The Best Hearing Aids Both Visible And Invisible!
Hearing Aid Prices
There are many myths that I have sought to dispel with this article. The first is that hearing aids are both gruesome and wildly expensive (admittedly, this is subjective -- but considering the depth of improvement a hearing aid will afford most viewers I can only assume that visitors will find that even some spicier models are a bargain investment -- nevertheless, keep looking).
In this article I will talk about the steps needed to be taken before purchasing. The adequateness, pros and cons of popular and modern models, as well as a general expectation of how much cheap hearing aids can cost and where you should start looking for them both on-and-offline.
Before You Buy
Before you begin your search in earnest, you will need to consider the following key concepts about purchasing hearing aids of almost any kind. Firstly, remember that you will need to visit an audiologist and clinically evaluate the context of your hearing loss. In all cases of moderate to severe (especially in the case of regenerative conditions) conditions, hearing aids will need to be tailored to fit your needs. Also bear in mind that a surprising amount of hearing loss can be resolved without permanent aids, these cases may included earwax or certain infections.
Secondly, when you are offered an appropriate hearing aid, ask for a free trial. I can't stress this enough, hearing aids should be considered a high-profile decision making process. Remember that you are in the process of significantly improving your life, and while many aids are not terribly expensive, they can be uncomfortable and ill-suited to certain needs and individuals.
Thirdly, if aesthetics and an absolute must, remember that some nifty and nigh-invisible models such as CIC (completely in the canal) models can cost upwards of thousands of dollars! Depending on the extent of your hearing loss, different models may also be rendered inappropriate.
Price Range $500-$5000 Dollars.
Best Heating Aids - CIC
Completely in the canal hearing aids are by their very definition almost invisible. Those worried about openly manifesting their hearing loss may be comforted by these small embedded (in the ear canal) components.
As always, when there's a pro, there's usually a con -- and the CIC component is no exception to the truism. CIC designs are not indicated for severe hearing loss. Small parts also mean harder maintenance and tweaking, a fact exacerbated by a small battery which will need to be changed now and then.
Hiding a hearing aid, however small, can also prove uncomfortable if the ear canal is not large enough. In some cases, it may not fit at all. If you have small ears consider functional alternatives. With the possible exception of the BTE (behind the ear) model, all hearing aids are relatively minimalistic.
Price Range $300-$2000
Affordable Hearing Aids - BTE
Stronger, more robust and powerful. The BTE hearing aids are especially suited for moderate to severe hearing loss and children. The larger size also increases the potential for electronic "addons" such as easily adjustable volume control and various levels of customization, phone integration and other useful features.
Potential problems may include their comparative conspicuousness when compared to embeddable ear-canal models such as the CIC or the ITC.
The bottom-line when considering a BTE hearing aid is that in general, the quality of sound is very high and is suitable to a very large spectrum of people. I personally recommend BTE models despite the fact that many people I have spoken to as slightly intimidated by them, especially the larger models. But bear in mind that the feeling of conspicuousness soon dissipates and the extend to which your hearing and life has improved makes swift work of insecurity.
Other Canal Variants
For those of you who are looking specifically for canal hearing aids and more options and flexibility that only the CIC model, consider the following variants:
- ITC (In the Canal) - A slightly larger variant of the CIC model. Works best for mild hearing loss, and is essentially a better compromise in terms of power, aesthetics and quality.
- ITE ( In the Ear) - Again - a slightly souped up version of the ITC, larger, usually has more features and is more visible.
Where to start looking
Prices And Where To Buy
Allow me to begin with some good news for under 21's who are covered by Medicaid. You may be liable for free hearing aid financing!
If you know exactly what you are looking for, and are comfortable with an online purchase (not recommended, I recommend buying offline, locally and getting a trial), feel free to browse the links to the right to point you in the right direction and get a feel for the price ranges.
Offline & Local dealers:
- Oticon is a popular, solid company that has branches world-wide that can guide you through the process of selecting an appropriate hearing aid. Use this tool to find the closest branch to your location!
- Another popular choice is Widex who offer digital aids of all kinds at discount prices. Use this tool to find a local retailer.