If you aren’t very wealthy, a car really isn’t an impulse purchase. Which means you will probably do a great deal of research ahead of time. You look at reviews, you compare prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) It is sensible 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 really wealthy). So you want to make sure it’s worth it!
Not only do you look at the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really like? Do you need a lot of room to carry supplies around? How much power do you need to feel when you push down that gas pedal?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you need to examine your options and make some decisions. And that’s the same mindset you should take when choosing your hearing aids. They won’t 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.
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 pretty awesome!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most individuals, the advantages are more tangible than that. Staying involved with your friends and family will be much easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a tale about dinosaurs over dinner with your grandchildren, and enjoying conversations with friends.
It’s only logical that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as possible given all of the benefits. You don’t want those benefits to stop.
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
Some people might think that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the most expensive 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 very small and very sophisticated. So the package you’re paying for is very technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also designed to last for a long time. If you take good care of them this is especially true.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will inevitably work best. There are lots of factors to think about (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Of Course! But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will need regular maintenance in order to keep working effectively. What’s more, your hearing aids will have to be calibrated to your ears and calibrated for your distinct level of hearing loss.
Get the appropriate hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your choices? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have several different styles and types to pick from. We can help you figure out which hearing aids will be ideal for your hearing requirements. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For individuals who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. The only trouble is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. The small size also means you don’t get some of the most sophisticated functions.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to your ear canal. Because they’re a bit larger than CIC models, they might contain more high-tech functions. Some of these functions can be somewhat tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still rather small). Even still, ITC models are great for people who require more features but still want to remain discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These hearing aids are also molded to your ears. No part of the hearing aid sits inside your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. Two types are available (full shell, which fits the entirety of your ear, or half shell, which sits in the lower ear). If you have complex hearing issues or need more powerful noise control, the more advanced technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids the perfect choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, 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 moves all of the bulky electronics to a casing that goes behind your ear. The little tube that connects the two parts is still fairly discrete. These hearing aids provide many amplification solutions 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 fits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. This makes them even less visible, with the additional benefit of cutting down on things like wind noise.
- 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 problems hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really a problem, 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.
How 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 basic way. 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. In general, OTC hearing aids can’t be specially calibrated to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.
The best way to determine what type of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Maintenance and repair
Of course, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select 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 frequently will your hearing aids need to be checked? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and maintained every six months to a year. This gives you an opportunity to make sure that everything is 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 cash! So now you’re wondering: how do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good upkeep and a strong warranty.
So… what is the best hearing aid?
There is no single greatest all-time hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and ask for the “best” hearing aid, they may provide you with twelve different models.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. 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. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!