A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re really rich). So a great deal of research is probably the first thing you do. You have a good look at things such as gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) It makes sense to do this level of research. For most people who aren’t rich, it will take a long time to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
Not only do you look at the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. What style of vehicle do you like? Do you need a lot of room to carry supplies around? How fast do you want your car to be?
Put another way, to get the most from your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some decisions. And that’s the same attitude you should take when selecting your hearing aids. They’re still an investment although they cost much less than a new car. Figuring out which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
Hearing aid benefits
In just the same way that you can discuss the benefits of a car in a very general way, you can also talk about the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly broad way. Hearing aids are a great investment!
Yes, they help your hearing, but for most individuals, the benefits are more tangible than that. Staying connected with your family and friends will be much easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll be able to better follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandkids tell you about cool dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the cashier at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it makes sense that you’d begin to ask, “How can I make 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 simply buy the most high priced device possible.
And, to be sure, hearing aids can be an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids might be costly:
- Hearing aids are made to contain very advanced technologies, and they have to make those technologies as small as possible. That means you’re purchasing a very potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for a long time. Particularly if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will inevitably work best. There are lots of factors to consider (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Of Course! But that isn’t always dictated by how expensive the device was in the first place.
In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working condition, as with any other investment, they will call for routine care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will have to be calibrated to your ears and calibrated for your unique level of hearing loss.
Be sure you get the best hearing aids for you
So, what are your choices? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have several different styles and types to select from. You can work with us to figure out 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): For people who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. The only problem is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. The small size also means you won’t get some of the most sophisticated features.
- 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 contain more high-tech features being slightly larger than CIC models. Some of these features can be a little tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also have some sophisticated features, this style will be ideal.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to fit entirely 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). These hearing aids are more visible but can include sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them a great choice for noise control or complex hearing issues.
- 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 transfers all of the bulky electronics to a casing that goes behind your ear. The small tube that connects the two parts is still pretty discrete. 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 best solution.
- 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. This makes them even less visible, with the additional advantage of cutting down on things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re using the device. This makes them suitable for people who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have trouble with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many people, 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 consider. The difficulty is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work fine in a general way. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you require if your hearing loss is more pronounced or complex. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your specific hearing needs which is an option generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
No matter what kind of hearing aid you decide to purchase, it’s always a good plan to speak with us about what might work best for your particular requirements.
Repair and upkeep
After you choose the best hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is crucial. This is, again, like a car which also requires upkeep.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be checked? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working condition.
It’s also a good idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some cash when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. So now you’re wondering: how do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good upkeep and a strong 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.
Which hearing aids match your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Some individuals will opt for a minivan, others for an SUV. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s best for you if you are well informed ahead of time. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!