About 20 percent of adults in the United States, 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss. For many of them, the loss is mild to moderate and instead of getting help, they are just getting by. Advances in hearing aid technology have made hearing aids a comfortable, affordable option that too many people are overlooking. Follow this advice to help you find the help you need.
- keep in mind you are not alone
- understand how your hearing loss affects you
- know your options when it comes to hearing aids
- check for a warranty and trial period
- assume hearing aids are expensive
- think one style fits all
- forget to do your homework when it comes to comfort
- give up
48 million people in the United States alone suffer from some degree of hearing loss. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. You don’t need to fill like you are alone and delay getting help. Consult with a professional to figure out your options.
There are many psychological effects to hearing loss, including frustration, withdrawal, and depression. Trouble communicating with others creates a strain on relationships and a loss of self-esteem. Hearing loss doesn’t just affect you. It affects your family, your friends and everyone around you.
Today, hearing aids come in a variety of different fits, styles and technology options. There are companies that offer hearing aids with easy-to-use controls, straightforward user manuals and even a phone number for you to call to speak to a live person if you have questions or issues with your hearing aids.
Be sure to research all of your options for companies and hearing aid equipment before you decide on one that is right for you.
Make sure the hearing aid your purchase includes a warranty that covers both parts and labor for a specified amount of time. Also, the hearing aid should come with an adaptation period. It may take you a while to get used to the device and decide if it's useful. Make sure you choose an online company that allows you to return the hearing aid if it isn’t a fit for you.
Traditionally, getting a hearing aid for hearing loss meant going through your doctor, then a sales representative working through a dealer that ships from the factory making the hearing aid. That’s a lot of middlemen and the reason why hearing aids can cost from $2,000 to $5,000.
Today, patients with mild to moderate hearing loss can get hearing aids for, on average, $450. There are companies that have cut out the middlemen by developing, sourcing and selling their own hearing aids. This process allows companies to control the quality and the cost of the product. Plus, these hearing aids utilize the same technology as the name brand hearing aids that cost your parents thousands of dollars.
You have many options when it comes to hearing aid fit and concealment. Hearing aids come in a variety of styles and sizes.
- In the ear canal
There are custom devices crafted using an impression mold of the inside of your ear. Typically these types of devices are for more advanced hearing loss.
- In the ear
This style is easy to place and rests gently in your ear. It is tiny and comes in colors like beige, designed to enhance concealment.
- Behind the ear
This style typically includes a clear tube and small, behind-the-ear case, making it virtually invisible. The style is small and light. It also allows you to hear normal sounds while accentuating deficient frequencies.
Hearing aid technology has come a long way over the past decade. Here are just a few of those advancements:
- Adaptive Feedback Cancellation
This virtually eliminates annoying howling and whistling sounds.
- Layered Noise Reduction
This technology makes having a conversation easier and more enjoyable. When speech is present, it is enhanced while background noise is reduced. When speech isn't present, but then starts up, it is immediately audible – no delays – and you'll never experience annoying loudness-change effects.
- Wide Dynamic Range Compression
This feature balances the range of sounds in any listening environment – making soft sounds audible and loud sounds comfortable.
Hearing Aids with this technology are able to not only talk on their cell phones without annoying feedback, but also listen to Bluetooth enabled MP3 devices, hear the television and more.
Everyone is different.There are many factors that come into play when fitting hearing aids and therefore everyone's experience is different. Every person has a different hearing loss, different size ear canals, different hearing aid technology, etc. Hearing aid success depends quite a bit on the hearing aid itself. Make sure you try on several different options. Do your homework. A hearing aid can drastically improve your quality of life, but you have to make sure it is the right technology and fit for your needs and lifestyle.
If you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss, take control. These days, the options for people with mild to moderate hearing loss have come a long way in terms of cost, style and comfort.
There are more than six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss. Hearing loss affects all age groups and there are solutions out there to help everyone.