A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really rich). Which means you will most likely do a great deal of research ahead of time. 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 amount of research. 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 thinking about how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a particular style of vehicle you really like? Do you need a lot of space to carry things around? How much pep do you need to feel when you push down that gas pedal?
Put another way, to get the most out of your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some choices. And that’s the same mindset you should take when selecting your hearing aids. They won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. Determining which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best in general, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
The advantages of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of purchasing hearing aids can be broadly compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty great!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most people, the advantages are more tangible than that. With a pair of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandkids tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the cashier at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it makes sense that you’d begin to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits going!
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
There might be some people out there who would assume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just buy 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:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really tiny and very state-of-the-art. So the package you’re paying for is very technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also made 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. How profound your hearing loss is and, of course, your budget are a couple of the factors to consider. Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But that isn’t always determined by how expensive the device was in the first place.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your ears and adjusted for your unique level of hearing loss.
Make sure you get the right hearing aids for you
What choices do you have? You’ll be able to choose from numerous different styles and types. We can help you identify which hearing aids will be ideal for your hearing needs. But generally, 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. 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 custom molded to fit your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. They will typically have more high-tech functions being a bit larger than CIC models. Some of these features can be somewhat tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still rather small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also have some sophisticated features, this style will be appropriate.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the hearing aid sits inside your ear canal, it all fits in your outer ear. Two styles are available (full shell, which fits the entirety of your ear, or half shell, which fits in the lower 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): The speaker of this device sits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part goes behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The little tube that connects the two parts is still pretty discrete. These devices are popular because they offer many amplification choices. When you want the best of both visibility and power, these devices will be the perfect option.
- 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. They have the advantage of decreasing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have difficulty with high-frequency sounds). It’s not 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 inundating you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to consider. OTC hearing aids work okay in general, much like OTC medications. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you need if your hearing loss is more advanced or complex. In general, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically programmed to your hearing like prescription hearing aids can.
No matter what type of hearing aid you decide to purchase, it’s always a smart idea to consult us about what might work best for your particular requirements.
Maintenance and repair
After you decide on the best hearing aid for your hearing requirements, taking care of it is crucial. This is, once again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be assessed? In general, you should schedule a routine upkeep and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working condition.
You should also get familiar with your warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what’s not can save you some money! A good warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There is no single greatest all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they feel is the best.
The secret is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Some people will go with a minivan, others for an SUV. The same goes with hearing aids, it all depends on your specific situation.
But the more you understand ahead of time and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to get the hearing aids that are ideal for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!