The 5 Best Hearing Aids for Seniors
About 40-50 percent of the seniors who live in the States have some form of hearing impairment. For many people, the effects of not being able to hear appropriately are minor and minimal. However, for others, their hearing loss is so severe that their ailment affects almost every part of their lives. This type of hearing loss really can negatively affect the person and cause problems with communication.
This condition can leave the person feeling isolated. Unless you want to get a cochlear implant, the only other solution out there for your hearing loss is to get a hearing aid. Hearing aids can help those with minor hearing issues, along with the ones who have a much more profound form of hearing loss.
Since hearing loss is a common problem among seniors, you would expect that there would be widespread use of hearing aid devices as well. The numbers may shock you, but of all the people who could benefit from getting a hearing aid, about only 30 percent of them have ever even tried one.
One possible reason behind this could be that some seniors lose their hearing in such a gradual fashion that they hardly notice the loss initially. Then there are also those people who feel uncomfortable wearing an assistive device. BUT, the one thing that is causing seniors not to get hearing aids is the cost of the devices.
We, however, believe that a majority of the barriers that prevent people from getting hearing aids can be overcome with proper education. Once the seniors know the variety of options that they can choose from, they will feel a lot more comfortable getting the help they so desperately need. This particular article has been written with senior citizens in mind. Let us take a more detailed look at the market and what they have to offer.
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEARING LOSS IN SENIORS
If the following signs and symptoms apply to you, you will probably suffer from hearing loss in one form or another. The most common signs and symptoms of hearing loss among seniors are as follows:
- Problems with following phone conversations
- Trouble following distant conversation
- TV volume needs to be turned up constantly
- Difficulty in conversing in groups
- Trouble communicating in noisy environments like restaurants
- Experiencing pain, dizziness, or a type of ringing in the ears
- Constantly asking people to repeat themselves
- Always mumbling and not being able to speak clearly
- Misunderstanding and also answering in weird and unexpected ways
- Difficulty in understanding children or women talk
FACTORS WE LOOKED AT WHEN COMPILING OUR LIST OF HEARING AIDS
The Reputation of the Manufacturer:
This is the first thing we looked at when we compiled our list of hearing aids. The company must have been in operation for a long enough period of time for them to have gathered a reputation among customers and reviewers.
The Programmability of the Devices:
The best devices available today and the ones we have mentioned are all programmable. This is very important as not everyone will have the same needs from their hearing aid device. The device needs to be customizable according to the needs of the user.
After Sales Service:
The next thing that we factored in a while recommending the devices is the service provided by the Manufacturer. This is very important as patients will often need to get their device programmed by a specialist a few times after buying the device. This is important because it can take some time for people to figure out their devices and try out different settings to see what works best for them. So, as you can see, service is an essential part of the whole hearing aid experience, and you can rest assured that the ones listed in this article will be able to give you proper service.
The last factor that we considered when compiling our list is the price of the devices. Hearing aids can be expensive, but that is not the only thing that should inform your decision. However, we have still looked at what the market has to offer regarding price relative to quality.
THE BEST HEARING AIDS OF 2021 FOR MILD TO SEVERE HEARING LOSS (FOR SENIORS)
This is a company that is based in the Midwest. They assemble their products in the city of Southfield, Michigan. They have more than a decade of experience in this industry, and they have, till now, sold over 500,000 hearing aids. MdHearingAid has quickly become one of the most popular and also one of the most affordable hearing aid brands operating in this country.
This particular brand will fit almost any budget that the consumer needs with its three different models. These devices are competent ones, and they are digital as well. These come at price points unmatched in the industry, and they can be considered economy models.
All of the models from this company have been approved by the FDA. The company also has an audiologist on its roster who can hand out personalized recommendations according to the user’s audiograms. However, one thing that customers ought to consider is that this company’s models do not come audiologist-adjusted for the individual buyer. About 80 percent of the people who have hearing loss will be a good fit, on average, for hearing aids that are not customized. To ensure that customers are happy with their purchase, this company offers a very good money-back guarantee.
Nano Hearing Aids
Nano is a relative newcomer to the scene, and the devices are manufactured in Minnesota. The company officially started in the year 2017 and is already competing with the market leaders by offering some of the best hearing aids for the elderly available in the market at an affordable rate.
