Wearing hearing aids is a fact of life for many thousands of people. As technology has evolved, so have the types of hearing aids available to both young and old hearing-impaired patients. With each type, the cost of owning that particular hearing device varies.
Hearing aids are designed to amplify sound in your ear. If you have diminished hearing, it is hard to distinguish a conversation in a crowded room or hear the television. A hearing aid increases the volume of the sound that you hear without having to shout or turn the TV up louder.
Hearing aids used to be just the type that fits over your ear to enhance your hearing capability. They weren’t very stylish and everyone could see them. Now, hearing aids can be worn and remain completely invisible to the casual observer allowing you the privacy you want.
The most common type of hearing aid is the “behind the ear” model. The main part of the device sits securely behind your ears. A tube inside the plastic hearing aid delivers sound into the ear canal.
Today, many use the “in the ear” hearing aid model. This hearing aid fits completely within the outer ear. To stay in place, the plastic housing is molded to the shape of your ear.
There are even models of hearing aids that fit down in the ear canal so you can’t see them at all. These hearing aids are fit to your ear canal so they won’t move when you move your head.
All of the abovementioned hearing aids assist with your hearing from the outside. There are hearing aid devices that can be surgically implanted to allow a person to hear when they previously could not. One implantable hearing aid is the cochlear implant.
A cochlear implant helps individuals who have experienced a sensorineural hearing loss. This means that the cells (referred to as hair cells) that receive sound impulses in the inner ear and send electric impulses to the auditory nerve are damaged.
To conduct hearing, this breakdown in the hearing chain has to be bypassed. A cochlear implant restores the conductive chain of hearing. This type of hearing aid is anchored in the bone for a permanent solution to your type of hearing loss.
The cost of hearing aids is another consideration when choosing hearing aids as your hearing solution. We are talking thousands of dollars here for standard types of hearing devices that fit over or within the ear. A new set of hearing aids can cost you $8,000 or more for the set. Most insurance companies don’t pay for hearing aids. The cost is purely out-of-pocket.
Implantable hearing devices may be paid for in part by your insurance provider. The type of payment insurance companies make depends on your type and degree of hearing loss. These operations can cost $10,000 or more.
Before deciding what type of hearing aid you need, talk with your doctor about your options. Whether plastic, behind, or in the ear or implantable, you have choices in a variety of price ranges.