If you’re not really rich, a car isn’t really an impulse purchase. So a lot of research is probably the first step you take. You look at reviews, you compare prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) This level of research is logical! For most individuals who aren’t rich, it will take a while 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 consider the concrete factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also give thought to best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you need a lot of space to carry supplies around? 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 decisions so that you can get the most from your purchase. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same attitude. They’re still an investment although they cost a lot less than a new car. Identifying which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most from your investment.
The advantages of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of buying hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of purchasing a car. Hearing aids are a great investment!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than merely helping you hear. Staying involved with your friends and family will be a lot easier with a good pair of hearing aids. 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 enjoying conversations with friends.
It’s only natural that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as you can given all of the benefits. You want to keep those benefits going!
Are higher quality hearing aids always more expensive?
There may be some individuals out there who would assume that the best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just buy the most high priced device they can.
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 really small and very sophisticated. That means you’re paying for a very potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for a long time. Especially if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most expensive option will automatically work best. There are a lot of variables to consider (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Certainly! But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding variable.
In order to keep your hearing aids in good working order, as with any other purchase, they will need routine care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is unique to you and your hearing aids will need to be programmed to your right requirements.
Make certain you get the right hearing aids for you
What options do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and kinds to choose from. We can help you figure out which hearing aids will be best for your hearing needs. Here are the choices you will have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can provide high-quality sound and are generally quite discrete (perfect for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this type of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity is usually shorter. And some of the most sophisticated functions are usually missing due to their smaller size.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are custom molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. They will typically include more high-tech functions being slightly larger than CIC models. Some of these functions can be a bit tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). 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: This type of hearing aid is molded to sit entirely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits completely inside your ear. These devices are more visible but can contain advanced and powerful microphones, making them an excellent option for noise control or complex hearing issues.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This style of device has one part that fits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but transfers all of the bulky electronics to a housing that goes behind your ear. The pieces are connected by a small tube, but in general, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids provide many amplification options making them quite popular. These kinds are a good compromise between power and visibility.
- 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 a lot like BTE models. They have the benefit of decreasing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re using the device. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really a problem, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. Though it works well for many people, it won’t be a good choice for everybody.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. OTC hearing aids work fine in general, much like OTC medications. But if your hearing loss warrants a pair of more powerful hearing aids or more specialized hearing aids, OTC devices may fall a bit short. In general, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically calibrated 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.
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. Just like your car needs oil changes now and then.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be checked? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and maintained every six months to a year. This gives you an opportunity to be sure that everything is working properly and as it should!
It’s also a good 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 isn’t can save you some money! A strong warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what is the best hearing aid?
There’s no single best hearing aid. Every hearing specialist might have a different model that they think is the best.
The secret is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be best, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But the more you understand ahead of time and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to get the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!