A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will most likely do a great deal of research ahead of time. You have a good look at things such as gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) 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 really wealthy). So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
You’ll be considering how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. What type of vehicle do you like? Do you require a lot of space to carry things around? How fast do you want your car to be?
In other words, to get the most from your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some choices. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same attitude. They won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. And getting the most out of your investment means figuring out which devices work best, in general, 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 buying a car. Hearing aids are a great investment!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most individuals, the benefits are more tangible than that. Staying connected with your family and friends will be much easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll be able to better follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandkids 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 you can given all of the benefits. You don’t want those benefits to go away.
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
There may be some individuals out there who would assume that the best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to simply buy the most expensive device they can.
And, to be certain, hearing aids are an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids tend to be costly:
- Hearing aids are designed to include very advanced technologies, and they have to make those technologies as small as possible. So the package you’re purchasing is very technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also designed to last for quite a while. 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 a lot of variables to think about (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Some hearing aids will certainly last longer than others. But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good 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 tuned to your right needs.
Make certain you get the right hearing aids for you
So, what are your choices? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous different styles and kinds to choose from. You can work with us to figure out which ones are the right choice for you and your hearing goals. But in general, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For people who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also provide 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. And some of the most state-of-the-art features are usually missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to your ear canal. They will typically have more high-tech features being a little larger than CIC models. These devices are still rather small and some of the features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also have some advanced features, this type will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to fit completely inside your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits entirely in your ear. If you have complex hearing problems or need more powerful noise control, the more sophisticated technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids a great option.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a way, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This type of device has one part 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 small 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 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 fits in the ear canal but they are otherwise similar to BTE models. They have the benefit of minimizing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids tend to allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re hearing the device. If you have difficulty hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really an issue, these hearing aids will be a great fit for you. Though it works well for many people, it won’t be a good option for everyone.
What about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Another possibility 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 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. Prescription hearing aids can be fine-tuned to your specific hearing needs which is an option generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
No matter what type of hearing aid you decide to buy, it’s always a good idea to speak with us about what might work best for your specific needs.
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, once again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be checked? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working condition.
It’s also a good idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s 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 sometimes simple: good maintenance and a great warranty.
So… what is the best hearing aid?
There isn’t a single best all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist might have a different model that they feel is the best.
The key is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Some families will go for a minivan, others for a sport utility vehicle. The same goes with hearing aids, it just 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. Call us to schedule a consultation today!