A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re very, very rich). So a lot of research is most likely the first thing you do. You check out reviews, you assess prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. Google is your best friend these days. It makes sense to do this level of research. For most individuals who aren’t rich, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you will spend. So you want to make sure it’s worth it!
Not only do you consider the concrete factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a particular type of vehicle you really like? How much room do you require for weekly supplies? How much power do you need to feel when you push down that accelerator?
In other words, to get the most out of 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 mindset. They’re still an investment although they cost a lot less than a new car. And getting the most out of your investment means figuring out which devices work best, in general, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
Hearing aid benefits
In just the same way that you can discuss the benefits of a car in very general terms, you can also discuss the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly general way. Hearing aids are pretty great!
Yes, they help your hearing, but for most people, the benefits are more tangible than that. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain involved with the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily 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.
With all these benefits, it seems sensible that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits going!
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
There might be some individuals out there who would presume that the best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just buy the most high priced device possible.
And, to be sure, hearing aids are an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be expensive:
- Hearing aids are made to include very sophisticated technologies, and they need to make those technologies as small as possible. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. If you take good care of them this is especially true.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will inevitably work best. How severe your hearing loss is and, obviously, your budget are a couple of the variables to consider. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Sure! 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 need routine care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your unique level of hearing loss.
Make certain you get the best hearing aids for you
So, what are your options? You’ll be able to pick from numerous different styles and types. We can help you figure out which hearing aids will be best for your hearing needs. Here are the choices you will have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For people who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also deliver high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. But with this type of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity is often shorter. And some of the most modern functions are usually missing because of their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to your ear canal. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they may include more high-tech features. These devices are still pretty 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 sophisticated features, this type will be appropriate.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to sit completely inside 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 sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them an excellent choice for noise control or complex hearing conditions.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, 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 two parts are connected by a little tube, but in general, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids offer many amplification options making them quite popular. When you want the best of both visibility and power, these devices will be the perfect choice.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is much like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit fits in the ear canal. They have the benefit of minimizing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will 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 are not really an issue, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. It isn’t a good option for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
How about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Another possibility to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. 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 may fall somewhat short. Prescription hearing aids can be fine-tuned to your particular hearing needs which is a feature generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
The best way to determine what kind of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Upkeep and repair
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 requires upkeep.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be checked? In general, you should schedule a routine upkeep and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. This gives you a chance to be sure that everything is working effectively and as it should!
You should also get familiar with your warranty. You will save some money when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. A good warranty and regular upkeep 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. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and request the “best” hearing aid, they may provide you with twelve different models.
Which hearing aids match your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Some families will go for a minivan, others for an SUV. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time finding the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed ahead of time. Schedule a hearing exam with us today!