some of the most sophisticated functions are typically missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to fit your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. They will often contain more high-tech functions being slightly bigger than CIC models. These devices are still fairly small and some of the functions can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also have some sophisticated features, this type will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the hearing aid sits in your ear canal, it all fits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally in 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 the perfect option.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a way, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This style of hearing aid has one bit that fits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a casing that sits behind your ear. The small tube that connects the two parts is still fairly discrete. These hearing aids are popular because they provide many amplification choices. These kinds are a great compromise between visibility and power.
- 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 suitable for people who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have problems with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many people, it won’t be a good option for everybody.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another possibility to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. The problem is that OTC hearing aids are sort of like OTC medications, they work fine in a basic sense. 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 calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is a feature generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
The best way to find out what type of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Repair and upkeep
Obviously, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. This is, once again, like a car which also needs maintenance.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be checked? You should get your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. This gives you a chance to be sure everything’s working effectively and as it should!
It’s also not a bad idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some money when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. So now you’re wondering: how do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good maintenance and a strong warranty.
So… what’s 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.
The secret is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. 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 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. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!