What You Should Know About Over
With the rise of telehealth and online shopping, there are many companies from which you can now buy a hearing aid online rather than by visiting an audiologist. However, valid concerns have been raised by hearing care professionals that these direct-to-consumer hearing products can potentially harm wearers. If not programmed correctly by a specialist, there is a risk that the sound will amplify too much and be too loud, further damaging the wearers hearing and ears.
Still, that is not to say that all hearing aids you can buy online or over the counter are unsafe. Its important to understand the difference between over-the-counter sound amplifiers, direct-to-consumer hearing aids, and FDA-approved hearing aids so you can make the most informed choice when choosing a device for yourself or a loved one.
How To Choose The Right Hearing Aid In 2021
The world of hearing aids has changed dramatically over the years. With advances in technology, there is a diverse range of options for people who need help hence, it is important to research thoroughly which type will work best with your lifestyle.
A hearing aid is a device that allows the wearer to hear better. It does this by converting sound waves into electrical signals, amplifying them and transmitting them directly into your ear canal so you can enjoy every detail of music or speech with a respectable clarity.
The four main components of hearing aids are the microphone, amplifier, receiver and battery which all work together to help people hear better. Digital models also come equipped with microchips which can store personalised settings based upon individual needs.
Hearing Direct’s website is home to a wide selection of affordabledigital hearing aids. Our five-star review system makes it easy to identify which of our cost-effective hearing aids are the best. That way, you can find a device in your budget that does not compromise on sound quality.
Our whole range includes a set of devices ranging from more basic models to more advanced devices with a greater level of features for you to choose from, including rechargeable hearing aids – no need for all that fiddling around with tiny batteries. Our hearing aids come with a full manufacturer warranty of 12 or 24 months and you will be fully covered by our 30-day money back guarantee.
What Level Of Hearing Loss Requires A Hearing Aid
There are five levels of hearing loss, ranging from mild to profound, according to the Hearing Health Foundation . If you have mild to moderate hearing loss, you may be eligible for personal sound amplification products or hearing aids, depending on an individual evaluation conducted by a hearing health professional.
Also Check: What Causes Wax Build Up In Ears
What To Know Before Purchasing A Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are a major purchase. Before deciding on a hearing aid, its a good idea to get a referral from your primary care physician for an ear, nose, and throat specialist or an audiologist for guidance and recommendations.
If a medical condition is causing your hearing loss, an exam with a licensed physician may be necessary. Otherwise, an audiologist can conduct a hearing evaluation to identify the type and amount of hearing loss.
How To Buy Oticon Hearing Aids
Oticon doesnt sell its hearing aids to patients directly but through third parties. A hearing assessment and talking with an Oticon specialist will help you get started on the right footing. From there, youll work with an audiologist to determine the best Oticon hearing aids to suit your needs.
If youve never had an audiologist assessment, the Oticon website can help you get started:
Take the hearing test. The company offers a free and straightforward online hearing test under the Your Hearing link at the top of the main page. This assessment takes five minutes and is for screening purposes only. It does not provide sounds but only questions about your hearing issues.
Find an audiologist. If you show potential for hearing aids, the site prompts you to the Contact a Hearing Professional link, which provides a list of Oticon-authorized hearing centers and audiologists in your area.
Undergo an audiologist assessment. Technically, any audiologist can perform the initial audiogram and calibrate an Oticon hearing aid for you. If your health insurance covers audiograms or hearing aids, your best bet may be going to an in-network audiologist. However, by going to one of Oticons partner hearing clinics, you will be able to access a risk-free trial. This trial will let you test out one of the companys flagship models for 30 days. If you decide to keep it and buy it, you will receive a $50 gift card for Oticon accessories.
Read Also: What Antibiotics Can You Take For Ear Infection
Analog Vs Digital: The Habit Factor
People who have been using analog hearing aids for a while may find it difficult to shift to digital hearing aids or may prefer not to. This is owing to the habit factor touched upon earlier in the article. It is important to remember that while digital hearing aids may be the best thing available in the market, it may not necessarily suit everyones hearing needs or comfort.
While choosing a hearing aid, the only thing that should ideally matter is how it will help you regain your hearing abilities and confidence. While it is necessary to consider the price, and it is difficult to break a habit, one must not ignore the long-term benefits of choosing a technology that only improves with time and offers better devices to help you. Select a hearing aid that helps you hear and communicate as naturally as possible.
Looking to switch from your analog hearing aids to digital alternatives? Get in touch with Centre For Hearing today!
Call us on for a FREE CONSULTATION!
What You Should Know About Hearing Aid Costs
Hearing aids typically cost around $2,300 per ear, depending on the type of device and its additional features. You may save some money if you buy two hearing aids together, though.
You likely wont need to pay the full cost upfront unless you choose to.”
You likely wont need to pay the full cost upfront unless you choose to. Many hearing aid sellers have financing options or let you pay in monthly installments.
