Affordable or Cheap Hearing Aids – What’s the Difference?

Display of over the counter hearing aids at a pharmacy.

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

Health consequences can result from going for the cheapest option if you require hearing aids to manage hearing loss. Avoiding the development of health problems like depression, dementia, and the risk of a fall is the whole point of using hearing aids in the first place. The key is to choose the hearing aid that best suits your lifestyle, your hearing needs, and your budget.

Tips for picking affordable hearing aids

Affordable is not equivalent cheap. Keep an eye on affordability and functionality. That will help you find the best hearing aid possible for your personal budget. These tips will help.

Tip #1: Research before you buy: Affordable hearing aids are available

Hearing aids have a reputation for taking a toll on your wallet, a reputation, however, is not necessarily reflected by reality. Most hearing aid manufacturers will partner with financing companies to make the device more budget friendly and also have hearing aids in a number of prices. If you’ve already made the decision that the most effective hearing aids are too expensive, you’re probably more inclined to search the bargain bin than look for affordable and effective options, and that can have a lasting, negative affect on your hearing and overall health.

Tip #2: Ask what’s covered

Some or even all of the cost of hearing aids may be covered by your insurance. Some states, in fact, have laws requiring insurance companies to cover hearing aids for kids or adults. It never hurts to ask. If you’re a veteran, you might be eligible for hearing aids through government programs.

Tip #3: Find hearing aids that can be tuned to your hearing loss

In some ways, your hearing aids are similar to prescription glasses. Depending on your sense of style, the frame comes in a few options, but the exact prescription differs significantly from person to person. Hearing aids, too, have distinct settings, which we can tune for you, personalized to your exact needs.

Buying a cheap hearing device from the clearance shelf is not going to give you the same benefits (or any useful results at all in many cases). These are more like amplification devices that raise the sound of all frequencies, not only the ones you’re having trouble hearing. Why is this so important? Usually, hearing loss will only impact some frequencies while you can hear others perfectly fine. If you boost all frequencies, the ones you have no problem hearing will be too loud. In other words, it doesn’t really solve the problem and you’ll wind up not using the cheaper device.

Tip #4: Different hearing aids have different functions

It can be tempting to think that all of the modern technology in a quality hearing aid is just “bells and whistles”. The problem with this idea is that in order to hear sounds clearly (sounds such as, you know, bells and whistles), you most likely need some of that technology. Hearing aids have innovative technologies tuned specifically for those who have hearing loss. Background sound can be blocked out with many of these modern models and some can connect with each other. In addition, thinking about where (and why) you’ll be using your aids will help you choose a model that fits your lifestyle.

It’s essential, in order to compensate for your hearing loss in an efficient way, that you have some of this technology. Hearing aids are a lot more sophisticated than a basic, tiny speaker that amplifies everything. Which brings up our last tip.

Tip #5: A hearing amplification device isn’t a hearing aid

Okay, repeat after me: A hearing aid is not the same thing as a hearing amplification device. This is the most important takeaway from this article. Because hearing amplification devices try very hard to make you think they do the same thing as a hearing aid for a fraction of the price. But that’s dishonest marketing.

Let’s break it down. An amplifier:

  • Gives the user the ability to control the basic volume but that’s about it.
  • Is typically built cheaply.
  • Takes all sounds and makes them louder.

A hearing aid, however:

  • Can be programmed with various settings for different locations.
  • Increases the frequencies that you have a hard time hearing and leaves the frequencies you can hear alone.
  • Is set up specifically to your hearing loss symptoms by a highly skilled hearing professional.
  • Can be shaped specifically to your ears for maximum comfort.
  • Can identify and boost specific sound types (such as the human voice).
  • Has long-lasting batteries.
  • Will help protect your hearing health.
  • Can regulate background noise.

Your ability to hear is too important to go cheap

Everyone has a budget, and that budget is going to restrict your hearing aid choices no matter what price range you’re looking in.

This is why an affordable solution tends to be the focus. The long-term benefits of hearing aids and hearing loss treatment are well recognized. This is why an affordable solution is where your attention should be. 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.