- Insurance Coverage
- Features to Look For
- Analog vs. Digital
- Hearing Loss Causes
- Hearing Loss Complications
On average, a pair of hearing aids may cost anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000. However, hearing aids range from basic models to ones that use the latest Bluetooth technology, so costs vary depending on your needs and preferences.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids cost between $450 and $5,600.
- In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are much smaller devices that fit entirely within the ear but not entirely within the ear canal. A set costs between $300 and $5,600.
- Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are the smallest in the market. They fit entirely in the ear canal and cost between $150 and $5,000.
Most hearing aid clinics include orientation with the purchase of hearing aids. This appointment includes fitting, programming to fit your needs, and a care and maintenance tutorial.
Does health insurance cover the cost of hearing aids?
Medicare does not cover the cost of a hearing test, hearing aid evaluation, or hearing aids.
When it comes to private insurance, coverage for hearing aids varies. Although most private insurers do not cover the full cost of hearing aids, some may cover hearing tests and evaluations. It’s best to contact your insurance company directly to determine whether your policy includes hearing aids as a covered benefit.
What features should you look for in a pair of hearing aids?
Choosing the best hearing aid for you will depend on your individual listening needs, budget, and lifestyle. The right hearing aid can not only improve your hearing but also dramatically improve your quality of life, so investing in the right product is important.
Features to look for include the following:
- Telecoil: Boosts sound signals through a magnet
- Digital feedback suppression: Suppresses any secondary interfering sounds
- Digital noise reduction: Cuts down on unwanted background noise
- Directional mic: Receives sound from the required direction
- Low battery indicator: Indicates when to change the battery
- Volume control: Allows you to adjust the volume according to hearing ability
- Wax guard: Protects the device from accumulated ear wax
- Data logging: Keeps track of usage statistics such as time
- Memory: Remembers ideal configurations set by the user
- Audio input: Receives sound from surroundings
- Wireless connectivity: Facilitates maximum freedom of movement
- Frequency shifting: Adjusts to varying wavelengths of sounds
- Remote control: Allows you to control the device with ease and accuracy
What is the difference between analog and digital hearing aids?
Analog hearing aids
- Make continuous sound waves louder.
- Amplify all sounds in the same way (some analog hearing aids are programmable)
- Have a microchip that allows the aid to have settings programmed for different listening environments.
- Can store multiple programs for various environments.
- Allows you to change settings as the listening environment changes.
Digital hearing aids
- Have all features of analog programmable aids, but convert sound waves into digital signals and produce an exact duplication of sound.
- Analyze speech and other environmental sounds through computer chips.
- Allow for more complex processing of sound during the amplification process that may improve performance in certain situations (background noise and whistle reduction).
- Have greater flexibility in hearing aid programming so that the sound transmitted can be matched to the needs for a specific pattern of hearing loss.
- Provide multiple program memories.
What causes hearing loss?
Causes of hearing loss include:
- Presbycusis (age-related)
- Extensive sound pollution
- Improper or ototoxic medication
- Ear diseases such as otosclerosis
- Ear infections
- Hereditary reasons
- Impacted earwax
- Fluid buildup in the middle of the ear
- Head injury
- Autoimmune disorder
What happens if hearing issues are left untreated?
Untreated hearing loss can lead to other problems:
- Anger and irritability
- Dementia or acute memory loss
- Loss of concentration
- Constant loneliness
- Increased risk of personal safety
- Inability to learn new concepts or perform tasks
- Reduced job performance
- Reduced mental and physical health
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