Quality hearing aids can also last several years, especially if the users hearing loss remains stable over time. Divided over four years, the cost of a $4,000 hearing aid is about $2.74 per day.
These prices typically include the cost of the device itself as well as testing, fitting and adjustment. Many companies also bundle routine cleaning and maintenance into their prices.
You May Like: How To Clear Blocked Ears When Sick
Most Important Features To Look For
There are a few potential factors that you should consider before buying one of these.
As seen on TV hearing aids come with a lot of features, benefits, along with affordability. All the models are designed with distinct features and the main difference likes with the hearing aids programmability.
In accordance with your distinct hearing loss the hearing aid needs to be programmed. They should be able to enhance sounds properly. If the hearing sounds are magnified uniformly then it wont help you out much to hear speech with ease.
For getting a complete idea, you should consult a hearing specialist about the programming abilities along with pre-programmed settings that can be put in use in different situations.
We have discussed six types of styles, shapes, and sizes in the article above that are designed keeping the users preferences in mind. You might require a BTE, CIC, IIC, ITC, etc.
The functionality, ease-of-use, cost, appearance, and many things you will be looking into. So, considering elements into consideration becomes essential and your hearing loss extent also needs to be thought about.
The basic purpose for which people invest in a hearing aid is to hear and understand speech. You need to be informed about the directional microphones in any hearing aid you buy.
Background Noise Minimization:
Consider Your Dexterity:
Frequently Asked Questions
Our Criteria For Choosing The Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids
We consulted audiologists and geriatric care experts in addition to independently testing various models. We read thousands of verified customer reviews and conducted exhaustive research.
Through this in-depth research, we determined the following to be the most important criteria to consider when shopping for a hearing aid:
- Types of hearing aids available
- Types of battery used
- Features such as bluetooth capability and rechargeable batteries
We selected Lively, Widex, Audicus, MDHearingAid, and Eargo for our list to provide you with a range of options, price points, styles, and functions.
You May Like: How To Tell If You Have An Ear Infection
Markups On Hearing Aids By Manufacturers
The Big Six hearing aid manufacturers have dominated the hearing aid marketand controlled the pricesfor decades. Without any real price competition, these hearing aid manufacturers have been able to mark up prices as high as they want.
In fact, the current situation with inflated hearing aid prices is similar to the following description of Luxotticas monopoly on the eyeglasses industry :
What do Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Persol have in common? They are all owned by the same brand. Thats right, Luxottica, an Italian-based eyewear company, produces about 70% of all name-brand eyewear. This is fairly close to a monopoly, as with that high of a market share, Luxottica dominates the market price. Notice that Luxottica is not a single price monopoly, as it practices a form of price discrimination by having multiple brands aimed at different consumers. Lets consider what would happen if Luxottica only sold one kind of sunglasses at the same price to all consumers, and if they owned 100% of the market.
Heres how it works in the hearing aid industry: If the hearing aid costs around $300 to make at the factory, manufacturers will add another $1,000 to $2,000 to the price before selling it to a hearing clinic. Just like Luxottica, hearing aid makers are taking a product thats relatively inexpensive to build, and unnaturally driving up the pricejust because they can.
Analog Vs Digital: Understanding The Basic Difference
Simply put, analog hearing aids are the most basic type of hearing aids they simply amplify all sounds equally.
They do not account for whether the sound is speech or noise and disregarding whether it might already be a very loud sound. In analog devices, there is a limit on the number of criteria that can be controlled, so there is in-turn a limitation on fine-tuning the sound being delivered to the consumer.
The onset of digital sound processing technology has since changed how the above-mentioned process is carried out. Microchips present in the digital device convert sound waves to binary code and applies certain algorithms so as to reduce noise, improve the sound quality of spoken voice, reduce feedback of device and perform complex sound processing.
This processed sound is then played back to the ear, thus giving the user a comfortable hearing solution minus the noise and other distractions.
Read Also: How Do You Say Hi In Sign Language
What Goes Into The Cost Of Making Hearing Aid
As suggested by some critics, hearing aids cost shouldnt more than a laptop or computer. After all, a hearing aid also contains parts and technology just like a computer, to process information. But ear machines are much smaller as compared to a laptop or computer. However, the objection that arose is quite misleading.
The technology within the machine is both sophisticated and subject to constant improvement. The hearing aids cost adds product charge as well as a service charge of professionals that go along with the hearing aid fitting.
Simple analog hearing aids consist of the following parts:
They are a highly important part in hearing aids which carry the sound wave from the environment and converts them into the electrical signal. Its costs range from Rs 1064 to Rs 3550, which is easily available with the efficient cost then, what does hearing aids constitute which is so costly?
It amplifies the electrical signal received by microphones and increases the power of the signal. It cost Rs 11 to Rs 3550.
The main function of a receiver is to convert digital signals in the form of vibrations that are passed through the inner ear up to the brain. It ranges from Rs 710 to Rs 3550.
Hearing Aid Battery
These are the most required part, as the device needs the power to be operated, and hearing aid batteries provide that power. They come with different shapes and power for different types of hearing aids. It ranges from Rs 355 to Rs 1775.