The company has an excellent rating on Trustpilot, with its average rating being 4.7 out of 5. It is also important to note that about 92 percent of the reviews gave the company 5 stars.
Nano claims that they can ship to about all of the 50 states in the country. One of the best things about getting Nano hearing aids at this particular time is that they are offering a buy-one-get-one offer that is one of the best rechargeable hearing aids for seniors.
Eargo is one of the newer brands operating in the market today. This particular brand of the device has been designed by a surgeon who is a specialist in the ears, nose, and throat.
The three models of this particular brand are all sold straight to the consumer, and they are also known as being self-fitting. You will not need to go to an audiologist or even need a prescription to get your hands on one of these devices.
One of the main goals of this company is to be able to serve those people with hearing loss who haven't got a hearing aid because they think it doesn’t look good. These people believe that hearing aids make them look much older, or just because they do not have the means to afford it. These hearing aids also cost about half of what some of the other devices cost on the market, so there’s that.
The company was initially founded in 1947, and it started operations as Phonak in Switzerland. The company was able to announce its presence in the market in this country in 1989. Technological innovations were an essential part of the development of this company.
Phonak is among the nine brands that are owned by the multinational Sonova, which is located in Switzerland. This particular company operates in about a hundred different countries, and they are considered one of the leaders in the hearing aid industry.
This is an international company that sells a wide range of hearing aid products in a lot of different styles. This company also gives out a lot of hearing-related services.
Beltone began its journey way back in the 1930s. That was when the co-founder of the company, Sam Posen, wanted to help a friend who had issues with hearing. It was in the 1940s when Beltone started its first operations center in the city of Chicago. In the 1950s, this brand was the one that came up with the first behind-the-ear type of hearing aid. Nowadays, the company is known for making wireless hearing aids and those that allow for really high-speed streaming to its mobile devices.
COST CONSIDERATIONS FOR HEARING AIDS FOR SENIORS
As we mentioned above, hearing aids are one thing that you do not want to skimp on and be cheap about. With that being said, you will want to make sure to know if any type of insurance you are on provides coverage for hearing loss or not. Let us take a look at some of the most common types of insurance and see if they offer a range for hearing loss or not.Will Veterans Affairs Cover the Cost of My Hearing Aids?
In order to receive hearing aids or any other type of similar device, you need to be eligible to get health benefits from the VA. After you have been enrolled, veterans will be able to get benefits for not just hearing aids but hearing tests and examinations as well. In order to start this process, veterans need to apply to get enrolled either online or by calling this number, 1-877-222-VETS. You can also go to a regional VA facility that offers healthcare services.
Will Private Insurance Cover the Cost of My Hearing Aids?
There are a lot of private insurance companies that will not cover the cost of your hearing aids. In fact, the majority of them don’t. However, you are fortunate if you live in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Arkansas. If you have insurance in these three states and you are an adult, then you are eligible to be covered by your insurance provider for hearing aids.
Will Medicare Help Me with My Hearing Aid Costs?
You will be able to get some hearing tests and also a lot of other hearing services when you are on Medicare. Medicare will often bear the cost of hearing aids for many adults. Children are covered for hearing aid under Medicaid. You may be able to get Medicare if you have a disability of some sort or if you do not make a ton of money.
Will Nonprofits Help Me with My Hearing Aid Costs?
There are some non-profit organizations that do help with getting hearing aids for those who really need them and those who are in the low-income category. You ought to do a Google search to know if you have any of these types of non-profit organizations operating close to you.
Will Vocational Rehabilitation Pay for Hearing Aids?
Yes, there are some opportunities in this area to get your hearing aids paid for. First of all, start by calling the vocational rehabilitation department of your state. They will be able to tell you if there are any programs nearby that can help you with getting hearing aids.
Alternatively, you can also visit http://parac.org/svrp.html in order to get a list of the programs available by each state.
AFFORDABLE HEARING AID ALTERNATIVES FOR SENIORS: HEARING AMPLIFIERS
If for whatever reason, hearing aids are simply out of your budget and it is something that you really cannot afford at the moment, then you may want to look into a much cheaper alternative, hearing amplifiers.
These amplifiers, or personal sound amplification products, are devices that can be worn and ones that make use of a microphone in order to pick up sounds from its environment. The device then processes this sound and then delivers it to the user’s ears at a much louder volume.
