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 first. You look at reviews, you compare prices, and you consider gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) This level of research is logical! You’re about to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying for it (unless, again, you are very rich). So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
You’ll be considering how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. What type of vehicle do you like? How much room do you need for weekly groceries? How fast do you want your car to be?
Put another way, to get the most out of your new car, you need to assess your options and make some choices. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same mindset. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are an investment. Determining which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
Hearing aid advantages
In just the same way that you can talk about the benefits of a car in a very general way, you can also talk about the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly broad way. Hearing aids are a great investment!
The advantages of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than just helping you hear. With a pair of hearing aids, you can remain connected to 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 converse with the cashier at the grocery store.
It’s only logical that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as possible given all of the benefits. You want to keep those benefits going!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
There might be some individuals out there who would presume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just buy the most expensive device they can.
Hearing aids are certainly an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids tend to be costly:
- Hearing aids are designed to contain very advanced technologies, and they have to make those technologies as tiny as possible. That means you’re purchasing a very potent technological package.
- They’re made to be long-lasting. Especially if you take care of them.
But the most expensive model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. How severe your hearing loss is and, obviously, what you can afford are a couple of the factors to think about. Some hearing aids will undoubtedly last longer than others. But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good working order, as with any other investment, they will call for regular care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your specific requirements.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to pick from numerous different types and styles. You can work with us to determine which ones are best for you and your hearing needs. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and are usually quite discrete (perfect for individuals 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 features are usually missing because of their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re a bit larger than CIC models, they might contain more high-tech functions. These devices are still rather small and some of the functions can be a bit hard to manipulate by hand. Still, ITC models are great for people who need more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to fit entirely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally inside your ear. If you have complex hearing issues 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): In a way, 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 transfers all of the bulky electronics to a housing that sits behind your ear. The small tube that connects the two parts is still rather discrete. These hearing aids are popular because they provide many amplification choices. These types are a great compromise between visibility and power.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker part fits in the ear canal. They have the benefit of minimizing wind noise and are generally 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 a good fit for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have problems with high-frequency sounds). It’s not a good option for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. The trouble is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work okay in a general way. But if your hearing loss calls for a set of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices could fall a bit short. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your specific hearing needs which is a feature generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what kind of hearing aid you choose to invest in, it’s always a good idea to talk to us about what might work best for your specific needs.
Upkeep and repair
After you choose the ideal hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is essential. Just like your car requires oil changes once in a while.
So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be checked? In general, you should schedule a routine maintenance 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.
It’s also a good idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some money when you are familiar with what is and isn’t covered. A strong warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
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 secret is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be best, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. The same goes with hearing aids, it just 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. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!