Over recent years, hearing aids have been consistently getting better and better. What’s more, overall, they’ve been getting more affordable as competition has increased. More choice is good but it can be confusing. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to find an affordable hearing aid.

Start With a Proper Hearing Assessment

A hearing aid needs to work for you. Otherwise, it’s a complete waste of money. The best way to ensure that you get a hearing aid that works for you is to have a proper hearing assessment with an audiologist. An audiologist will assess both your ears and quantify the extent and nature of your hearing loss.  

This is your starting point for finding the right affordable hearing aid for you. Your audiologist will be able to advise you on what styles of hearing aid are suitable for someone with your type of hearing loss. They will also highlight if some are suitable than others. 

Choose Your Basic Style

At present, there are three main styles of hearing aid. In order of size, these are behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE) and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids. BTE hearing aids tend to be the most affordable as they are the simplest to produce.  

The reason for this is that the main part of the hearing aid sits behind the ear. It’s connected to the inner ear by a tube. The tube is fed into an earmold and it’s the earmold that fits into the ear canal. This means that the only part of the hearing aid that needs to be customized to fit the user is the earmold.

Both ITE and ITC hearing aids actually fit in the ear itself. They, therefore, require a higher degree of customization. It’s also worth noting that ITE hearing aids come in two main styles. These are full-shell and half-shell. The full-shell version covers most of the hollow area in the outer ear. The half-shell version only fills the bottom half.

Prioritize the Features You Want

Any hearing aid recommended by an audiologist will be capable of doing its intended job of improving your hearing. It will almost certainly do a far better job than personal amplification devices as it will be customized for the exact type of hearing loss you are experiencing.

For this reason, a basic hearing aid may be all you need and/or all you are able or willing to afford. If you wish, however, you can now get hearing aids with all kinds of add-on features to improve the experience of wearing them.  

These add-on features will generally increase the price of hearing aids. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s therefore advisable to think particularly carefully about what features you really need and really want. Here are some you may wish to consider.

Synchronization

If you need a hearing aid for each ear, then synchronization is a highly desirable feature. As the name suggests, it is a feature that ensures both hearing aids work together.

Noise Reduction

These days, you can pretty much take it for granted that a hearing aid is going to have some form of inbuilt noise reduction. The key questions are:

  • What type of noise reduction does it have?
  • How well does it work?

The main types of noise cancellation are background noise reduction, feedback cancellation and wind noise reduction. How well they work depends largely on how well the manufacturer implements them. An audiologist will be able to advise on this. You may also be able to find online reviews.

Directional Microphones

If you’re expecting to have to use your hearing aid in noisy environments, then it may be advisable to invest in a hearing aid with both background noise reduction and directional microphones. The main purpose of directional microphones is to hone into noise that is literally in front of you, the person you’re looking at.

Telecoils

Telecoils are useful for using telephones and public-induction-loop systems. These are used in large-scale venues where audio is important. This can mean anything from theaters to churches to conference centers.

Audio Input

This is the budget-friendly, low-tech way of connecting your hearing aid directly to a device that produces audio, for example, a TV.

Bluetooth Connectivity

This is the more high-tech way of connecting your hearing aid directly to a device that produces audio. It’s also more of a drain on the battery life.

To learn more about how to find an affordable hearing aid, please contact Quality Hearing & Audiology Center today at 816-233-0022.

Tags: costs, financing, products