Much is made of the cost of hearing aids. They can vary from a few dollars to thousands. It is a topic that continues to create debate but people get confused about what’s a hearing aid and what’s not.
If you type “What is the cost of hearing aids?” into google, you will get thousands of responses. For those of us who wear them, it is a very relevant question. Hearing aids for people like me are the difference between a life of almost total silence or the ability to experience sound like everyone else.
In order to appreciate the cost of hearing aids, we need to understand them and what they do. To misuse an old saying, a hearing aid is a hearing aid unless it’s not!!
Different types and prices.
There appears to be a bit of confusion as to what is and what isn’t a hearing aid. The type of device you get will have a direct relation to the price you have to pay. There are three main categories.
These are not classified as hearing aids. They are simply a device to make whatever sound they pick up louder. These devices are at the very bottom of the pricing scale. You will typically pay between £25 to £300. The more expensive models try and pass themselves off as hearing aids but they are not.
A lot of health professionals are very concerned about the sale of these devices without any regulation. They believe that these devices can actually do more harm than good.
The device will amplify any sound it hears. The problem and the danger is that even if it picks up a loud sound it will still amplify that sound which in turn can damage your hearing. Also, in a noisy environment, they will amplify every sound making it impossible for you to follow a conversation.
These devices can be bought from retailers such as Wallmart or Amazon. For a full review click here.
In the ear hearing aids.
These are known as ITE (in the ear) or hidden hearing aids. They are very small devices that sit entirely inside the ear canal. They are hearing aids in the real sense due to the artificial intelligence that they possess.
The artificial intelligence allows these devices to distinguish different sounds. They can block out background sounds and give a greater clarity of hearing to the user.
These types of device are usually only sold by specialist hearing aid retailers. If they are being advertised on Amazon or other places then the chances are they are not a proper hearing aid.
Because they are so small they do not usually contain the same amount of features that you will get with a standard type of hearing aid. The technology is getting better in these devices and you can get them ranging in price from £99 up to £600. Hidden hearing aid review here.
Behind the ear hearing aids.
These are the type of hearing aids that most people identify with. They consist of a case which holds all the technological parts sitting behind the ear. It is connected to the earpiece via a thin hollow tube.
Because the part that sits behind the ear is fairly large, this type of device offers the wearer more options in term of what you want your hearing aid to do for you.
The technology has developed to such a stage that you can have hearing aids that operate from your phone via remote control. They can have full connectivity with your smartphone and television etc…
They are also likely to include features such as directional microphones, automatic adaption to different noise environments and feedback shields. Because of this, you can expect to pay anything from £700 up to £2000 for the latest models. Check out the ReSound LiNX 7 model here.
It’s all about personal choice.
The price of hearing aids is relevant to what we need as wearers against what we can afford. Buying a hearing aid is an investment in our hearing health and our quality of life.
From a purely personal point of view, I will try and make sure that I have the very best that I can afford. If that means saving up for a couple of years and paying top dollar then that is what I will do.
For others, it is a case of getting a device that is inexpensive and making do with it. There is no right or wrong in this. People have to make a choice based on what they want a hearing aid to do and how much they can afford to pay.
A basic amplifier will be fine for some people who just want to hear the television a bit better. They can get them very cheap. Other people will want to get the models with all the bells and whistles on. For that, they will have to pay a pretty penny.
One solid piece of advice.
No matter what type of device you think you need, if you want to get the best option for you then you should have a hearing test first. Buying a hearing device without getting tested is a sure fire way to invite trouble.
If your hearing is low there could be any number of factors that could be the cause. It may be that there is a simple blockage and a much more effective solution could be found. Hearing loss can also be a sign of other ailments so the best advice I can give to anybody is to get their hearing checked.
There are two ways you can do this. The first is the traditional way of going to a doctor and asking to be referred to an audiologist for a full hearing test. The benefit of this is that as well as testing your level of hearing, the audiologist can physically check the inside of your ears to rule other things out.
Also, by getting checked this way you will have a very accurate reading of your hearing loss which will make the choice of device you require much more narrow. The audiologist will be able to tell you exactly what type of device will work and what will not be suitable for you.
The alternative way to get your hearing checked is an online test. There is still a bit of debate as to the accuracy of these types of test but there is no doubt that the technology is much better today than it was 10 years ago. You can take a FREE online hearing test here. It will only last a few minutes and it is fun to take.
Knowing your level of hearing loss makes choosing a device much easier. With such a wide range of prices and devices available today getting as much information as possible will help you to make the best choice.
With prices ranging from a few pounds/dollars up to a couple of thousand for a single device, it is vital that you get your decision right. After all, what price can you put on your hearing health?
As always, thank you for visiting my website. I am here to help in any way I can. I love getting comments and opinions. Please leave one below. I will answer them all as soon as possible.