You do not need a prescription in order to purchase hearing amplifiers. Another important thing to note is that these devices are not regulated by the FDA.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER HEARING AIDS?
Hearing aids really have the potential to drastically change the way you hear and also your ability to lead a “normal” life. If the signs and symptoms of hearing loss listed in the previous paragraph apply to you, you should immediately get yourself checked for hearing loss and get a hearing aid device. This should be done as quickly as possible as not doing so may lead to much more severe and adverse consequences. Let us take a look at why you should get hearing aids immediately if the symptoms match:Reduce the Risk of Dementia
One of the most significant risks associated with untreated hearing loss is that it severely increases the risk of the person suffering from hearing loss developing Dementia. This is a genuine possibility, and studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can reduce the age at which the onset of Dementia begins as well. Therefore, if you want to not develop Dementia, get yourself a pair of hearing aids as soon as possible.
Prevent Brain Damage
Another critical reason why you may want to get hearing aids as soon as you find out you have hearing loss is that untreated hearing loss often leads to brain damage. Think about it; our hearing is one of the only five senses that we have as humans. When one of these five senses is damaged, it puts a lot more pressure on our brains to make sense of the environment around us. If left untreated, hearing loss can easily lead to brain damage that is irreversible. Therefore, once again, do not delay getting a hearing aid if you think you are suffering from hearing loss.
Preventing Going Completely Deaf
Hearing loss is a tricky thing to deal with. After all, one of the most important senses at our disposal is hearing, and when we lose that hearing, life gets a lot more complicated. Now, what could be worse than a bit of hearing loss? The answer is simple, and that is, going deaf ultimately. One of the ways you can stop your hearing loss from getting exaggerated is to get a hearing aid device as soon as possible after the first onset of symptoms. Do not delay, or you may risk yourself going completely deaf.
Maintaining Social Relationships
One of the biggest challenges that people with hearing loss face is in maintaining their social relationships. It is not just hard for the person with hearing loss but also very tough on their loved and cherished ones. This is because they also have to contend with the hearing loss of their loved ones as well. They are also not able to communicate with their loved ones due to hearing loss. Therefore, for the sake of the people you love and cherish, make sure you get a hearing aid device as soon as you find out that you are suffering from hearing loss. Your loved ones will thank you for it.
BUYER’S GUIDE TO SHOPPING FOR HEARING AIDS
If the symptoms listed in this article apply to you or a loved one, the first thing that you ought to do is to get a proper hearing test. This can be done with the help of an audiologist or by any doctor qualified in this area. It is crucial that you get your hearing tested from a reliable source. The post-test decisions are even more vital and must be taken into consideration. Once you have your appointment set up with a trusted audiologist, make sure that you get the answers to the following questions:
- What type of hearing loss do I have?
- Will my hearing loss get worse?
- Is the type of hearing loss I have genetic?
- Did any form of medications or diet cause my hearing loss?
- What steps can I take to prevent further damage to my hearing?
- What precautions should I take on an everyday basis?
- Will a hearing aid be able to solve my hearing problems?
- How do I get the most out of the hearing that I have?
- What sort of techniques can help with my hearing loss?
- How can my loved ones benefit?
You can also download the Nano Hearing Aids hearing test app for both iPhone and Android.
Another thing that we have to stress on is the importance of not trying to be cheap. Hearing aids are an investment in yourself, and you should not skimp on such a significant investment. While we understand that not everyone has an unlimited budget, the point we are trying to make is that you ought not to skimp on whatever budget you have. You will thank yourself later on.
The final consideration to take into account is how you will make the purchase. With the current state of the world not being too accommodating for in-store purchases, you may want to research the brands that do allow online purchases.
Losing your hearing can bring about a dramatic change in the lives of just about anyone. It is tough on seniors as they already have to contend with so many health issues. However, with the right hearing aid, many difficulties faced due to hearing loss can be overcome. The devices featured in this article can go a long way in helping you overcome these difficulties.
Frequently Asked Question:Q. Can you go through airport security with hearing aids?
Ans: Yes you can. you do not need to take them out and TSA security officers are trained to provide assistance if needed.
Researched by Otolaryngology (ENT), John Hopkins Medicine