A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re really wealthy). Which means you will probably do a great deal of research first. You look at reviews, you compare prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) It is sensible to do this level of research. For most people who aren’t wealthy, 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 considering how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. What style of vehicle do you want? How much room do you require for weekly groceries? How much pep do you need to feel when you push down that gas pedal?
So you should take a close look at all of your possibilities and make some informed choices in order to get the most out of your purchase. And when you’re selecting 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 provides the most for your lifestyle.
Hearing aid benefits
The example of the benefits of purchasing hearing aids can be broadly compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty great!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than simply helping you hear. Staying involved with your family and friends will be much easier with a good pair of hearing aids. 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 enjoying 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 going!
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
There may be some individuals out there who would assume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just buy the most expensive device possible.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. There’s a reason why some hearing aids are expensive in the first place:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very sophisticated technologies, and they have to make those technologies as small as possible. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. Especially if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will automatically work best. There are a lot of variables to consider (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Some hearing aids will certainly last longer than others. But that isn’t always dictated by how expensive the device was in the first place.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good working condition, as with any other investment, they will call for regular care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your ears and calibrated for your distinct level of hearing loss.
Be sure you get the best hearing aids for you
What choices do you have? 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 choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For individuals who want their hearing aids to be hidden and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal choice. But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity is often shorter. And some of the most state-of-the-art features tend to be missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to fit your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re a bit larger than CIC models, they may contain more high-tech functions. These devices are still rather small and some of the features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. Still, ITC models are great for individuals who need more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This type of hearing aid is molded to sit entirely in your outer ear. Two styles are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which fits in the lower 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): In a way, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This style of device has one part that sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a housing that goes behind your ear. The little tube that connects the two elements is still pretty discrete. These devices are popular because they offer many amplification options. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the best choice.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this design, the speaker part fits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. This makes them even less visible, with the added advantage of decreasing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really a problem, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. Though it works well for many people, it won’t be a good option for everyone.
How about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Another option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. The problem is that OTC hearing aids are sort of like OTC medications, they work fine in a general sense. But if your hearing loss warrants a set of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices may fall somewhat short. In general, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically calibrated to your hearing like prescription hearing aids can.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you choose to buy, it’s always a good plan to speak with us about what might work best for your specific 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 requires upkeep.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be assessed? Generally, you should schedule a routine 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.
It’s also not a bad idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what’s not can save you some money! A strong warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what is the best hearing aid?
There’s no single best hearing aid. Every hearing specialist might have a different model that they think is the best.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Just like with an automobile, for some an SUV will be best, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. It all just depends, and the same is true 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. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!