Does Insurance Cover Hearing Aids
If you have private health insurance through an employer or a self-paid individual or family plan, you may have hearing aid benefits. Some private health plans will pay for a hearing evaluation or cover a small portion of hearing aid costs. But many do not offer any benefits for hearing aids. Make sure to check the fine print in your benefits booklet before purchasing hearing aids.
Several states have mandates that require health benefits plans in the state to pay for hearing aids for children, and some even have stipulations for adults allowing for hearing aid benefits, so its worth looking into your plan.
Additionally, Medicare Parts A and B dont cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids. If you have Part C, also known as a Medicare Advantage plan, you may want to contact your plan provider. Some Part C plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare does not cover.
Don’t Miss: Can You Put Peroxide In An Infected Ear
Analog Vs Digital: Discrimination Between Speech And Unwanted Noise
Analog hearing aids make sounds louder but cannot discriminate between them. They cannot discriminate between speech and unwanted noise but just amplify everything. Digital hearing aids suppress background noise so that speech is easier to hear and understand especially in noisy environments. Modern digital aids segregate speech patterns from the noise and selectively amplify it.
Battery Life And Operating Time
Most rechargeable hearing aids last a full day. But be aware that battery life and operating time are dependent on how you use your devices. Utilizing Bluetooth to stream audio from your phone, television, or tablet in your hearing aids can drain battery power faster. How fast the batteries drain also depends on the type of battery and hearing aid. Many models also feature a quick-charge option that can provide a partial charge that can last for 3 to 8 hours to help get you to the end of the day.
You May Like: How Do You Say House In Sign Language
Now That You Understand What Drives The Price Of Hearing Aids Lets Get Into Some Real
Starkey Hearing Aid Prices
Pre-negotiated Starkey Evolv AI behind-the-ear pair: $2,998 lowest-tech – $4,598 highest-techPre-negotiated Starkey Evolv AI in-the-ear pair: $2,998 lowest-tech – $4,598 highest-techWalk-in average average for a pair: $6,406
ReSound Hearing Aid Prices
Pre-negotiated ReSound ONE behind-the-ear pair: $3,198 lowest-tech – $4,790 highest-techWalk-in average average for a pair: $5,689
Phonak Hearing Aid Prices
Pre-negotiated Phonak Paradise behind-the-ear pair: $2,798 lowest-tech – $4,798 highest-techPre-negotiated Phonak Virto in-the-ear pair: $2,998 lowest-tech – $4,498 highest-techWalk-in average average for a pair: $5,615
Oticon Hearing Aid Prices
Pre-negotiated Oticon More behind-the-ear pair: $3,198 lowest-tech – $4,798 highest-techWalk-in average average for a pair: $5,541
Signia Hearing Aid Prices
Behind-the-ear pair on Soundly: $2,798 lowest-tech – $4,598 highest-techIn-the-ear on pair Soundly: $2,898 lowest-tech – $4,400 highest-techWalk-in average average for a pair: $5,248
Widex Hearing Aid Prices
Behind-the-ear pair on Soundly: $2,798 lowest-tech – $4,598 highest-techIn-the-ear on pair Soundly: $2,898 lowest-tech – $4,400 highest-techWalk-in average average for a pair: $5,507
Strategies To Deal With High
Please keep in mind that somebut not allhearing clinics and audiologists will use elaborate sales tactics while youre getting your free hearing test. Therefore, you might want to be prepared to say, “No, I don’t want to buy a hearing aid, I just wanted to check how bad my hearing loss is.”
Here are some strategies for responding to high-pressure sales tactics at hearing clinics:
- The hearing aid costs $6,800, but it has an 8-year lifespan. Thats $850 a year, $71 a month, and $2.30 a day. Doesnt that sound better? Yes, it does sound better, but isnt this one of the oldest sales tactics in the book?
- Being able to hear for $2.30 a day is reasonable right? No, its not reasonable. I know that more affordable options exist.
- Isnt your hearing worth the price of a cable bill? Of course, but I want to treat my hearing loss and afford my cable TV, so Im going to look for more affordable options.
- Dont you want to be able to connect with your loved ones? Yes, but I dont want to break my piggy bank to do it!
- Didnt you know that untreated hearing loss increases your chance of getting Alzheimers? Yes, I read an article all about this topic, but youre not going to scare me into spending more than I have to.
At the end of the day, remember that you have zero obligation to buy hearing aids from a clinic that offers free hearing screenings. You always have the right to shop around for a better hearing aid price, and you owe it to yourself to weigh your options.
Recommended Reading: Can You Sleep With Your Hearing Aids In
In The Canal Hearing Aid
This style fits inside the ear canal but can still be seen. This model may have a volume control that is small and difficult to use if the user has poor finger dexterity. It is a popular choice because of its relatively small size and ability to hold a dual microphone system . This model is reserved for mild to moderate hearing losses.