A car isn’t really an impulse buy (unless you’re very, very wealthy). So a lot of research is probably the first thing you do. You look at reviews, you assess prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) It is sensible to do this amount of research. 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 sure 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. What style of vehicle do you like? How much room do you require for weekly supplies? How much pep do you need to feel when you push down that accelerator?
In other words, to get the most from your new car, you need to assess your options and make some decisions. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same mindset. They’re still an investment even though they cost a lot less than a new car. And getting the most from your investment means figuring out which devices work best, overall, as well as what provides the most for your lifestyle.
The advantages of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be generally compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are a wonderful investment!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than simply helping you hear. Staying connected with your family and friends will be a lot easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll be able to better follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandchildren tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the cashier at the grocery store.
With all these benefits, it stands to reason that you’d start to ask, “How can I make my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits going!
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
There may be some people out there who would assume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just buy the most expensive device they can.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids can be expensive:
- Hearing aids are made to include very advanced technologies, and they have to make those technologies as tiny as possible. So the package you’re paying for is very technologically potent.
- Hearing aids are also made to last for a long time. Particularly if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will automatically work best. There are lots of variables to think about (including the degree of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Certainly! But that isn’t always determined by how expensive the device was in the first place.
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 have to be tuned to your right needs.
Get the proper hearing aids for your hearing loss
What options do you have? You’ll be able to choose from several different styles and types. You can work with us to determine which ones are the right choice for you and your hearing goals. Here are the choices you will 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 longevity is often shorter. The small size also means you won’t get some of the most modern features.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are specifically molded to fit your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they may include more high-tech features. Some of these features can be somewhat tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still fairly small). Even still, ITC models are great for people who need more features but still want to be discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These devices are also molded to your ears. No part of the device sits inside 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 in your ear. These hearing aids are more visible but can include sophisticated and powerful microphones, making them an excellent option for noise control or complex hearing issues.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a way, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This style of hearing aid has one part that fits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but transfers all of the bulky electronics to a casing that goes behind your ear. The two parts are connected by a little tube, but for the most part, it’s fairly non-visible. These devices are popular because they provide many amplification options. These kinds are a great compromise between visibility and power.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is much like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit sits in the ear canal. They have the benefit of reducing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Even when you’re using the device, low-frequency sounds can still get into the ear. This makes them suitable for people who can hear those low-frequencies fairly well (but have difficulty with high-frequency sounds). 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 option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. OTC hearing aids work fine 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 pronounced or complex. Prescription hearing aids can be fine-tuned to your specific hearing needs which is a feature generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what kind of hearing aid you decide to purchase, it’s always a smart idea to consult us about what will work best for your specific requirements.
Upkeep and repair
Of course, once you’ve taken all of the steps 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, now you’re thinking: how frequently should my hearing aids be assessed? Generally, you should schedule a regular upkeep and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. 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’s not can save you some money! So now you’re wondering: how do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is sometimes simple: good upkeep and a great warranty.
So… what’s the best hearing aid?
There isn’t a single greatest all-time hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and ask for the “best” hearing aid, they may provide you with twelve different models.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Some people will go for a minivan, others for an SUV. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s best for you if you are well informed ahead of time. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!