It would be unimaginable for most people to truly understand how devastating hearing loss can be. Yet, for some people, it is a reality they will need to live with for the rest of their lives.
Within the US alone, over 14.6 million people live with some form of hearing loss. What makes the number stand out is that all these people have not sought the appropriate treatment to find a cure. In money terms, it costs the government up to $133 billion annually due to hearing problems.
Why You Need Hearing Aids
Hearing aids provide a welcome solution to patients. Unfortunately, only 16% out of the 28.8 million Americans within ages 20 to 69 use them. Those over age 70 who have lost their hearing due to the natural aging process may actually shy away from using them. Statistics show that less than 30% will adopt the use of hearing aids.
Manufacturers are coming up with so many options making it easier to find different types and different price ranges. There are cheap rechargeable hearing aids, others incorporate the latest technology, while there are those with basic features without compromising their efficiency.
We will go into further discussion on why hearing aids are necessary and the options available in the market.
Does The Cost Of A Hearing Aid Determine Its Efficacy?
As human beings, we tend to attach higher price points to better products. Manufacturers are in stiff competition coming up with innovative products every single day. Hearing aids are receiving the benefits of such efforts.
With technology, you get so many features in these tiny, life-changing hearing aid. Like any other product, the more features you opt for, the more willing you should be to part with a little more money.
But does it mean that the more modern, pricier hearing aids are better than the other more basic versions? The answer may not be a simple, yes or no. Your preference and Lifelifestylel determine what you purchase.
Someone living in rural areas, for example, leads a more basic lifestyle without the trappings of city life. Purchasing a hearing aid with features such as Bluetooth connectivity or streaming capabilities may make no sense. It is essential that even as you look for a cost-effective hearing aid, you do your research.
Different sellers have flooded the markets with cheap products that may not deliver as per expectations. They consist of inferior parts and may be uncomfortable to wear. Not having the right information may lead to the purchase of a hearing aid that is not suitable for your specific issues.
You may also not be able to customize the device nor benefit from after-sales support. You also do not want to have to deal with device failure or keep replacing them due to a short life expectancy.
What to Look Out For When Shopping For Hearing Aids
- Cheap Versus Affordable Hearing Aids
You may need to draw a distinction between affordable and cheap. Cheap hearing aids force you to compromise on some of the more critical features. If, for example, you have sensorineural hearing loss, you may have a problem distinguishing frequencies. A cheap hearing aid may not address the issue because the design aspects did not factor in the different types of hearing loss.
- Hearing Aid Options
You may be inadvertently buying personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) instead of a hearing aid. Such devices come under many different names, including personal sound enhancement devices, hearing aid amplifiers, sound amplifier aids to name a few.
Remember, the market is full of suppliers who have no qualms about selling such products under the categorization of hearing aids. Instead of helping you with the issue, it may exacerbate your hearing loss or not work at all.
- Brand Reputation
It is crucial to get a hearing aid from reputable brands. When shopping, look for things like FDA approval and registration of the hearing aids as medical devices. Understand the different features and what impact they could have once you wear them. The cheaper options may not, for example, process the sound appropriately. It may end up damaging your hearing further.
- Do Your Research
Resources such as those you will find in this article will help you make the right decisions when shopping for hearing aids. Educate yourself well so that even when you go for the more affordable options, you know exactly what features to look for.
It doesn’t mean that the more money you spend, the better the hearing aid. Remember, some companies invest in heavy marketing and have the best in-house teams to develop enticing copy.
- Learn To Identify Affordable Hearing Aids
Some factors will alert you to the fact that what you are getting is good quality hearing aids at an affordable price point.
- Ensure you have a money-back guarantee, because it is a good sign the manufacturer is confident about the quality of the product
- Look for after-sales services in case you have any issues with the hearing aid
- To reiterate our earlier point, only buy from a company that has a solid market reputation
- You should get value for money. Some low-cost options come with technologies such as noise reduction, multiple settings and excellent performance. Don’t settle for less
- Make sure you read customer reviews, and if you’re dealing with a specialist, do not be afraid to ask for references.
What To Do When Shopping For Affordable Hearing Aids
You must consult a doctor if you start to discover that you might be suffering from hearing loss. It may be disease-related, and treating the underlying cause may stop the progression of hearing loss.
If you have Medicaid cover, your doctor may refer you to an audiologist for further tests. The advantage is, you will not pay out of pocket while benefiting from expert recommendations. The audiologist has the expertise and tools to conduct proper screening and can continue to offer you support once they recommend hearing aids.
It is also critical to realize that the hearing aid may not be the only solution you need. You could, for example, need assistive hearing technology that you use in combination with the hearing aid or alone.
Finding the right hearing aid requires that you understand the severity of the issue, your lifestyle and factors such as manual dexterity. You also need to know what features can make the hearing aid so much better. Such include:-
- Noise or tinnitus masking capabilities
- Multiple user settings so that you can customize it as per your requirements
- Wireless connectivity
- Telecoil to pick up magnetic signals from other compatible devices while reducing background reverberation and noise
- Directional microphone to block out rear and side noises
- Feedback suppression or digital feedback reduction to eliminate high-pitched whistling sounds that’s greater comfort and less feedback
- Digital noise reduction blocks out background noise, thus making it more comfortable for you to process the sounds around you
- Rechargeable battery so that you don’t run out of juice due to extended usage
- Volume control
- Direct audio input so that you can connect to other electronic devices
- Bluetooth wireless technology allows you to stream from compatible devices.
Mistakes you Must Avoid When Shopping For Hearing Aids
Do not fall prey to some of the common mistakes people make when shopping for hearing aids. You end up spending money you do not need to without the attendant benefits. These are things you need to watch out for.
- Ignoring Your Hearing Loss Problem
You may have seen some individuals struggle with reading text and may have even suggested that they get reading glasses. It is not uncommon to hear such individuals say that their eyesight is not too bad, yet evidence shows otherwise. The same goes for hearing loss because the initial stages may come with some level of denial. Do not ignore hearing loss and seek help as soon as possible. The more you stay, the worse the situation gets and you may end up causing irreparable damage.
- Shopping for the Sake of Technology
Technology can be exciting and you may want to incorporate all of them in your hearing aid. You must understand the specific requirements and only choose those that may benefit you. You do not spend money on features that will not help with your hearing loss.
- Not Doing Your Research
Research the brand and manufacturer so that you are sure you are buying the best. You also get to save money by making cost comparisons.
- Focusing On Aesthetics
You may think that hearing aids are unattractive or a sign of disease or aging. You, therefore, shop with aesthetics in mind and compromise on the functionality or comfort. Shop with your hearing loss diagnosis in mind; otherwise, it will become an item on your dressing-table you never touch.
- Having Unrealistic Expectations
Understand that you are suffering from a hearing loss problem and the hearing aid can only help, not cure your condition.
- Focusing On Price
The search for cheap hearing aids will make you buy those that are of inferior quality. Even if you’re searching for a bargain, do not compromise on the functionality.
Buying the right hearing aid does not need to break the bank. Use our tips above when shopping for one.