Hearing impairment affects an estimated 40% to 50% of seniors. The effect of hearing loss in some seniors is minor, while for others, it affects every facet of their life. A sense of isolation, communication errors, embarrassment are all often caused by hearing loss.
A hearing aid is an effective means of treating minor to severe hearing loss apart from the possibility of cochlear implants.
One would expect the use of hearing aid to be widespread as hearing loss is common in seniors. But only 30% of seniors who could beneﬁt from hearing aids have tried using them. As a result, some seniors do not realize how much help they need as their hearing loss develops gradually. At the same time, other seniors worry about how people will treat them if they ﬁnd out that they are using an assistive device.
Cost is the largest Factor preventing a lot of seniors from using a hearing aid. Purchasing a hearing aid can seem out of reach for seniors who don’t know how to get ﬁnancial assistance or ﬁnding a good deal. Education can be used to overcome the barriers to getting a hearing aid. Learning about the different options of hearing aids in the market makes seniors feel conﬁdent enough to ﬁnd the help they require. It is a known fact that hearing aids are expensive as they are medical investments. Some factors determine the cost of a hearing aid. Let’s take a look at these factors.
To get a hearing aid, you will have to consult an audiologist, requiring some tests that will help determine the degree and hearing loss. Understanding the hearing aid that suits your hearing loss and purchasing it, ﬁtting and tunning the hearing aid to suit the patient’s environment live in by the audiologist. Below at the factors that determine the cost of a hearing aid.
The technology used determines the cost of a hearing aid. There are two basic types of hearing aid based on technology, features, and appearance. They are digital and analog hearing aids. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two types.
Digital Hearing Aids
The digital system uses a microchip to process digital signals converted from sound. The digital hearing aids can be programmed to suit the affected individual hearing loss and environment, which is unlike the analog system. The digital system can also suppress background noise to be able to hear speech patterns. Your voice and sounds originating from a distance source are easier to hear, conversations on the mobile phone are easier to hear, and battery consumption is minimal with the digital system.
Analog Hearing Aids
These hearing aids are usually available at a lower price as they use outdated technology. The hearing aids pass ampliﬁed electrical signals to the receiver after converting them from sounds. These hearing aids are not economical in battery consumption and cannot differentiate between unwanted noise and speech.
It can be very challenging when trying to hear your voice and not compatible with mobile phones. The analog hearing aids can be programmed for individual hearing loss and the environment. -Styles: hearing aids comes in dour varieties, which are the BTE, CIC, ICC, and RIC. They all have similar basic components with a difference in their additional features and price. A hearing aid’s sophistication in terms of design also plays a signiﬁcant role in determining the price. The most expensive is usually the smaller, which is the ICC hearing aids whole the BTE, ITC, and CIC models have equivalent technology levels, and as such, they are priced similarly.
The visibility of a hearing aid can inﬂuence the cost and social stigma associated with hearing loss. People tend to notice and talk about a hearing aid that is big and visible. A smaller and sophisticated hearing aid is usually chosen by hearing-impaired individuals that have an active social life. The most expensive hearing aids are the smaller in size.
The features of the hearing aid allow it to suit the affected individuals hearing loss requirements. The features are noise reduction, directionality, wind noise management, feedback management, and occlusion management.
The effectiveness of these features also inﬂuences the cost of the hearing aid. Moreover, improvement in hearing technology is causing hearing aids to become smarter. Therefore, the research needed to continue making technology advancements yearly affects the cost of hearing aids.
Hearing aids use streaming technologies in connectivity such as electromagnetic ﬁelds and Bluetooth, which allows the user to access external devices like TV, remote control, and mobile phone to provide a personalized hearing experience which helps also inﬂuences the price of the hearing aids. However, this technology in a hearing aid causes it to be more expensive than the cost of the regular one. -Cost of hearing aids: the set of this FDA-regulated medical device ranges from $1000 to $5000 or more.