One of the most prevalent barriers to someone’s journey of attaining hearing aids is the very high cost of hearing aids. These devices are amazing and can literally transform your life, and they help millions of people who struggle with hearing loss all over the world. However, for many people, their price tag that reaches up into the thousands of dollars may be prohibitive to being able to acquire them.
If you are currently looking through your options for which hearing aid works best for you, this is everything that you need to know about how to navigate their price tags and understand the market.
You Are Not Alone
Disabilities like hearing loss can affect every aspect of your life. The ability to hear is not just a personal experience that affects the way you enjoy certain things like music or television - but it’s a highly social experience as well.
The dynamic of day-to-day living life is not naturally built for those who struggle with disabilities, and the learning curve associated with losing a key sense like hearing is massive. So know that you are not alone and that you are cared for.
In fact, at Audien, our founder began the company over the simple fact that his family members facing hearing loss lacked a truly high-quality, affordable, over-the-counter hearing aid solution. There are millions of people who suffer from hearing loss throughout the United States, and it’s our mission to bring them a solution, not another problem.
Not All Hearing Aids Are the Same
No two people are the same and as unique as every person is - so are their hearing needs. The world of hearing aids is a huge one with multiple styles, models, pros, and cons. Chances are a simple google search can bring up millions of options from manufacturers, ear nose and throat specialists, audiologists, and even opinion pieces. So what do you need to know about hearing aids to make a well-informed and intelligent decision on which road to take?
At Audien, we have committed to producing high-quality, one-size-fits-all-over-the-counter hearing aids that you can acquire for less than to hundred dollars. But before we get into the specific pros and cons of over-the-counter hearing aids versus prescription, let’s look at what hearing loss is.
Hearing Loss - What You Need To Know
In short, hearing loss has different degrees of severity, and it’s important you know that, and you know what degree of hearing loss you suffer from. This information will help you determine what route to take when looking at hearing aids and can help justify your financial commitment.
Hearing loss itself is when a person experiences their decibel threshold rising. A person with normal or healthy hearing typically has a decibel threshold of around zero. This means that the person can actively recognize almost any sound. Sound itself travels in sound waves at particular frequencies and decibel levels. A decibel can be thought of as the power or force that a sound wave travels with.
This is how some sounds can be very faint and quiet while others naturally are loud and boisterous. When a person has normal hearing, they can recognize various sounds at different decibel levels.
When that hearing starts to depreciate, their hearing threshold goes up. For instance, moderate hearing loss is considered a lack of hearing sound at the 20-40 decibel level. This would include normal, soft-spoken conversations. Someone with moderate hearing loss would struggle to have a conversation with someone in a polluted sound environment.
Knowing the degree of hearing loss that you suffer from can be very beneficial when looking to purchase hearing aids.
The type or style of hearing aid can indicate its power level, so knowing you have a lesser degree of hearing loss can be a positive thing if it means you can choose an option that may be more affordable since it has less processing power. On the flip side, knowing that you have a more severe form of hearing loss can help justify financial commitments to more expensive hearing aid options.
Hearing Aids Are Not Covered By Medicare/Medicaid
According to the government website, you are probably aware that Medicare and Medicaid cover absolutely no cost of acquiring hearing aids or any necessary tests to get them. This means the entire bill can get really pricey. In fact, hearing aids themselves are not where a lot of your costs come from when it comes to getting hearing aids.
There are doctor’s appointments, ear, nose, and throat specialists, and multiple tests that audiologists administer to produce your specific audiographs and diagnosis. This process can cost thousands, and what’s more, most private insurance agencies continue to not offer coverage for hearing loss procedures and treatments.
Because hearing loss is one of the most prominent disabilities in the United States population, it does qualify for some financial assistance through social security. However, this financial assistance is limited to people who exhibit moderately severe hearing loss or have had a cochlear implant for over a year.
Hearing Aids: Prescription vs. Over-the-Counter
So when you are looking at the hearing aids and which ones to purchase, you should be doing it with an idea of your needs. For instance, a prescription hearing aid has a very high price tag associated with it - however, it will be custom fit to your ear and programmed to your specific needs.
If you have a more severe form of hearing loss, then getting prescription hearing aids may be your best option for restoring your hearing.
Over-the-counter hearing aids do not offer the ability for your hearing aids to be specifically programmed to your exact needs. They also won’t be custom fit to your ear.
However, they do have the advantage of helping you hear better without costing you thousands of dollars. Our one-size-fits-all comes with a customer satisfaction guarantee, and our sound technology will help filter out any unwanted background noise to help you better hear what you want to hear.
Let’s look at the different kinds of hearing aids that you can also purchase and what benefits their differences bring.
Hearing Aid Styles: Behind the Ear
There are two many styles of hearing aids, and then under these styles, there are different models or kinds of hearing aids you can look at. Those styles are very simple; one is a device that is designed to fit both in your ear canal and behind your ear.
The behind the ear hearing aid style has a couple of different types of hearing aid, but they all have the same benefit of form factor in that they are the largest style and can house the most technology.
This added room for processing and battery power means that this option is great for more severe degrees of hearing loss. For someone who has a moderately severe to severe hearing loss, this is typically the only style of hearing available aid.
Hearing Aid Style: In the Ear
The other general style of hearing aid is the in-ear style. This can be either a hearing aid that sits in the bowl of your ear or one that actually sits down in the canal. These hearing aids represent some of the smallest hearing aids on the market.
The smaller form factor has the benefit of being discreet. It’s easy to purchase hearing aids that you can wear and not be noticed. However, the drawback to this style of hearing aid is that they do not house the room for the processing power of the behind-the-ear style. This makes them a great choice for someone who may have a lesser degree of hearing loss.
Only you know what decision is best for your hearing loss journey. If you have any questions regarding the severity of your hearing loss, you should take them up with your doctor. The benefit of getting prescription hearing aids does come at an incredible price of thousands of dollars. However, that may be justified in your case.
However, depending on the level of hearing loss you do have, you may be able to get the same great benefits from an over-the-counter option and save thousands of dollars.