A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re very, very wealthy). So a great deal of research is most likely the first thing you do. You look at reviews, you compare prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. Google is your best friend right now. This amount of research makes sense! You’re about to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying for it (unless, again, you are very rich). 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 give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you require a lot of space to carry supplies around? How fast do you want your car to be?
Put another way, to get the most from your new car, you have to evaluate your options and make some decisions. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same attitude. They’re still an investment even though they cost a lot less than a new car. And getting the most from your investment means determining which devices work best, in general, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
Hearing aid advantages
In just the same way that you can talk about the benefits of a car in a very general way, you can also talk about the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly general way. Hearing aids are pretty great!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than merely helping you hear. Staying connected with your family and friends will be much easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandchildren tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the checkout clerk 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 don’t want those benefits to stop.
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
There might 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 simply purchase the most high priced device they can.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids tend to be costly:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really small and very sophisticated. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. Particularly if you take care of them.
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, how much you can spend!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Of Course! 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 condition, as with any other investment, they will call for routine care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your ears and adjusted for your specific level of hearing loss.
Get the proper 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 choose from. You can work with us to determine which ones are best for you and your hearing goals. Here are the choices you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For individuals who want their hearing aids to be hidden and also deliver high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal choice. The only problem is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. The small size also means you won’t get some of the most modern features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are specifically molded to fit 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 functions can be somewhat tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also include some advanced functions, this type will be appropriate.
- 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 sits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits entirely in your ear. These hearing aids are more exposed but can contain advanced and powerful microphones, making them an excellent option for noise control or complex hearing conditions.
- 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 pretty discrete. These hearing aids offer many amplification options making them quite popular. These kinds are a great compromise between power and visibility.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this design, the speaker part sits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. This makes them even less visible, with the additional benefit of cutting down on 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 suitable for people who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have difficulty with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
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 difficulty is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work fine in a general sense. But if your hearing loss warrants a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices may fall a bit short. Generally, OTC hearing aids can’t be specially programmed to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.
The best way to figure out what kind of hearing aid will be best for you, you should talk with us.
Repair and upkeep
Of course, once you’ve taken all of the steps to select your perfect hearing aid type, you should take care of it. This is, again, like a car which also requires upkeep.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be checked? You should get your hearing aid cleaned and maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working condition.
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 cash! So now you’re wondering: how do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good maintenance and a great warranty.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There’s no single best hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they feel is the best.
The key is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be the right choice, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. The same is true for hearing aids, it all depends on your specific situation.
But the more you know beforehand and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to find the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Schedule a hearing exam with us today!