A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really wealthy). So a lot of research is most likely the first step you take. You take a good look at things such as gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend these days. This amount of research makes sense! For most individuals who aren’t rich, it will take a long time to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to make sure 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 type of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you require a lot of room to carry supplies around? How fast do you want your car to be?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you have to evaluate your options and make some choices. And that’s the same mindset you should take when selecting your hearing aids. They’re still an investment even though they cost a lot less than a new car. Determining which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
The advantages of hearing aids
In just the same way that you can discuss 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 wonderful investment!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than just helping you hear. Staying involved with your friends and family will be a lot easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a story about dinosaurs over dinner with your grandkids, and engaging in 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 want to keep those benefits coming!
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 purchase the most expensive device they can.
And, to be sure, hearing aids are an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids might be costly:
- Hearing aids are designed to contain very advanced technologies, and they need to make those technologies as small as possible. That means you’re getting a very potent technological package.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is particularly relevant.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will automatically work best. There are lots of variables to consider (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
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 calibrated for your specific level of hearing loss.
Get the appropriate hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your options? You’ll be able to choose from numerous different styles and types. You can work with us to determine which ones are ideal for you and your hearing goals. Here are the options you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For people who want their hearing aids to be hidden and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal choice. The only difficulty is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. The small size also means you won’t get some of the most modern features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly discrete because they are molded to your ear canal. Because they’re a little larger than CIC models, they may include more high-tech features. These devices are still pretty small and some of the features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also have some advanced functions, this type will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to fit entirely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely inside your ear. These devices are more visible but can contain sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them a great option for noise control or complex hearing issues.
- 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 part that sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but transfers all of the bulky electronics to a casing that sits behind your ear. The pieces are connected by a small tube, but in general, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids provide 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 design, 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: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. If you have difficulty hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really a problem, 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 people.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. 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. 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 type of hearing aid you choose to invest in, it’s always a good plan to talk to us about what might work best for your particular requirements.
Repair and maintenance
Obviously, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. 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 regular maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working order.
You should also get familiar with your warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some cash! 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 best all-time hearing aid. If you go to twelve different hearing specialists and request the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with a dozen different models.
The secret is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Some individuals will opt for a minivan, others for an SUV. 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. Schedule a hearing test with us today!