A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re very, very wealthy). So a lot of research is probably the first thing you do. You look at reviews, you assess prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) 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!
Not only do you consider the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. What style of vehicle do you like? How much room do you require for weekly supplies? How much pep do you need to feel when you push down that gas pedal?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you have to assess your options and make some decisions. And that’s the same mindset you should have when selecting your hearing aids. They won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. And getting the most from your investment means figuring out which devices work best, in general, as well as what provides the most for your lifestyle.
Hearing aid advantages
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 a great investment!
Yes, they help your hearing, but for most people, the benefits are more tangible than that. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a tale about dinosaurs over dinner with your grandkids, and engaging in conversations with friends.
With all these benefits, it makes sense that you’d begin to ask, “How can I make my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits coming!
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
Some individuals may think that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the highest-priced device.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids might be expensive:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very advanced technologies, and they have to make those technologies as small as possible. So the package you’re purchasing is extremely technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for a long time. If you take good care of them this is particularly true.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will inevitably work best. How severe your hearing loss is and, obviously, what you can afford are a couple of the variables 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 continue working effectively. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your ears and adjusted for your specific level of hearing loss.
Get the correct hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your options? You’ll be able to pick from several different styles and types. We can help you determine which hearing aids will be best for your hearing requirements. Here are the choices you will have to pick from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and tend to be quite discrete (great for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity is often shorter. And some of the most sophisticated features tend to be missing because of their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly discrete because they are molded to your ear canal. They will often include more high-tech features being a bit larger than CIC models. Some of these functions can be a bit tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still rather small). Still, ITC models are ideal for individuals who require more features but still want to remain discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the device sits in your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits entirely 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 the perfect option.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device fits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part goes behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The small tube that connects the two parts is still fairly discrete. These hearing aids are popular because they provide many amplification choices. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the best solution.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is much like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit fits in the ear canal. This makes them even less visible, with the added advantage of cutting down on things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re using the device. This makes them a good fit for people who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have trouble with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
What about 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 fine-tuned to your particular hearing needs which is a feature generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what kind of hearing aid you decide to purchase, it’s always a smart idea to consult us about what might work best for your specific needs.
Maintenance and repair
After you decide on the ideal hearing aid for your hearing requirements, taking care of it is crucial. Just like your car needs oil changes now and then.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be checked? You should get your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. This gives you an opportunity to be certain that everything is working effectively and as it should!
You should also become familiar with your warranty. You will save some cash when you are familiar with what is and isn’t covered. A strong warranty and regular maintenance 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. Every hearing specialist might have a different model that they feel is the best.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Some families will go for a minivan, others for an SUV. The same goes for hearing aids, it all depends on your situation.
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!