A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re very, very wealthy). So a great deal of research is probably the first step you take. You take a good look at things such as gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend right now. It is sensible to do this amount 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 make sure it’s worth it!
You’ll be considering how your purchase best fits your lifestyle and also practical things like safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you require a lot of space to carry supplies around? How much power do you want to feel when you push down that gas pedal?
So you need to take a close look at all of your possibilities and make some informed choices in order to get the most from your investment. And that’s the same attitude you should take when selecting your hearing aids. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. Determining 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 broadly compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty great!
The advantages of hearing aids, for most people, 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 be able to better follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandchildren tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
It’s only logical 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 costly?
Some people may think that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the most expensive device.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be expensive:
- Hearing aids are designed to include very sophisticated technologies, and they have to make those technologies as tiny as possible. That means you’re purchasing an extremely potent technological package.
- Hearing aids are also designed to last for a long time. Particularly if you take care of them.
But the most costly model won’t automatically be your best fit or work the best. How severe your hearing loss is and, of course, your budget are a couple of the factors to think about. Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. But the price of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will need regular maintenance in order to continue working properly. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your exact requirements.
Make certain you get the correct hearing aids for you
So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to choose from numerous different styles and types. You can work with us to figure out which ones are ideal 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 people who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the ideal choice. But with this type of hearing aid, battery life, and overall lifespan tends to be shorter. 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 mostly hidden because they are molded to fit your ear canal. Because they’re a bit larger than CIC models, they might contain more high-tech features. These devices are still rather small and some of the features can be a little hard to manipulate by hand. Even still, ITC models are ideal for people who need more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style 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 totally in 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 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 small tube that connects the two elements is still pretty discrete. These hearing aids offer many amplification options making them quite popular. These types are a great compromise between power and visibility.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit sits in the ear canal. This makes them even less visible, with the added advantage of decreasing 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 a good fit for people who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have difficulty with high-frequency sounds). Though it works well for many people, it won’t be a good choice for everyone.
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 okay in general, much like OTC medications. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you require if your hearing loss is more advanced or complex. Generally, OTC hearing aids can’t be specially calibrated to your hearing like prescription hearing aids can.
The best way to find out what type of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.
Maintenance and repair
Of course, 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 requires oil changes now and again.
So how often will your hearing aids need to be assessed? Generally, you should schedule a regular maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working condition.
It’s also a good idea to be somewhat 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! A strong warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There is no single greatest all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist might have a different model that they think is the best.
The secret is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Some people will go for a minivan, others for an SUV. The same goes for hearing aids, it all depends on your situation.
But the more you know ahead of time and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to find the hearing aids that are ideal for you. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!