Affordable Hearing Aids
Hearing aids, just like any other electronic technology on the market, come in a range of prices, from entry-level up more advanced. But while many of these consumer items are luxuries, for people with hearing loss, hearing aids are a necessity.
Because the ability to hear is crucial to communicating with the world around you, it’s not a good idea to put off buying a hearing aid. Wearing a hearing aid can provide you with immediate benefits, like helping you to enjoy your life, getting involved in your community, performing your job to a higher standard, avoiding complications like tinnitus and staying safe. Hearing aids, like eating right and exercising, are an investment in your health that can reap dividends well in the future.
It’s worth pointing out that buying a premium hearing aid won’t necessarily result in an improved aural experience. Price is often a reflection of things that you might not be concerned about, such as the hearing aid style, certain brands and features that may not benefit you. An affordable hearing aid is one that provides you with better hearing for your specific needs.
What does ‘affordable’ mean?
When people talk about something being “affordable,” they’re usually referring to whether they can pay it, based on the money that they’ve got in their bank account. But, when it comes to hearing aids, it’s a good idea to view them as affordable in two dimensions: both in terms of health and wealth. Your health determines your capacity to build wealth in the future, so investing in it today (either with hearing aids or anything else) will increase your wealth in the future.
Some people opt for the cheapest hearing aids that they can find. But, given that the objective is to preserve health this may not be the best option. You need hearing aids that not only match your budget needs, but also fulfill your lifestyle and hearing loss requirements. The cheapest option may not be suited, or even beneficial, to your level of hearing loss.
To give you an example, some cheaper models of hearing aids amplify sounds coming in through the microphone from your environment. While simple amplification may work for some people, it’s unlikely to be appropriate for the vast majority of people with hearing loss. Why? Because most people suffer the loss of hearing in specific frequency ranges. At the very least, these people need assistive hearing devices with sufficient channels to provide amplification over the ranges they need.
Others with hearing loss may struggle to hear what people are saying in a noisy room, like a restaurant or bar. Simple amplification won't help here either since it will amplify all voices, not just the one that they want to hear. More advanced and sophisticated devices use directional microphones which help the wearer zone in on a particular sound around them.
Personal sound amplifiers
Personal sound amplifiers are over-the-counter assistive hearing devices. Their primary function is to provide sound amplification to people, offering temporary relief. The FDA, however, doesn’t allow these devices to be called hearing aids because they have not been shown to help with hearing loss. Yes, these devices are inexpensive, but they are not able to provide the wearer with anything more than basic aural support and are, therefore, not an adequate or helpful substitute.
Hearing aid finance
To make hearing aids more affordable, some professionals are offering hearing aid financing options. Under many of these plans, hearing aid wearers receive their devices up front and then pay for them over the subsequent months, similar to a cell phone contract.
Many suppliers and audiologists also offer patients free consultations to help them choose the right device, including calibration and set up, bringing costs down further.
Choosing only the features you need
Advanced hearing aid devices come with a range of sophisticated features that could help some people with hearing loss achieve a higher quality of life. For instance, unlike basic models, premium devices offer WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, synchronization between two hearing aids (to provide directional sound), wind cancellation, and automatic setting adjustment based on the wearer’s environment.
Basic devices, on the other hand, do not come with such an extensive feature set, but they may be perfectly adequate for particular groups of people. For instance, older adults who spend the majority of their time indoors may not benefit from something like wind-canceling technology.
To find out more about affordable hearing aids, talk with one of the helpful audiologists at Baton Rouge Ear, Nose & Throat Associates by calling (225) 769-2222.