A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re very, very wealthy). Which means you will most likely do a great deal of research first. You check out reviews, you compare prices, and you consider gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) This level of research makes sense! You’re about to drop 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.
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 particular 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?
So you need to take a close look at all of your options and make some informed choices in order to get the most from your investment. And that’s the same mindset you should have when choosing your hearing aids. They won’t 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, overall, as well as what provides 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 purchasing a car. Hearing aids are a wonderful investment!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than just helping you hear. Staying involved with your family and friends will be a lot easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a story about dinosaurs over dinner with your grandkids, and engaging in conversations with friends.
With all these benefits, it stands to reason that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits coming!
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
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 expensive device they can.
Hearing aids are certainly an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids tend to be costly:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is very tiny and very advanced. That means you’re getting an extremely potent technological package.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. Particularly if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will inevitably work best. How profound your hearing loss is and, obviously, your budget are a couple of the variables to consider. Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working condition, as with any other investment, they will require regular care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will need to be programmed to your specific requirements.
Be sure you get the correct hearing aids for you
So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to pick from numerous different styles and types. We can help you determine which hearing aids will be ideal for your hearing requirements. Here are the choices you will have to choose 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 trouble 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 sophisticated functions.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are specifically molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re a little larger than CIC models, they might include more high-tech functions. These devices are still pretty small and some of the features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. Still, ITC models are ideal for individuals who require more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the device sits in your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. Two types are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which fits in the lower ear). These devices are more visible but can include advanced and powerful microphones, making them an excellent option for noise control or complex hearing problems.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a way, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This type of hearing aid has one bit that sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a housing that sits behind your ear. The little tube that connects the two parts is still rather discrete. These hearing aids provide many amplification options making them quite popular. These kinds are a good compromise between visibility and power.
- 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 similar to BTE models. They have the advantage of decreasing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids tend to let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re hearing the device. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have problems 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 alternative to think about. OTC hearing aids work fine in general, much like OTC medications. But if your hearing loss warrants a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices might fall a bit short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is a feature generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what kind of hearing aid you decide to invest in, it’s always a good plan to speak with us about what will work best for your particular requirements.
Maintenance and repair
Of course, once you’ve taken all of the steps to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you should take care of it. This is, again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be assessed? Generally, you should schedule a routine maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working order.
You should also become familiar with your warranty. You will save some money when you are familiar with what is and isn’t covered. So now you’re wondering: how can 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 twelve different hearing specialists and ask for the “best” hearing aid, they may provide you with a dozen different models.
Which hearing aids match 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 for hearing aids, it all depends on your situation.
But you will have an easier time finding the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed beforehand. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!