If you’re considering treating a hearing loss, you might be feeling overwhelmed by all of the options available to you. There’s so much information out there that it can be tough to know where to turn. And it seems like every website and blog tells you something different.
If this is you, don’t worry. And if you feel like you’re alone on your journey to better hearing, you’re not! Hearing loss is becoming an increasingly common condition. In fact, The World Health Organization predicts that the number of hearing loss cases will double by 2050. Millions of others are facing the same struggle and wondering what their best option is.
That’s why we’re going to break down ALL of the options available to you for treating a hearing loss.
Consider This before Looking at Your Options
It’s important to understand that treatment for hearing loss is never “one size fits all.” Don’t be led astray by confusing marketing messages that promise you the world.
The fact is that the right treatment for a hearing loss is dependent on a few different factors, including your individual diagnosis and level of hearing loss, your lifestyle and your budget.
When determining the best option for you, consider:
- What is the degree of your hearing loss?
- How active is your lifestyle?
- Would you prefer in-person or remote support?
- Do you want a top-of-the-line solution or something more budget-friendly?
- Would you prefer to work with a locally owned clinic or a large corporation?
When you understand your preferences, you’ll be better able to make the right decision.
What Options Are Available for Treating a Hearing Loss?
There are many options on the market today ranging from low to high budget, depending on your circumstances.
- Earphones and Cell Phone Apps [$0-$250]
- PSAPs (Personal Sound Amplification Products) [$79-$1250]
- Online Hearing Aids with Audiological Remote Support [$1850-$2400]
- Big Box Retail Stores [$1250-$4000]
- Audiology Clinic [$2500-$7500]
- Hearing Loss Surgery (Cochlear Implants) [$30,000-$50,000]
Let’s dive into each option in more detail.
Earphones and Cell Phone Apps
If you don’t have much of a budget and are only looking for amplification of sound in certain environments, there are some free and inexpensive apps in the Apple app store that can be useful. They allow you to turn your earphones into amplification devices by using the microphone of the device to increase all sound.
Note that in order for these apps to work, you have to have wireless earphones or wired headphones connected to your cell phone.
Many of these apps offer a free trial and then an annual subscription fee of around $60.
- Only requires a cell phone and earphones
- Only works in environments with little background noise
- Requires you to sit in a specific position
- Makes all sounds louder
- Doesn’t include any support
PSAPs (Personal Sound Amplification Products)
PSAPs are amplification tools that take in sound through a small, built-in microphone and make it easier for you to hear the sounds around you. You can typically find these devices online and over the counter.
PSAPs can cost anywhere from $80 – $1250, depending on what you’re looking for. If you have a very mild hearing loss and don’t mind a “one-size-fits-all” approach, they could be a sufficient option for you.
- Easy to purchase
- Can be inexpensive
- Not tailored to your specific needs
- Requires fitting them yourself
- No support outside of your return window
- No warranty if you happen to lose or damage them
- Amplifies all sounds, including background noise
Online Hearing Aids with Audiological Remote Support/Direct to Consumer
You may have seen advertisements sharing how you can access hearing technology and audiological support online. And sure, this sounds convenient. You don’t have to visit a doctor’s office and the devices are priced well — you can order them for as low as $1850.
Most often, you’re able to make adjustments to your devices via an app on your cell phone. You may even be able to jump on a video call with your audiologist. But if you look at the online reviews for some of these services, they’re a mix of good and bad. You’ll want to do your research.
- Easy to purchase
- Sometimes comes with a money back guarantee
- Developed by reputable manufacturers
- Online hearing assessments can be inaccurate
- No in-person support
- Meeting with different audiologists each time you seek care
Big Box Retail Stores
Big box retailers carry their own brand of hearing aids plus devices from some reputable manufacturers. This can be a big step up from purchasing devices online, since you will receive an in-person hearing screening and a professional fitting.
However, in a retail environment, it can be difficult to receive follow-up care. It’s common to wait weeks for support, and if something goes wrong with your devices, you could be without them for a long time.
- You receive a hearing screening.
- You’ll be fitted in-person.
- You’ll usually have a warranty of 1-3 years.
- You won’t receive a comprehensive hearing assessment.
- There’s no ongoing service.
- You may wait weeks for an appointment.
- There are no payment plans.
- A membership fee is often required.
Working with a Local Clinic
Working with a local clinic can be considered the “traditional” approach. When you visit a local clinic, you get comprehensive hearing care. You won’t just have a quick hearing screening. Instead, your practitioner will conduct an in-depth examination of your hearing and will rule out any underlying causes of hearing loss – like earwax buildup.
You’ll have ongoing support in the event that anything goes wrong with your hearing technology – including cleanings, fittings and repairs.
Plus, you’ll be able to build a relationship with your practitioner. You’ll be working with someone who truly cares about your hearing health.
- You will need to attend multiple appointments.
- You’ll receive ongoing support.
- You can use insurance.
- Payment plans may be available.
- You’ll receive a warranty.
- You’ll receive personalized care.
Hearing Loss Surgery (Cochlear Implants)
For a severe hearing loss, cochlear implant surgery can be a life-changing option. A cochlear implant is surgically implanted inside your cochlea in order to replace its function.
Generally, cochlear implants are recommended for patients who haven’t benefited enough from traditional hearing aids. While the implant may be covered by insurance, there can be additional fees associated with the procedure.
- Can benefit those suffering from a severe hearing loss
- Candidacy requirements are specific — you need to be approved
- Can potentially be costly
- Requires surgery
How to Decide
I hope this article has given you some clarity on the options available to you and what to keep in mind when you’re considering treating a hearing loss. Remember – treating hearing loss isn’t one size fits all.
If you’re still unsure of what’s right for you, we’re here to help and provide tailored advice! Feel free to give us a call at 778-340-1101.
Our goal is always to understand your unique situation and provide you with unbiased advice so that you can make the decision that’s right for you.