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Woman with hearing loss wearing hearing aids having fun with her friends in the park.

If you aren’t really rich, a car really isn’t an impulse buy. Which means you will probably do a lot of research ahead of time. You check out reviews, you compare prices, and you consider gas mileage. Google is your best friend these days. It is sensible to do this level of research. You’re about to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying for it (unless, again, you are really wealthy). So you want to be certain it’s worth it!

Not only do you look at the objective factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a specific style of vehicle you really like? How much room do you need for weekly supplies? How fast do you want your car to be?

Put another way, to get the most from your new car, you need to examine your options and make some decisions. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same attitude. They’re still an investment even though they cost much less than a new car. Determining which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best overall, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.

The benefits of hearing aids

In just the same way that you can discuss the benefits of a car in a very general way, you can also talk about the benefits of hearing aids in a similarly broad way. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!

The advantages of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than simply helping you hear. Staying involved with your family and friends will be much easier with a good pair of hearing aids. You’ll be able to better follow conversations at the dinner table, listen to your grandkids tell you about fascinating dinosaurs, and converse with the cashier at the supermarket.

With all these benefits, it makes sense that you’d start to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You want to keep those benefits going!

Do more expensive hearing aids work better?

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 expensive device they can.

Hearing aids are certainly an investment. Here are a couple of reasons why some hearing aids might be costly:

  • Hearing aids are made to contain very sophisticated technologies, and they need to make those technologies as small as possible. That means you’re purchasing an extremely potent technological package.
  • 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 inevitably work best. How severe your hearing loss is and, obviously, your budget are a couple of the factors to think about. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Certainly! But that isn’t always determined by how costly 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 call for routine care and maintenance. What’s more, your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your ears and adjusted for your distinct level of hearing loss.

Be sure you get the right hearing aids for you

So, what are your choices? You’ll be able to choose from several different types and styles. You can work with us to determine 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): These kinds of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and are typically very discrete (great for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). The only trouble 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 sophisticated 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 a bit larger than CIC models, they may include more high-tech functions. Some of these features 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 have some sophisticated features, this type will be ideal.
  • In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to fit entirely inside your outer ear. A “half shell” version sits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally inside your ear. If you have complex hearing issues or need more powerful noise control, the more advanced technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids a great option.
  • Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): In a sense, BTE hearing aids are the best of both worlds. This type of device has one bit that sits in your ear (that’s the speaker) but moves all of the bulky electronics to a casing that goes behind your ear. The small tube that connects the two elements is still rather discrete. These devices are popular because they offer many amplification options. These types are a great compromise between visibility and power.
  • Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): This is a lot like BTE hearing aids, except the speaker part fits 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. If you have problems 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 option for everyone.

What about over-the-counter hearing aids?

Another possibility 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 specially programmed to your hearing like prescription hearing aids can.

The best way to figure out what type of hearing aid will be best for you, you should consult with us.

Upkeep and repair

After you choose the ideal hearing aid for your hearing needs, taking care of it is crucial. Just like your car needs oil changes once in a while.

So how frequently will your hearing aids need to be assessed? Generally, you should schedule a routine 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 condition.

It’s also not a bad idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. If and when you need repair, knowing what’s covered by that warranty and what’s not can save you some money! A strong warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.

So… what’s the best hearing aid?

There is no single best all-time hearing aid. If you go to twelve different hearing specialists and request the “best” hearing aid, they may provide you with a dozen different models.

Which hearing aids fit your hearing loss needs will be the ones that are best for you. Just like with a vehicle, for some an SUV will be the right choice, 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 beforehand and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to find the hearing aids that are perfect for you. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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