A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re very, very rich). So a great deal of research is probably the first thing you do. You check out reviews, you compare prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) This amount of research is logical! For most individuals 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 your investment is well spent.
You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. What type of vehicle do you want? Do you need a lot of room to carry supplies around? How much power do you want to feel when you push down that gas pedal?
Put another way, to get the most out of your new car, you have to evaluate your options and make some choices. And that’s the same attitude you should take when selecting your hearing aids. They’re still an investment even though they cost a lot less than a new car. Figuring out which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best in general, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
Hearing aid benefits
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 advantages of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than simply helping you hear. Staying involved with your family and friends will be a lot easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandkids tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the checkout clerk at the supermarket.
With all these benefits, it stands to reason that you’d begin to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You don’t want those benefits to go away.
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 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 can be costly:
- Hearing aids are designed to include very sophisticated technologies, and they need to make those technologies as small as possible. That means you’re paying for an extremely potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for a long time. If you take good care of them this is particularly true.
But the most costly model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. There are a lot 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? Certainly! But that isn’t always determined by how costly the device was in the first place.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to keep working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your specific level of hearing loss.
Be sure you get the best hearing aids for you
What choices do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and types to select from. You can work with us to determine which ones are the right choice for you and your hearing goals. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These kinds of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and are usually quite discrete (perfect for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall lifespan is often shorter. 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 custom molded to fit your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. They will typically include more high-tech features being slightly bigger than CIC models. These devices are still rather small and some of the functions can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. Even still, ITC models are great for individuals who require more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to sit completely inside your outer ear. Two types are available (full shell, which fits the entirety of your ear, or half shell, which fits in the lower 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 choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, 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 housing that sits behind your ear. The pieces are connected by a little tube, but in general, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids provide many amplification choices making them quite popular. These kinds are a great compromise between power and visibility.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this model, the speaker part sits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. They have the advantage of decreasing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re hearing 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. Though it works well for many people, it won’t be a good choice for everyone.
How 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. In general, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically programmed to your hearing like prescription hearing aids can.
The best way to find out what kind of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Repair and upkeep
After you choose the ideal hearing aid for your hearing requirements, taking care of it is crucial. This is, again, like a car which also requires upkeep.
So, now you’re thinking: how frequently should my hearing aids be checked? 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 not a bad idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some cash! So now you’re wondering: how do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good maintenance and a strong warranty.
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 may provide you with a dozen different models.
The secret is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Some families will go for a minivan, others for a sport utility vehicle. 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 beforehand. Schedule a hearing exam with us today!