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 check out reviews, you compare prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) This level of research is logical! You’re about to drop tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying for it (unless, again, you are very rich). So you want to make certain your investment is well spent.
You’ll be considering how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a particular type of vehicle you really like? Do you need a lot of space to carry supplies around? How fast do you want your car to be?
Put another way, to get the most out of your new car, you have to examine your options and make some choices. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s important to have this same attitude. They’re still an investment although they cost much less than a new car. Identifying which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best in general, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
Hearing aid advantages
The example of the benefits of buying hearing aids can be broadly compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!
Yes, they help you hear, but for most people, the benefits are more tangible than that. With a pair of hearing aids, you can remain involved with the people in your life. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a story about dinosaurs at the dinner table 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 don’t want those benefits to stop.
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
There might be some people out there who would assume that the best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to simply buy the most high priced device they can.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids might be costly:
- Hearing aids are made to include very advanced technologies, and they need to make those technologies as tiny as possible. That means you’re purchasing a very potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for quite a while. Particularly 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 think about (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Certainly! But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to keep working effectively. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be tuned to your ears and calibrated for your specific level of hearing loss.
Make certain you get the best hearing aids for you
So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to choose from several different types and styles. You can work with us to determine which ones are best for you and your hearing needs. But generally, here’s what you’ll have to choose 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 best choice. The only problem is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and battery life. And some of the most modern 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. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they might contain more high-tech functions. These devices are still pretty small and some of the features can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. Even still, ITC models are ideal for people 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 hearing aid sits in your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely in your ear. These hearing aids are more visible but can contain sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them a great option for noise control or complex hearing problems.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device fits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part sits behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The two parts are connected by a small tube, but for the most part, it’s fairly non-visible. These devices are popular because they provide many amplification choices. When you want the best of both visibility and power, these devices will be the perfect choice.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker part fits in the ear canal. They have the advantage of decreasing wind noise and are generally 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 trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really an issue, these hearing aids will be a good 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
Another possibility 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 okay 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. Prescription hearing aids can be fine-tuned to your particular hearing needs which is an option generally not available with OTC hearing aids.
No matter what kind of hearing aid you choose to buy, it’s always a smart plan to consult us about what might work best for your specific requirements.
Upkeep and repair
Obviously, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. This is, again, like a car which also needs upkeep.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be assessed? 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 order.
You should also get familiar with your warranty. If and when you require repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what isn’t can save you some cash! A good warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what is the best hearing aid?
There is no single greatest all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist may have a different model that they think is the best.
Which hearing aids match your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Some people 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 choosing the hearing aid that’s best for you if you are well informed beforehand. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!