Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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

If you’re not very wealthy, a car really isn’t an impulse purchase. Which means you will most likely do a great deal of research first. You have a good look at things such as gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend these days. It is sensible to do this level 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 be certain it’s worth it!

Not only do you look at the concrete factors (gas mileage, safety, etc), but you’ll also think about best fits for your lifestyle. Is there a particular type of vehicle you really like? Do you need a lot of space to carry things around? How much power do you want to feel when you press down that gas pedal?

Put another way, to get the most from your new car, you have to evaluate your options and make some decisions. And when you’re selecting new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same attitude. They won’t 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, overall, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.

The advantages of hearing aids

The example of the benefits of purchasing hearing aids can be broadly compared with the example of purchasing a car. Hearing aids are pretty awesome!

The benefits of hearing aids, for most people, are more tangible than simply helping you hear. With a pair of hearing aids, you can remain involved with the people in your life. You’ll be able to more easily follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandkids tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the cashier at the grocery store.

It’s only natural that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as possible given all of the benefits. 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 can be costly:

  • Hearing aids are made to include very sophisticated 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 the most costly model won’t necessarily 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 undoubtedly last longer than others. But that isn’t always dictated by how expensive the device was in the first place.

In order to keep your hearing aids in tip-top working condition, as with any other purchase, they will need routine care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will have to be programmed to your exact requirements.

Get the appropriate hearing aids for your hearing loss

What choices do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have a number of different styles and types to pick from. 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 individuals who want their hearing aids to be discrete and also provide high-quality sound, these hearing aids will be the best choice. The only trouble is that they tend to have a shorter longevity and battery life. And some of the most sophisticated features are typically missing due to their smaller size.
  • In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly hidden because they are molded to fit your ear canal. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they might include more high-tech functions. Some of these features can be somewhat tricky to adjust by hand (because the devices are still rather small). Even still, ITC models are ideal for individuals who require more features but still want to remain discreet.
  • In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to fit completely inside your outer ear. Two styles are available (full shell, which fits your whole ear, or half shell, which fits in the lower 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 hearing aid has one part 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 pieces are connected by a little tube, but for the most part, it’s pretty non-visible. These hearing aids are popular because they offer many amplification solutions. These kinds are a great compromise between power and visibility.
  • 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. This makes them even less visible, with the added benefit of cutting down on 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. If you have trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies are not really an issue, these hearing aids will be a good fit for you. It isn’t a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many people.

What about over-the-counter hearing aids?

Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep flooding you with acronyms) are yet another option to think about. 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 need if your hearing loss is more pronounced or complex. Generally, OTC hearing aids can’t be specifically calibrated to your hearing in the same way that prescription hearing aids can.

No matter what type of hearing aid you choose to purchase, it’s always a good plan to talk to us about what will work best for your specific requirements.

Maintenance and repair

Obviously, once you’ve taken all of the steps to select your perfect hearing aid type, you should take care of it. This is, once again, like a car which also needs upkeep.

So how often will your hearing aids need to be assessed? In general, 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 order.

You should also become familiar with your warranty. You will save some money when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. A strong warranty and regular maintenance will help your hearing last as long as possible.

So… what is the best hearing aid?

There is no single best all-time hearing aid. Every hearing specialist might have a different model that they feel is the best.

Which hearing aids match your hearing loss requirements will be the ones that are best for you. Some families will go with 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 right for you if you are well informed beforehand. Schedule a hearing exam with us 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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