If you’re not really rich, a car isn’t really an impulse buy. Which means you will most likely do a ton of research first. You have a good look at things like gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend these days. This amount of research makes sense! For most people who aren’t wealthy, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you will spend. So you want to make sure your investment is well spent.
Not only do you look at the concrete factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. What type of vehicle do you want? How much room do you require for weekly supplies? How much pep do you need to feel when you press down that gas pedal?
In other words, to get the most from your new car, you need to assess your options and make some choices. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s important to have this same mindset. They’re still an investment even though they cost much less than a new car. Figuring out which device will fit your lifestyle best and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
Hearing aid benefits
In exactly the same way that you can talk about the benefits of a car in very general terms, you can also discuss the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly general way. Hearing aids are a wonderful investment!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most people, the advantages are more tangible than that. Staying involved with your friends and family will be a lot easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandkids tell you about cool dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it stands to reason that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits going!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?
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 high priced device possible.
Hearing aids are certainly an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are costly in the first place:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is very tiny and very state-of-the-art. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is especially relevant.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will inevitably work best. There are a lot of variables to think about (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Some hearing aids will undoubtedly last longer than others. But that isn’t always determined by how expensive the device was in the first place.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working order, as with any other purchase, they will call for routine care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will need to be programmed to your specific requirements.
Make sure you get the best hearing aids for you
So, what are your options? 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. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): For individuals who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also deliver high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal choice. The only difficulty is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. And some of the most sophisticated features are typically 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 functions being a bit larger than CIC models. Some of these features can be a little tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still rather small). Even still, ITC models are great for individuals who need more features but still want to remain discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These hearing aids are also molded to your ears. No part of the device sits inside your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally 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 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 pieces are connected by a little tube, but in general, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids provide many amplification solutions making them quite popular. When you want the best of both visibility and power, 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 similar to BTE models. They have the advantage of decreasing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. If you have difficulty hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really an issue, these hearing aids will be a great fit for you. Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good option for everybody.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep inundating you with acronyms) are yet another option to think about. The problem is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work okay in a basic sense. But if your hearing loss warrants a set of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices could fall somewhat short. Generally, OTC hearing aids can’t be specially calibrated to your hearing like prescription hearing aids can.
No matter what kind of hearing aid you choose to invest in, it’s always a good idea to talk to us about what will work best for your particular requirements.
Repair and maintenance
Of course, once you’ve taken all of the steps to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. Just like your car requires oil changes now and then.
So, now you’re thinking: how frequently should my hearing aids be checked? In general, you should schedule a regular upkeep and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. This gives you an opportunity to be certain that everything is working effectively and as it should!
It’s also not a bad idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what’s not 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 great warranty.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There’s no single best hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they think is the best.
The secret is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Some individuals will go for a minivan, others for a sport utility vehicle. The same is true for hearing aids, it just depends on your situation.
But the more you understand beforehand and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to find the hearing aids that are ideal for you. Schedule a hearing exam with us today!