If you aren’t really rich, a car really isn’t an impulse purchase. So a great deal of research is most likely the first step you take. You look at reviews, you compare prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) It makes sense to do this amount of research. You’re about to drop tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying it off (unless, again, you are very rich). So you want to make certain your investment is well spent.
Not only do you look at 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? Do you require a lot of space to carry things around? How fast do you want your car to be?
Put another way, to get the most out of your new car, you need to examine your options and make some decisions. And that’s the same attitude you should have when selecting your hearing aids. They’re still an investment even though they cost a lot less than a new car. And getting the most out of your investment means determining 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 investing in hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of purchasing a car. Hearing aids are a great investment!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most individuals, the benefits are more tangible than that. With a set of hearing aids, you can stay connected to the people in your life. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a tale about dinosaurs at the dinner table with your grandkids, and enjoying conversations with friends.
With all these benefits, it stands to reason that you’d begin to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits coming!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
Some people might assume that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the highest-priced device.
And, to be certain, hearing aids can be an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids might be costly:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really small and very advanced. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. Especially if you take care of them.
But the most costly model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. There are lots of factors to consider (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Some hearing aids will undoubtedly last longer than others. But that isn’t always dictated by how expensive the device was in the first place.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your distinct level of hearing loss.
Be sure you get the correct hearing aids for you
So, what are your choices? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous different styles and kinds to pick from. We can help you identify which hearing aids will be ideal for your hearing needs. Here are the solutions you will have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and are usually quite discrete (perfect for people who want to hide their hearing aids). 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 sophisticated features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to fit your ear canal. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they may contain more high-tech functions. These devices are still fairly small and some of the functions can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. Even still, ITC models are great for people who require more features but still want to remain discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to sit completely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely inside 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 choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device sits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part sits behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The small tube that connects the two parts is still pretty discrete. These hearing aids provide many amplification solutions making them quite popular. These types are a great compromise between power and visibility.
- 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 benefit of reducing 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 a good fit for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have trouble with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good choice for everybody.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep inundating you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to consider. 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 could fall somewhat short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is a feature generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you decide to invest in, it’s always a smart plan to talk to us about what might work best for your specific needs.
Maintenance and repair
After you decide on the best hearing aid for your hearing requirements, taking care of it is essential. Just like your car needs oil changes now and then.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids 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 an opportunity to make sure everything’s working effectively and as it should!
It’s also not a bad idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some money! So now you’re wondering: how can I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good maintenance and a great warranty.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There isn’t a single greatest all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they think is the best.
The key is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be best, 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 beforehand. Schedule a hearing test with us today!