A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re very, very rich). Which means you will probably do a ton of research ahead of time. You check out reviews, you compare prices, and you consider gas mileage. Google is your best friend these days. This amount of research makes sense! For most individuals who aren’t rich, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to make sure it’s worth it!
Not only do you consider the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. What style of vehicle do you like? Do you need a lot of room to carry things around? How much power do you need to feel when you press down that accelerator?
Put another way, to get the most from your new car, you need to examine your options and make some decisions. And that’s the same attitude you should have when choosing your hearing aids. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are 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
In just 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 wonderful investment!
The advantages of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than merely 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 better follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandchildren tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
It’s only logical 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!
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
There might be some people 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 sure, hearing aids are an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are expensive in the first place:
- Hearing aids are designed to contain very advanced technologies, and they need to make those technologies as tiny as possible. 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 that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will automatically work best. There are lots of variables to consider (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to continue working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your ears and adjusted for your unique level of hearing loss.
Make sure you get the right hearing aids for you
What choices do you have? You’ll be able to pick from several different types and styles. We can help you identify which hearing aids will be ideal for your hearing requirements. 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 quite discrete (great for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). The only problem 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 modern features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to fit your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. They will typically include more high-tech functions being slightly larger than CIC models. Some of these features can be somewhat tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). Still, ITC models are great for individuals who require more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to fit completely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally inside your ear. These hearing aids are more visible but can contain sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them a great choice for noise control or complex hearing problems.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device sits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part goes behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The pieces are connected by a little tube, but for the most part, it’s fairly non-visible. These hearing aids provide many amplification choices making them quite popular. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the best solution.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is much like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit sits in the ear canal. They have the benefit of decreasing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have trouble 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
Another option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. The problem is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work okay in a basic way. 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 specially calibrated to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.
Regardless of what kind of hearing aid you choose to purchase, it’s always a smart idea to talk to us about what will work best for your specific needs.
Repair and upkeep
After you decide on the ideal hearing aid for your hearing requirements, taking care of it is crucial. This is, once again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be assessed? You should get your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. This gives you a chance to be certain everything’s working effectively and as it should!
You should also get familiar with your warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what’s not can save you some money! A good warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what is the best hearing aid?
There is no single best all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they feel is the best.
The secret is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Some families will go for a minivan, others for a sport utility vehicle. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But the more you understand ahead of time and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to find the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!