What’s the Difference Between Affordable and Cheap Hearing Aids?

Display of over the counter hearing aids at a pharmacy.

It just feels great to find a bargain, right? It can be invigorating when you’ve found a good deal on something, and the larger discount, the more satisfied you are. So letting your coupon make your shopping decisions for you, always going after the least expensive items, is all too easy. But chasing a bargain when it comes to purchasing hearing aids can be a big oversight.

If you require hearing aids to manage hearing loss, choosing the “cheapest” option can have health consequences. After all, the entire point of using hearing aids is to be able to hear well and to prevent health problems associated with hearing loss such as mental decline, depression, and an increased chance of falls. Choosing the right hearing aid to suit your hearing needs, lifestyle, and budget is the trick.

Finding affordable hearing aids – some tips

Affordable is not the same thing as cheap. Affordability, and functionality, are what you should be keeping your eye on. This will help you keep within your budget while enabling you to find the ideal hearing aids for your personal requirements and budget. These are helpful tips.

Tip #1: Do your homework: Affordable hearing aids exist

Hearing aids have a reputation for taking a toll on your wallet, a reputation, however, is not always reflected by reality. Most manufacturers produce hearing aids in a wide range of price points and work with financing companies to make their devices more affordable. If you’ve already decided that the most reliable hearing aids are out of reach, you’re probably more inclined to search the bargain bin than seek out affordable and effective options, and that can have a lasting, harmful affect on your hearing and overall health.

Tip #2: Ask what’s covered

Insurance might cover some or all of the expenses associated with getting a hearing aid. As a matter of fact, some states mandate that insurance cover them for both kids and adults. It never hurts to ask. There are government programs that frequently supply hearing aids for veterans.

Tip #3: Look for hearing aids that can be calibrated to your hearing loss

Hearing aids are, in some aspects, a lot like prescription glasses. The frame is pretty universal (depending on your sense of fashion, of course), but the prescription is adjusted for your specific needs. Similarly, hearing aids might look the same cosmetically, but each hearing aid is tuned to the individual user’s hearing loss needs.

You’re not going to get the same results by grabbing some cheap hearing device from the clearance shelf (or any helpful results at all in many cases). These amplification devices increase all frequencies rather than raising only the frequencies you’re having trouble with. What’s the significance of this? Usually, hearing loss will only impact some frequencies while you can hear others perfectly fine. If you make it loud enough to hear the frequencies that are too quiet, you’ll make it painful in the frequencies you can hear without a device. Simply put, it doesn’t actually solve the problem and you’ll end up not using the cheaper device.

Tip #4: Different hearing aids have different functions

There’s a temptation to look at all of the amazing technology in modern hearing aids and think that it’s all extra, simply bells and whistles. But you will need some of that technology to hear sounds properly. The specialized technology in hearing aids can be tuned in to the user’s level of hearing loss. Background noise can be blocked out with many of these modern designs and some can communicate with each other. Also, selecting a model that fits your lifestyle will be simpler if you factor in where (and why) you’ll be using your hearing aids.

It’s crucial, in order to compensate for your hearing loss in a reliable way, that you have some of this technology. A tiny speaker that turns the volume up on everything is far from the sophistication of a modern hearing aid. And that brings up our last tip.

Tip #5: An amplification device isn’t the same thing as a hearing aid

Alright, repeat after me: A hearing aid is not the same thing as an amplification device. This is the number one takeaway from this article. Because the makers of amplification devices have a monetary interest in persuading the consumer that their devices work like hearing aids. But that’s untruthful marketing.

Let’s break it down. An amplifier:

  • Is typically made cheaply.
  • Takes all sounds and turns up their volume.
  • Provides the user with little more than basic volume controls (if that).

A hearing aid, conversely:

  • Will help you preserve the health of your hearing.
  • Can be molded specifically to your ears for maximum comfort.
  • Is calibrated to amplify only the frequencies you have trouble hearing.
  • Is set up specifically to your hearing loss symptoms by a highly qualified hearing professional.
  • Can identify and amplify specific sound types (like the human voice).
  • Has long-lasting batteries.
  • Has the ability to adjust settings when you change locations.
  • Can limit background noise.

Your ability to hear is too crucial to go cheap

No matter what your budget is, that budget will restrict your options depending on your general price range.

That’s why we tend to emphasize the affordable part of this. The long-term benefits of hearing aids and hearing loss management are well recognized. That’s why you should focus on an affordable solution. Just remember that your hearing deserves better than “cheap.”

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.