A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will probably do a lot of research first. You look at reviews, you assess prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) This amount 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.
You’ll be considering how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a specific style of vehicle you really like? Do you require a lot of room to carry supplies around? How fast do you want your car to be?
So you should take a close look at all of your possibilities and make some informed choices so that you can get the most from your investment. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s important to have this same mindset. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are an investment. And getting the most out of your investment means determining which devices work best, in general, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
Hearing aid benefits
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are a great investment!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most individuals, the advantages are more tangible than that. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a story about dinosaurs at the dinner table with your grandchildren, and engaging in conversations with friends.
It’s only natural 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 coming!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
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.
And, to be sure, hearing aids can be an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be expensive:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very sophisticated technologies, and they need to make those technologies as tiny as possible. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also designed to last for quite a while. If you take good care of them this is especially true.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will inevitably work best. How severe your hearing loss is and, of course, your budget are a couple of the factors to consider. 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.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good working order, as with any other investment, they will require routine care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will have to be programmed to your specific requirements.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
What options do you have? You’ll be able to pick from several different types and styles. You can work with us to figure out which ones are ideal for you and your hearing needs. But in general, 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 are typically quite discrete (great for people who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this type of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity tends to be shorter. And some of the most state-of-the-art functions tend to be missing because of their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to fit your ear canal. Because they’re a bit larger than CIC models, they may contain more high-tech features. These devices are still rather small and some of the functions can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also include some advanced features, this type will be ideal.
- 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 in your ear. If you have complex hearing issues or need more powerful noise control, the more sophisticated technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids a great choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This style 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 goes behind your ear. The small tube that connects the two parts is still rather discrete. These hearing aids provide many amplification solutions making them quite popular. These types are a great 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 fits in the ear canal. They have the advantage of minimizing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re hearing the device. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really a problem, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good option for everybody.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another possibility to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. OTC hearing aids work okay 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. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your specific hearing needs which is a feature generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
No matter what type of hearing aid you decide to purchase, it’s always a smart plan to consult us about what will work best for your specific requirements.
Maintenance and repair
Of course, once you’ve taken all of the steps to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. Just like your car needs oil changes once in a while.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be checked? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working order.
You should also become familiar with your warranty. You will save some cash when you are familiar with what is and isn’t covered. A good warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There’s no single best hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they feel is the best.
The secret is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Just like with an automobile, for some an SUV will be the right choice, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed ahead of time. Schedule a hearing test with us today!