If you aren’t very wealthy, a car really isn’t an impulse buy. Which means you will probably do a lot of research first. You have a good look at things like gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. (You’re on Google a lot.) It makes sense to do this amount of research. For most individuals who aren’t wealthy, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you will spend. So you want to make sure your investment is well spent.
Not only do you consider the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a specific type of vehicle you really like? Do you require a lot of room to carry supplies around? How much pep do you need to feel when you push down that accelerator?
Put another way, to get the most out of your new car, you have to examine your options and make some decisions. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s important to have this same mindset. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. And getting the most out of your investment means determining which devices work best, in general, as well as what provides the most for your lifestyle.
Hearing aid advantages
The example of the benefits of buying hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!
The advantages of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than simply helping you hear. With a set of hearing aids, you can stay involved with the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandchildren tell you about cool dinosaurs, and chit-chat with the cashier at the grocery store.
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 don’t want those benefits to go away.
Are higher quality hearing aids always more expensive?
Some individuals might think that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the highest-priced device.
Hearing aids are certainly an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids might be expensive:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really small and very state-of-the-art. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
- They’re designed to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is especially relevant.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will automatically work best. How profound your hearing loss is and, of course, what you can afford are a couple of the factors to consider. Some hearing aids will certainly last longer than others. But the cost of the device isn’t always the deciding factor.
As with any other purchase, hearing aids will need regular maintenance in order to continue working properly. What’s more, your hearing aids will have to be tuned 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 options? You’ll be able to choose from numerous different types and styles. We can help you determine which hearing aids will be best for your hearing needs. But in general, here’s what you’ll have to select from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and are typically very discrete (perfect for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall lifespan is often 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 custom molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly discrete. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they may contain more high-tech features. These devices are still pretty small and some of the functions can be a little tricky to manipulate by hand. Still, ITC models are ideal for people who need more features but still want to remain discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the hearing aid sits inside your ear canal, it all sits in your outer ear. Two types are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which sits in the lower ear). If you have complex hearing problems or need more powerful noise control, the more sophisticated technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids a great option.
- 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 fits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a casing that goes behind your ear. The little tube that connects the two parts 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): This is much like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit fits in the ear canal. This makes them even less visible, with the additional advantage of reducing things like wind noise.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids tend to allow low-frequency sounds to enter the ear even while you’re using the device. This makes them suitable for individuals who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have difficulty with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
Pros and Cons of over-the-counter hearing aids
Another option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. The problem is that OTC hearing aids are kind of like OTC medications, they work fine in a general sense. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you require if your hearing loss is more advanced or complex. In general, OTC hearing aids can’t be specially programmed to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you choose to invest in, it’s always a smart idea to talk to us about what will work best for your particular needs.
Maintenance and repair
Of course, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. This is, once again, like a car which also needs maintenance.
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 certain everything is in good working order.
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 good 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 feel is the best.
The secret is to find the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. Some individuals will go with a minivan, others for an SUV. The same is true with hearing aids, it all depends on your situation.
But the more you know beforehand 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!