Once you’ve seen an audiologist and been tested for hearing loss, your doctor may decide you could benefit from hearing aids. There are a wide variety of hearing aid manufacturers, types of hearing aids and price tags, which may make the process of choosing a hearing aid seem daunting.
Making the right choice
A patient may choose a hearing aid based on appearance and functionality. For example, completely in-canal and in-the-canal hearing aids are not highly visible, but also do not include directional microphones. The smaller devices cannot hold as large of batteries and may not help with moderately severe to severe hearing loss. In-the-ear and behind-the-ear hearing aids, though may be more visible, can be more effective for those with profound deafness.
In other words, you need to take into account a variety of factors when choosing a hearing aid; these include personal preference, lifestyle needs, technology options and price tag.
There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to hearing aids.
Cost vs. value
Hearing aids range in price from about $1000 to $3500. While this may seem like a steep up-front cost, the value of healthy hearing is incalculable.
Consider all the activities that you are unable to fully enjoy because of your hearing loss. Do you miss parts of conversations with loved ones? Do you avoid your favorite restaurants because you have difficulty ordering food? Do you enjoy music but miss out on the nuances of your favorite songs? Hearing aids can help.
While higher tier technology comes with a larger price tag, there are many features that wearers find essential. Today’s newest hearing aids can connect to your smart phone and TV via Bluetooth® so you can stream calls, music, your favorite shows and more. In addition, some models offer rechargeable batteries and auto-adjustments when you enter a new listening environment.
By purchasing hearing aids at an audiology clinic, you receive the gold standard of care from a licensed audiologist. The primary difference between an audiologist and a hearing instrument specialist, which are typically found at big box stores, is that the audiologist has an advanced degree and is an expert in all aspects of hearing health care, including the fitting of hearing aids, while the hearing instrument specialist has a high school or two-year degree and has received training and passed their state examination for the dispensing of hearing aids only.
Happiness from hearing aids
When you shop for hearing aids, be sure to consider all your needs, not just budget. Purchasing low-tier technology will work for some, but if you have a more complex or profound hearing loss, you will not achieve your full hearing potential with baseline technology.
Talk to your audiologist to find a solution that is right for you. Financing options are available.