Hearing aids, despite their wide range of forms, styles, and technological capabilities, are all tiny, wearable electronic devices that help people hear better and interpret speech more clearly, resulting in an overall increase in communication capacity.
A hearing aid is a battery-operated electronic gadget that helps you hear better. They are small enough to wear in or behind your ear and increase the volume of certain sounds. They may assist you in hearing better in both calm and loud situations. This is how it works:
- The sound surrounding you is picked up by a microphone.
- The sound is amplified by using an amplifier.
- These enhanced noises are sent into your ear through a receiver.
First, sound is captured using a small microphone, which is then turned into an electrical, digital signal. The signal is then processed, amplified, and adjusted to fit the user’s hearing loss requirements. Finally, the processed sound is sent through the type of ear fitting suited for your hearing aid system by a receiver (miniature loudspeaker).
Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Your hearing loss will play a role in determining which kind is best for you.
- The major portion of a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid goes behind your ear. A small, transparent tube connects this to an earfitting that fits within your ear canal. Some earfittings are produced to order from ear impressions, however many individuals now choose for tiny eartips that are not built to order but fit well.
- A receiver in the canal (RIC) is similar to a BTE aid, although it’s smaller. The hearing aid is connected to a receiver (small loudspeaker) built into the earfitting that sits in your ear canal by an almost undetectable cable.
- An in the ear/canal (ITE/ITC) aid is placed entirely inside your outer ear (ITE) or just inside your ear canal (ITC).
- A completely in the canal (CIC) or invisible in the canal (IIC) is inserted further into the ear canal, making it practically or completely unnoticeable. This is the most unobtrusive type of hearing aid; however, you may have hearing loss with such small hearing aids.
Brands, Manufacturers and their Prices
There are many various hearing aid brands, and depending on the type of hearing loss you have, some brands are better than others. It’s critical to see an audiologist that works with a variety of hearing aid brands rather than just one. If they only deal with one manufacturer, they are frequently forced to sell only what that company has to offer, which isn’t necessarily in the best interests of the patient.
Top 6 Hearing Aid Brands include:
- Oticon – Oticon is a multinational hearing aid company situated in Denmark, owned by Demant A/S. Somerset, New Jersey, is home to the United States’ headquarters.
- Phonak – owned by Swiss-based Sonova group, their products can be found in more than 100 countries around the world.
- Resound – it’s a part of GN store and located in Ballerup, Denmark. It is represented globally among more than 80 countries
- Signia/Siemens – Sivantos’ primary brand is Signia, which merged with Widex in 2019 to become WS Audiology A/S. Sivantos is based in Singapore and has operations in over 25 countries.
- Widex – it was founded in Denmark in 1956. Today, the company employs over 4,000 employees and operates in over 100 countries throughout the world.
- Starkey – Starkey Hearing Technologies is based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and operates in more than 18 countries across the world.
The high cost of hearing aids is one of the most common consumer concerns. It’s true that a pair of high-end hearing aids may cost anywhere from $4,000 to 6,000 dollars. However, in recent years, a growing number of high-performance hearing aid models have been available at significantly cheaper prices.
The average price of a single hearing aid is $2,372, according to a recent Hearing Tracker survey of over 2,000 users. The majority of those polled purchased high-end hearing aid technology from well-known companies such as Phonak, Widex, Signia, Oticon, Resound, Starkey etc. To save money, some people went to Costco to buy hearing aids, bought lower-end versions, or used direct-to-consumer web methods.
Where and how to buy them?
There are many different types of hearing aids on the market. Choosing a reliable place to purchase yours is critical to efficiently managing your hearing loss.
- Through an Audiologist
An audiologist is a professionally educated expert who diagnoses hearing issues and treats hearing loss, generally using hearing aids. Audiologists can be found in private offices, wholesale clubs like Costco, or storefronts operated by hearing aid manufacturers like Oticon, Phonak, Resound etc.
- Through a hearing aid Dispenser
Hearing aids can also be purchased through a hearing aid dispenser. Hearing aid dispensers are trained and state-licensed to give hearing examinations and fit hearing aids, but they cannot diagnose hearing impairments. Probe microphone measurements are often used by your dispenser to validate the hearing aids. Hearing aid dispensers, like audiologists, may “configure hearing aids to improve speech and considerably reduce background noise.”
- Over-the-counter (OTC) or Online
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Hearing Disorders (NIDCD) OTC hearing aids will soon be available to those with mild to severe hearing loss. A federal law passed in 2017 directs to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put regulations in place to assure the safety and efficacy of over-the-counter hearing aids However, because there are presently no restrictions in place for over-the-counter (OTC) or internet sales, the devices you buy may be hearing amplifiers rather than legitimate hearing aids.
Hearing loss can be managed and Treated
The sooner you treat hearing loss symptoms, the more likely you are to avoid permanent damage. Get the information you need to begin treatment right away.