A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will most likely do a lot of research first. You have a good look at things like gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend these days. 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 really wealthy). So you want to make sure your investment is well spent.
You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a specific style of vehicle you really enjoy? How much room do you need for weekly groceries? How much power do you need to feel when you push down that accelerator?
In other words, to get the most from 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 determining which devices work best, in general, as well as what provides the most for your lifestyle.
Hearing aid advantages
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty great!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most individuals, the advantages are more tangible than that. With a pair of hearing aids, you can remain involved with the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandkids tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and converse with the cashier at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it makes sense that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You don’t want those benefits to stop.
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
Some people may assume that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the most expensive device.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be expensive:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is very tiny and very sophisticated. That means you’re getting an extremely potent technological package.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is particularly relevant.
But the most expensive model won’t automatically be your best fit or work the best. There are lots of variables to think about (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) 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.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. Also, your hearing loss is unique to you and your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your specific requirements.
Get the appropriate hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your options? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous different styles and kinds to pick from. We can help you figure out which hearing aids will be best for your hearing needs. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and tend to be very discrete (perfect for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity is usually shorter. The small size also means you don’t get some of the most modern features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly discrete. Because they’re a bit larger than CIC models, they may contain more high-tech features. Some of these features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still rather small). Still, ITC models are great for individuals who require more features but still want to remain discreet.
- 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 styles 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): The speaker of this device fits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part sits behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The little tube that connects the two elements is still rather discrete. These hearing aids provide many amplification choices 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): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit sits in the ear canal. This makes them even less visible, with the additional benefit of reducing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re using the device. This makes them a good fit for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have difficulty with high-frequency sounds). It’s not a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
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 think about. OTC hearing aids work fine in general, much like OTC medications. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you need if your hearing loss is more advanced or complex. Generally, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically calibrated to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.
The best way to determine what type of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Upkeep and repair
Obviously, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. This is, once again, like a car which also requires maintenance.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be checked? In general, you should schedule a routine upkeep and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working condition.
It’s also a good idea to be fairly 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 money! 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 is no single greatest all-time hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and ask for the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with a dozen different models.
The key is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Some families will opt for a minivan, others for an SUV. The same goes with hearing aids, it all depends on your situation.
But you will have an easier time finding the hearing aid that’s best for you if you are well informed beforehand. Schedule a hearing test with us today!