There are 2 steps to picking out hearing aids that will fit you best:
Step 1 – Choose the style of the hearing aid:
Hearing aids come in different shapes and sizes. The two general types of hearing aids are Behind the Ear and In the Ear:
Behind the Ear Styles
In the Ear Styles
Both styles can range in very small to large, depending on a couple of key factors:
- The amount of hearing loss someone has. Typically, the more severe the hearing loss, the larger the hearing aid. However, technology has significantly advanced so even those with a severe loss can be fit with relatively small hearing aids.
- Dexterity: Will arthritis, missing fingers, or tremors hinder you from successfully placing a hearing aid in the ear or a battery in the hearing aid?
- Cosmetics: How much do you want the hearing aid to be seen? The smaller the hearing aid, the more conspicuous.
Hearing Aid Cost
The style of the hearing aid has nothing to do with the price. You can get an in the ear hearing aid and a behind the ear hearing aid for the same price. However, rechargeable hearing aids are a bit more.
Right now, only the behind the ear style hearing aids have the option to be rechargeable. That means the patient never has to change a battery, open a battery door or worry about being out and about and hear the “low battery” signal.
RIC Hearing Aids
The most popular type of hearing aid is called the Receiver in the Canal (RIC) hearing aid for various reasons:
- Can be rechargeable
- Comfortable as only a very small piece sits in the ear
- Fits a wide-variety of hearing losses, from mild to severe
- Easy to change out the power of the hearing aid in the office
Step 2 – Choose your technology level:
The second part to picking out a hearing aid is the technology level, or the internal components of the hearing aid. This has all to do with the automatic-ness of the hearing aids and how well they help in difficult listening environments. People decide which level of technology to go with based on (1) their lifestyle and (2) the affordability of the hearing aids.
Your audiologist will go over all of this information, including recommending the appropriate style and technology level at a hearing aid consult appointment.
All levels of technology come with a 3 year warranty that includes repair and loss and damage.
There are 4 levels of technology:
The Basic level of technology is going to be the least expensive hearing aid. It has programs to help in one on one environments and some background noise. This level of technology would be good for someone who lives a more sedate life. They may need help hearing the television, radio, telephone, and one on one conversations. They have good sound processing for quiet environments, some noise reduction.
The Standard level of technology is going to be a bit more than the basic level. This level of technology is appropriate if someone lives a more active lifestyle, occasionally attends small gatherings, shops, meetings and restaurants and has good sound quality and speech understanding. The standard level has good speech clarity, natural sound and sound processing for moderate levels of background noise.
The Advanced level of technology will be a bit more expensive than the standard level. This level of technology is appropriate if you live an active lifestyle in complex situations. It would be appropriate if you attend family gatherings, large auditoriums, churches, theaters. It would be good for someone who wants better sound quality and speech understanding or for musicians or someone who listens to music quite frequently. It works great in background noise and fantastic speech clarity in most situations. It has natural sounds in many diverse environments and has great sound processing.
The Premium level of technology is most appropriate for an extremely active person who would like to hear well in almost every situation. It is made for those who need to hear well everywhere and are active in meetings, work events, and/or social events. This technology is the best hearing aid technology available. It has the best technology in background noise with the latest features hearing aids have to offer. Best speech clarity and most natural sound and best sound processing in complex situations.
Bundled and Unbundled Pricing Plans:
Superior Audiology understands that for certain insurances that do not cover hearing aids, the price of hearing aids can be expensive. This is why we have developed two different service plans to help fit the needs of all of our patients. Patients can now decide whether they would like to bundle their hearing aids and services or do an unbundled approach.
- Bundled services mean you pay for the hearing aids and services included (any adjustment, appointment with doctor, cleaning, spare hearing aid parts). Anytime you need to come in for a hearing aid related appointment, there will be no expense to the patient as you paid in full when fit with the hearing aids. The bundled services lasts for 3 years, the length of your warranty. This means it is a bit more up front but will not be charged for the next three years.
- Unbundled services mean you pay as you go. You only pay the cost of the hearing aids. This includes one three week follow up appointment to see how the hearing aids are working. After that, anytime you need to come in for an appointment, there would be a charge. The benefit of this route is that it drives the cost of the hearing aids down at the initial fitting appointment.