A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re very, very wealthy). So a great deal of research is probably the first step you take. You check out reviews, you compare prices, and you consider gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) It makes sense to do this amount of research. For most people who aren’t rich, it will take a long time to pay off the thousands of dollars you will spend. So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a particular type of vehicle you really enjoy? How much room do you need for weekly supplies? How much power do you want to feel when you push down that accelerator?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some choices. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s important to have this same mindset. They’re still an investment although they cost a lot 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 out of your investment.
The benefits of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of purchasing a car. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than just helping you hear. Staying connected with your family and friends will be a lot easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandchildren tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and converse with the cashier at the supermarket.
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 going!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
There may be some individuals out there who would presume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to simply purchase the most high priced 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 expensive:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really small and very state-of-the-art. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is especially true.
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 factors to think about. Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But that isn’t always dictated by how costly the device was in the first place.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to continue working effectively. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your specific requirements.
Make certain you get the right hearing aids for you
So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to choose from several different styles and types. We can help you identify which hearing aids will be best for your hearing requirements. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and are usually 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 mostly discrete because they are molded to your ear canal. They will typically contain more high-tech features being a bit bigger than CIC models. Some of these features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still rather small). Even still, ITC models are ideal 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 types are available (full shell, which fits the entirety of your ear, or half shell, which sits in the lower ear). These hearing aids are more visible but can include sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them a great option for noise control or complex hearing conditions.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This type of device has one bit that sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but transfers all of the bulky electronics to a casing that goes behind your ear. The little tube that connects the two elements is still fairly discrete. These hearing aids are popular because they offer many amplification solutions. These kinds are a good compromise between power and visibility.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this model, the speaker part sits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. They have the benefit of decreasing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re wearing the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really an issue, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. It’s not a good option for all forms of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
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 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 warrants a set of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices may fall somewhat short. In general, OTC hearing aids can’t be specially programmed to your hearing like prescription hearing aids can.
The best way to determine what kind of hearing aid will be best for you, you should talk with us.
Repair and upkeep
After you choose the ideal hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is essential. Just like your car needs oil changes now and then.
So how often will your hearing aids need to 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 certain everything is in good working condition.
It’s also not a bad idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some money when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. A good warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There’s no single best hearing aid. If you go to twelve different hearing specialists and ask for the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with twelve 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 best, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. The same is true with hearing aids, it all depends on your situation.
But the more you understand beforehand and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to get the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!