Hearing aids help people with hearing loss live a healthy lifestyle. One of the most significant issues caused by hearing loss is a breakdown in communication. This effect leads to difficulty in managing relationships, and a withdrawal from social situations where you may need to rely on your hearing.
Fortunately, hearing aids can help you return to the conversation and enhance your communications skills in your senior years.
How do hearing aids work? This article will give you everything you need to know about how these devices operate, as well as what you can expect to pay, and what contributions your medical insurance offers toward the purchase of your hearing devices.
Hearing Aids Explained
All hearing aid devices, regardless of the price or features, work on the same principles. Sound enters a microphone where it converts to digital signals. The digital signals run through a processor that tailor the output to the user’s ideal settings before sending it through the speaker system.
All hearing aids run on digital sound processing technology. This functionality allows the user to set up the device to meet their hearing loss requirements. Most new users experience a period of adjustment to their hearing device, and the first week can result in the patient noticing the presence of background sounds they have not heard in years.
As a result, the patient may need to tweak their settings for ideal performance and will require a follow-up appointment with their audiologist after the adjustment period ends. Most hearing aids feature different modes for indoor and outdoor use, as well as hearing in a one-on-one conversation, or listening to a speech in a crowded room.
Speak to your audiologist about the best settings for any environment you expect to find yourself in, and make sure you know how to operate the device properly to receive the maximum benefit.
Types of Hearing Aids
Read through hearing aid reviews and you’ll notice that these devices come in a variety of different types. Your choice of the correct hearing aid depends on advice from your audiologist. Your specialist chooses the best hearing aids that suit your lifestyle needs, and there is a bevy of options to select.
BTE – or “behind the ear,” hearing aids have two parts; the housing that sits behind the ear, and connects to an auditory tube fitted to an earpiece that fits inside the ear canal.BTE is the most popular option for individuals experiencing moderate to severe hearing loss.
RIC – or “receiver in the canal,” is a discreet option to the BTE, hiding the receiver in the ear canal, but it works on the same principle.
ITE or ITC – is “in the ear or in the canal” hearing aids that sit within the outer ear or inside the ear canal respectively.
CIC – or “completely in the canal,” resides inside the ear canal, making them barely visible.
Most hearing aids have a control panel that allows you to switch between modes and adjust the volume without removing the hearing aid from your ear. Some advanced and expensive models feature an app to control your settings accessed through your cellphone.
Always ensure that you speak to your audiologist about any hearing aid you intend on purchasing. The specialist will review the specifications of the device and let you know if it can assist your hearing loss.
The Costs Involved with Hearing Aids
Purchasing a new hearing aid can be an expensive exercise. Some models retail for more than $5,000 – making it unaffordable for any senior living on a pension. However, some medical insurance providers offer discounts or contributions to hearing aids. The size of the input depends mainly on which medical insurance provider you use, as well as the state in which you reside.
Some states have mandates that cover seniors for hearing aid reimbursement by insurance companies, but the majority of states don’t have the legislation. Before you settle on a hearing aid – it’s best to consult with your health insurance first.
On average, most medical insurance companies offer between $800 to $1,400 in contributions to your hearing aid. However, the cost of the device might be thousands of dollars, especially if you have to buy a device from an approved vendor list recommended by the insurance company.
The Medical Insurance Scam
Some medical insurance companies only pay out contributions if you purchase your device from one of their approved vendors. Unfortunately, some of these vendors use this as an opportunity to overcharge you for your hearing aid. Providers load their invoices, sometimes charging as much as $5,000 for a device. Purchasing the same model online may only cost you a few hundred dollars.
Hearing aids cost a pretty penny, so make sure you do your research before blindly accepting the device your insurance company offers. In some cases, you can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing cheap hearing aids online that work as well as the equipment recommended by the health insurance company.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to purchase your hearing aid through your medical insurance, you can buy one in your private capacity instead.
There are plenty of affordable hearing aids available to you; all you need to do is search for them. While hearing aid price is one of the top concerns facing consumers, you typically get what you pay for, and most models retail between $150 and $600.
Ordering Your Hearing Aid Online
Searching online for rechargeable hearing aids yield plenty of results. It’s always in your best interests to read the reviews of devices available, as it could save you from purchasing a useless product that doesn’t meet your specific hearing needs.
Before you commit to your purchase, visit your audiologist and show them the unit you intend on purchasing. Your doctor will review the specs and give you an accurate answer as to whether you can rely on the performance of the device.
It’s critical to remember that price does not always equate to performance. Some hearing aids, like the “HearingHero,” offer all the features and functionality of expensive models, for a fraction of the price.