If you aren’t very wealthy, a car really isn’t an impulse purchase. So a lot of research is probably the first step you take. You take a good look at things like gas mileage, price point, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend these days. It makes sense 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 certain your investment is well spent.
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 room to carry things around? How much power do you need to feel when you press down that gas pedal?
Put another way, to get the most from your new car, you need to examine your options and make some decisions. And that’s the same mindset you should have when choosing your hearing aids. They’re still an investment although 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 delivers the most for your lifestyle.
Hearing aid benefits
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be broadly compared with the example of purchasing a car. Hearing aids are a wonderful investment!
The benefits of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than merely helping you hear. Staying involved with your friends and family will be much easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a tale about dinosaurs at the dinner table with your grandchildren, and engaging in conversations with friends.
With all these benefits, it seems sensible that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You don’t want those benefits to go away.
Do more costly hearing aids work better?
There might be some people out there who would presume that the best way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to simply buy the most expensive device possible.
And, to be certain, hearing aids are an investment. There’s a reason why some devices are expensive in the first place:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is really small and very state-of-the-art. That means you’re getting a very potent technological package.
- They’re made to be long-lasting. Particularly if you take care of them.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will inevitably work best. There are a lot of factors to think about (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, how much you can spend!) Some hearing aids will definitely last longer than others. 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 investment, they will require regular care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will need to be calibrated to your ears and adjusted for your specific level of hearing loss.
Make certain you get the right hearing aids for you
What options do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have several different styles and kinds to select from. You can work with us to figure out which ones are ideal for you and your hearing goals. But in general, 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 ideal choice. The only problem is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. 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 mostly discrete because they are molded to fit your ear canal. They will typically include more high-tech functions being a bit bigger than CIC models. Some of these functions can be somewhat tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still quite small). Still, ITC models are ideal for people who require more features but still want to remain discreet.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to sit completely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally inside your ear. These devices are more visible but can include advanced and powerful microphones, making them an excellent option for noise control or complex hearing conditions.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device sits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part goes behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The two parts are connected by a small tube, but in general, it’s fairly non-visible. These hearing aids provide many amplification solutions 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): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker bit sits in the ear canal. They have the benefit of minimizing wind noise and are generally less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids tend to let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re hearing the device. If you have problems hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really an issue, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good option for everyone.
How about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep inundating you with acronyms) are yet another alternative to consider. 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 pronounced or complex. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your specific hearing needs which is a feature generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you choose to buy, it’s always a good idea to consult us about what might work best for your particular needs.
Maintenance and repair
Of course, once you’ve taken all of the steps to select 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 maintenance and cleaning appointment for your hearing aids every six-to-twelve months. This gives you a chance to be sure that everything is working properly and as it should!
It’s also not a bad 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 isn’t can save you some cash! So now you’re wondering: how do I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is usually simple: good upkeep and a strong warranty.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There’s no single best hearing aid. If you go to twelve different hearing specialists and ask for the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with twelve different models.
Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Some families will go with 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 ahead of time. Schedule a hearing exam with us today!