If you’re not really rich, a car isn’t really an impulse purchase. So a lot of research is probably the first thing you do. You check out reviews, you assess prices, and you consider gas mileage. Google is your best friend these days. This level of research makes sense! You’re about to spend 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!
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? Do you require a lot of room to carry things around? How much power do you want to feel when you push down that gas pedal?
So you should have a close look at all of your options and make some informed decisions in order to get the most from your purchase. And that’s the same attitude you should have when selecting your hearing aids. They won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are an investment. And getting the most from your investment means figuring out which devices work best, overall, as well as what provides the most for your lifestyle.
The benefits of hearing aids
In exactly the same way that you can discuss the benefits of a car in a very general way, you can also discuss the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly general way. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!
The advantages of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than just helping you hear. With a pair of hearing aids, you can stay connected to the people in your life. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a story about dinosaurs at the dinner table with your grandchildren, and engaging in conversations with friends.
It’s only natural that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as you can given all of the benefits. You don’t want those benefits to stop.
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
There may 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 simply purchase the most high priced device they can.
And, to be sure, hearing aids are an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids tend to be costly:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really tiny and very state-of-the-art. That means you’re purchasing a very potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for a long time. If you take good care of them this is especially relevant.
But the most costly model won’t automatically be your best fit or work the best. There are lots of variables to think about (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Sure! But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working order, as with any other investment, they will require regular care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will need to be programmed to your specific needs.
Get the correct hearing aids for your hearing loss
What choices do you have? You’ll be able to choose from several different types and styles. We can help you identify which hearing aids will be ideal for your hearing needs. Here are the choices you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and tend to be very discrete (great for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this type of hearing aid, battery life, and overall lifespan is usually shorter. And some of the most sophisticated features are usually missing because of their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to fit your ear canal. Because they’re a bit larger than CIC models, they might include more high-tech functions. Some of these features can be a bit tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also contain some sophisticated features, this style 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 sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely in your ear. If you have complex hearing problems or need more powerful noise control, the more advanced 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 pieces are connected by a little tube, but for the most part, it’s fairly non-visible. These hearing aids offer many amplification options making them quite popular. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the perfect solution.
- 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 similar to BTE models. This makes them even less visible, with the additional advantage 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 using the device. If you have difficulty hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really a problem, these hearing aids will be a great fit for you. It’s not 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. The difficulty is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work okay in a general way. But if your hearing loss warrants a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices might fall somewhat short. Prescription hearing aids can be fine-tuned to your specific hearing needs which is a feature generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
No matter what type of hearing aid you choose to purchase, it’s always a good idea to speak with us about what might work best for your particular requirements.
Maintenance and repair
Of course, once you’ve taken all of the steps to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you should take care of it. This is, again, like a car which also needs maintenance.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be assessed? You should get your hearing aid cleaned and maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working order.
It’s also a good idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some cash 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 is the best hearing aid?
There’s no single best hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and ask for 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. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be the right choice, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. The same goes with hearing aids, it all depends on your situation.
But the more you know beforehand and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to get the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!