A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re very, very wealthy). So a lot of research is most likely the first step you take. You check out reviews, you compare prices, and you consider gas mileage. Google is your best friend right now. This level of research is logical! For most people who aren’t rich, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you will spend. So you want to make certain your investment is well spent.
Not only do you consider the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. What style of vehicle do you like? How much room do you need for weekly groceries? How fast do you want your car to be?
So you need to have a close look at all of your possibilities and make some informed choices so that you can get the most from your investment. And that’s the same attitude you should have when selecting your hearing aids. They’re still an investment even though they cost a lot less than a new car. 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 advantages of hearing aids
In just 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 pretty awesome!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than merely helping you hear. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a story about dinosaurs over dinner with your grandchildren, and engaging in 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 don’t want those benefits to stop.
Are higher quality hearing aids always more expensive?
Some individuals may assume that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the highest-priced device.
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 include very sophisticated technologies, and they need to make those technologies as tiny as possible. That means you’re paying for a very potent technological package.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is especially relevant.
But the most costly model won’t necessarily be your best fit or work the best. How profound your hearing loss is and, of course, what you can afford are a couple of the variables to think about. Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But that isn’t always determined by how costly the device was in the first place.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good working order, as with any other investment, they will need routine care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is unique to you and your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your exact requirements.
Be sure you get the right hearing aids for you
So, what are your choices? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous 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 in general, 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 hidden and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal 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 modern functions.
- 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 pretty small and some of the features can be a bit hard 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 in your ear canal, it all fits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits entirely inside your 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 a great choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device sits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part sits behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The small tube that connects the two elements is still fairly discrete. These devices are popular because they offer many amplification solutions. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the best option.
- 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 similar to BTE models. They have the benefit 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 problems hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really a problem, these hearing aids will be a great fit for you. It’s not a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.
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 option to think about. The trouble is that OTC hearing aids are sort of like OTC medications, they work fine in a basic sense. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you need if your hearing loss is more advanced or complex. Generally, OTC hearing aids can’t be specially programmed to your hearing like prescription hearing aids can.
The best way to determine what type of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Upkeep and repair
After you choose the ideal hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is essential. This is, again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So, now you’re thinking: how frequently should my hearing aids be assessed? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. This gives you an opportunity to be certain that everything is working properly and as it should!
You should also get familiar with your warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some money! A strong warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There isn’t a single best all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they think is the best.
The key is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Some families will go for a minivan, others for an SUV. The same is true with hearing aids, it all depends on your specific situation.
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!