ENT Specialists of Alaska

ENT Specialists of Alaska

How to Get The Most From Your Hearing Aids

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 buy. Which means you will probably do a great deal of research first. You look at reviews, you assess prices, and you evaluate gas mileage. (You’re on Google a lot.) This level of research makes sense! You’re about to drop tens of thousands of dollars on something and spend years paying it off (unless, again, you are very rich). So you want to make sure your investment is well spent.

You’ll be thinking about how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. What style of vehicle do you enjoy? How much room do you require for weekly supplies? How much power do you want to feel when you push down that accelerator?

In other words, to get the most from your new car, you need to evaluate your options and make some decisions. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same attitude. They won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are an investment. Identifying which device will best fit your lifestyle and which device works best in general, is the best way to get the most out of your investment.

Hearing aid benefits

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

Yes, they help your hearing, but for most people, the benefits are more tangible than that. With a set of hearing aids, you can remain connected to the people in your life. You’ll be able to better follow conversations during dinner, listen to your grandkids tell you about cool dinosaurs, and converse with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.

With all these benefits, it makes sense that you’d begin to ask, “How can I help my hearing aids last longer?” You don’t want those benefits to stop.

Are higher quality hearing aids always more costly?

Some individuals might think that they can only get a quality hearing aid if they get the highest-priced device.

And, to be sure, hearing aids are an investment. There’s a reason why some hearing aids are costly in the first place:

  • The technology inside of a hearing aid is very small and very state-of-the-art. So the package you’re paying for is extremely technologically potent.
  • Hearing aids are also designed to last for quite a while. Particularly if you take care of them.

But the most costly model won’t automatically be your best fit or work the best. There are lots of factors to think about (including the extent of your hearing loss and, well, your budget!) Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Sure! 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 condition, as with any other purchase, they will call for regular care and maintenance. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will have to be tuned to your specific requirements.

Get the correct hearing aids for your hearing loss

So, what are your choices? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have numerous different styles and kinds to select from. We can help you determine which hearing aids will be best for 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 provide high-quality sound and are typically quite discrete (perfect for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall longevity tends to be shorter. And some of the most modern functions are usually missing because of their smaller size.
  • In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are specifically molded to your ear canal, which makes them mostly hidden. Because they’re a little larger than CIC models, they might include more high-tech functions. These devices are still fairly small and some of the features can be a bit difficult to manipulate by hand. Still, ITC models are ideal for individuals who require more features but still want to remain discreet.
  • In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: These hearing aids are also molded to your ears. No part of the hearing aid sits in your ear canal, it all fits in your outer ear. Two styles are available (full shell, which fits the entirety of your ear, or half shell, which fits in the lower ear). If you have complex hearing issues or need more powerful noise control, the more sophisticated technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids the perfect choice.
  • Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device fits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part goes behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The small tube that connects the two elements is still rather discrete. These hearing aids offer many amplification solutions making them quite popular. When you want the best of both visibility and power, these devices will be the best choice.
  • Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this design, the speaker part fits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. They have the benefit of minimizing wind noise and are usually less visible.
  • 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 trouble hearing higher frequencies but low-frequencies aren’t really an issue, these hearing aids will be a great fit for you. Though it works well for many individuals, it won’t be a good choice for everybody.

How about over-the-counter hearing aids?

Another option to think about is OTC or over-the-counter hearing aids. The difficulty is that OTC hearing aids are sort of like OTC medications, they work fine in a general way. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you need 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.

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

Repair and maintenance

Obviously, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to pick out your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. This is, once again, like a car which also requires maintenance.

So how often will your hearing aids need to be checked? You should have your hearing aid cleaned and maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be certain everything is in good working order.

It’s also not a bad idea to be fairly familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some money when you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. So now you’re wondering: how can I make my hearing aids last longer? The answer is sometimes simple: good maintenance and a great warranty.

So… what is the best hearing aid?

There isn’t a single best all-time hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and request the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with twelve different models.

The key is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your personal requirements. 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 you will have an easier time choosing the hearing aid that’s right for you if you are well informed beforehand. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!


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.

Questions? Talk To Us.