A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re really rich). So a great deal of research is probably the first step you take. You have a good look at things like gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) This amount of research makes sense! For most people who aren’t wealthy, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a particular style of vehicle you really enjoy? How much room do you need for weekly groceries? How much power do you want to feel when you press down that accelerator?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you need to examine 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 are an investment. Figuring out which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best in general, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
The advantages of hearing aids
In exactly 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 broad way. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!
The advantages of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than merely helping you hear. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain involved with the people in your life. You’ll be able to better follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandchildren tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the cashier at the supermarket.
With all these benefits, it stands to reason that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits coming!
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
There might be some people out there who would presume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just purchase the most high priced device they can.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are costly in the first place:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very sophisticated technologies, and they have to make those technologies as tiny as possible. That means you’re getting an extremely potent technological package.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. Especially if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will inevitably work best. How profound your hearing loss is and, obviously, your budget are a couple of the factors to consider. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Sure! But that isn’t always dictated by how expensive the device was in the first place.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good working condition, as with any other purchase, they will require 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 sure you get the correct hearing aids for you
What choices do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and kinds to choose from. We can help you identify which hearing aids will be best for your hearing needs. But generally, 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 tend to be very discrete (great for people who want to hide their hearing aids). The only trouble is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. And some of the most state-of-the-art functions are typically missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly discrete because they are molded to fit your ear canal. They will typically have more high-tech functions being slightly bigger than CIC models. These devices are still pretty small and some of the features can be a little hard to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also include some sophisticated functions, this style will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to sit entirely inside your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely inside your ear. These hearing aids are more visible but can include advanced and powerful microphones, making them an excellent choice for noise control or complex hearing issues.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device fits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part sits behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The pieces are connected by a small tube, but in general, it’s fairly non-visible. These hearing aids offer many amplification choices 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): 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 reducing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re wearing the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really an issue, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. It isn’t a good option for all forms of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
What about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep flooding you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to consider. The difficulty is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work fine in a basic sense. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you need if your hearing loss is more pronounced or complex. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is a feature generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what kind of hearing aid you decide to buy, it’s always a good idea to talk to us about what might work best for your particular needs.
Maintenance and repair
After you decide on the ideal hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is essential. This is, again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be checked? You should get 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 condition.
It’s also a good 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’s not can save you some cash! A strong warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what is the best hearing aid?
There isn’t a single greatest all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they feel is the best.
The key is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Just like with an automobile, 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 best for you if you are well informed beforehand. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!