A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re very, very rich). So a lot of research is most likely the first step you take. You take a good look at things like gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) This amount of research makes sense! You’re about to drop tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying for it (unless, again, you are really wealthy). So you want to make sure your investment is well spent.
You’ll be considering how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. What type of vehicle do you like? How much room do you require for weekly groceries? How fast do you want your car to be?
So you need to take a close look at all of your options and make some informed choices so that you can get the most from your investment. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same attitude. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are an investment. And getting the most out of your investment means figuring out which devices work best, overall, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
The benefits of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of purchasing a car. 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 much easier with a good set 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 enjoying conversations with friends.
It’s only logical that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as you can given all of the benefits. You want to keep those benefits going!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more expensive?
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 simply purchase the most expensive device they can.
Hearing aids are certainly an investment. There’s a reason why some hearing aids are expensive in the first place:
- Hearing aids are designed to contain very state-of-the-art technologies, and they need to make those technologies as small as possible. That means you’re getting an extremely potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also designed to last for a long time. Particularly if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will inevitably work best. How profound your hearing loss is and, of course, what you can afford are a couple of the factors to consider. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Of Course! But the price 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 require routine care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is unique to you and your hearing aids will need to be programmed to your specific requirements.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to choose from numerous different types and styles. You can work with us to figure out which ones are best for you and your hearing needs. Here are the options you will have to choose 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 best choice. But with this type of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity is usually shorter. And some of the most sophisticated features are usually missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are specifically molded to fit your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. They will typically include more high-tech functions being a bit larger than CIC models. These devices are still fairly small and some of the features can be a bit tricky to manipulate by hand. If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also include some advanced features, this type will be appropriate.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the device sits inside your ear canal, it all fits in your outer ear. Two types are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which sits 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 the perfect choice.
- 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 two parts are connected by a small tube, but in general, it’s fairly non-visible. These hearing aids offer many amplification options making them quite popular. 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): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker part fits in the ear canal. This makes them even less visible, with the added advantage of reducing 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 hearing the device. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have trouble with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good choice for everybody.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep flooding you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to consider. The trouble is that OTC hearing aids are sort of like OTC medications, they work fine in a general sense. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you require if your hearing loss is more advanced or complex. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your specific hearing needs which is an option generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
The best way to figure out what kind of hearing aid will be best for you, you should talk with us.
Repair and maintenance
After you decide on the best hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is essential. Just like your car needs oil changes now and then.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be assessed? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working condition.
You should also become familiar with your warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some money! A good warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what’s 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 may provide you with twelve different models.
The key 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. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time finding the hearing aid that’s best for you if you are well informed ahead of time. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!