If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss and feeling overwhelmed by the number of options available for treatment, it’s totally understandable. There is so much information available today that it can be tough to know what is the best path forward. If you’ve turned to Google to research the best options for you, you’ve likely noticed conflicting information from different sources.
Hearing loss impacts a significant number of people worldwide. And the World Health Organization predicts that the number of cases will only continue to rise in the coming years. You’re not alone if you’re feeling overwhelmed!
And that’s exactly why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to all of your options. We’ll also share an honest and unbiased viewpoint on the benefits and drawbacks of each.
But before we dive into your options, there are a few things you should consider.
Factors to Consider When Evaluating Your Options
It’s crucial to consider some essential factors that will influence your decision to move forward with a certain treatment option. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for hearing loss, since each person’s needs are unique. Be sure to consider:
- The specific degree of your hearing loss
- Your lifestyle and the environments you frequently encounter
- Your preference for face-to-face interaction vs. remote audiological support
- Your budget and whether you are seeking a premium or budget-friendly solution
- Your preference for a local company or a larger corporation
With these considerations in mind, let’s dive into the different options available for treatment and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Your Options for Treating Hearing Loss
When it comes to treating hearing loss, there are many options to choose from depending on your budget, needs, and circumstances.
These options range from budget-friendly to premium and include:
- Earphones and cellphone apps [$0-$250]
- PSAPs (personal sound amplification products) [$79-$1250]
- Online hearing aids with audiological remote support [$1850-$2400]
- Big-box retail stores [$1250-$4000]
- Audiology clinics [$2500-$7500]
- Hearing loss surgery (cochlear implants) [$30,000-$50,000]
Each of these options offers some degree of treatment for hearing loss, but they have some key differences. Let’s explore each option in more detail.
Earphones and Cellphone Apps
If you have a very small budget and only need amplification of sound in specific situations, some apps available on Apple’s App Store can convert your earphones into amplification tools. These apps use your device’s microphone to amplify all sounds. These apps are cost-effective, and many offer a free trial. However, their functionality is limited.
- Only require a cellphone and earphones
- Only work in environments with little background noise
- Require you to sit in a specific position
- Make all sounds louder
- Don’t include any support
Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs)
PSAPs are amplification devices equipped with a built-in microphone that enhances all sounds. They’re available both online and in stores. PSAPs are suitable for mild hearing loss cases where a one-size-fits-all approach is sufficient. While budget-friendly, they come with some downsides.
- Easy to purchase
- Can be inexpensive
- Not tailored to your specific needs
- You’ll need to fit them yourself
- No support outside of your return window
- No warranty if you happen to lose or damage them
- Amplify all sounds including background noises
Online Hearing Aids With Remote Audiology Support/Direct to Consumer
Some companies offer access to hearing aids online with virtual audiology support. This option is convenient and could be suitable for anyone who wishes to avoid doctor visits. You can order the devices for as low as $1850. The technology is from reputable manufacturers.
- Easy to purchase
- Often come with a money-back guarantee
- Developed by reputable manufacturers
- Online hearing assessments aren’t as accurate as in-person hearing tests
- No in-person support
- You may meet with a different audiologist each time you need care
- Online hearing aids are usually not approved by Health Canada as a Class II medical device and are not allowed to be sold without a prescription
Big-Box Retail Stores
Large retail stores like Costco offer professional hearing aids with in-person fittings. This is a step up from purchasing devices online, but there are some drawbacks with this option. You might experience longer wait times for appointments and you may find it difficult to get support.
Costco requires you to have a hearing assessment to assess your level of hearing loss. They offer their own brand of devices and devices from reputable manufacturers. Warranties ranging from one to three years are often included.
- You receive a hearing screening and an in-person fitting
- You get professional technology
- You’ll likely have a warranty
- You can return for help/cleanings/support
- Getting support can sometimes take a while
- Payment plans are not available
- A membership fee is required
- Typically don’t work with 3rd party insurance
- Tend not to dispense custom hearing solutions
Local Audiology Clinics
The “traditional” approach involves visiting a local hearing care clinic. They’ll offer comprehensive hearing assessments, tailored technology options, and ongoing support. Insurance coverage and payment plans are often available, and you’ll receive personalized care and hearing aid maintenance. You’ll have access to a team of professionals who truly care about your hearing health.
- You’ll receive ongoing support
- You can use insurance
- Payment plans may be available
- You’ll receive a warranty
- You’ll receive personalized care
- You will need to attend multiple appointments in person
Cochlear Implant Surgery
If you have severe hearing loss, you may be a candidate for cochlear implants. This requires a surgical procedure. A device is implanted in the cochlea to replace its function. Cochlear implants are often partially or fully covered by insurance, but additional expenses, like hospital fees, can apply.
- Can benefit those suffering from severe hearing loss
- Candidacy requirements are specific – you need to be approved
- Can be costly
- Requires surgery
- Requires an adjustment period
Choosing the Right Option
To sum it up, the right hearing loss solution depends on your unique needs, circumstances, and preferences. I hope this article helps to clarify your options.
Remember to consider your hearing loss severity, lifestyle, and budget when you’re evaluating what option is best for you. And if you need support, we’re always here to help and provide you with guidance!
To get in touch with our team, you can call our offices in:
We look forward to speaking with you!