A hearing aid is an electronic device that will help amplify sounds through a speaker that is worn around your ear. Hearing aids are much better than they were even a decade ago, but in order for a hearing aid to work you must have some ability to hear sounds. The most common style are the ones that fit into the wearer's ear. Some of the new hearing aids offer a behind the ear option which are more comfortable to owners. A small battery is inserted into the unit to keep the hearing aid working properly. How can I tell if I need a hearing aid? Get an ear examination from a licensed physician to determine if you need a hearing aid device. At some point in your lifetime you will probably need some help in hearing (21 million Americans are hearing impaired). Don't just think that old age is the only time when you should consider a hearing aid since millions of Americans suffer from hearing loss at a much younger age than say 65. Some of the leading hearing aid brands are Phonak, Siemens, Sonic, Beltone, and Starkey.
Hearing Aid Buying Guide:
You will find that many hearing aids are available in 2 types - analog or digital. Digital hearing aids are the more expensive choice although the sound quality and hearing improvement is better when compared to analog models. When it comes to wearing the actual hearing aid consumers have a variety of options. There are behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids, open fit, in the ear (ITE), in the ear canal (ITC), and completely in the ear canal hearing aids. The behind the ear models are the least expensive and the in the ear devices are the most common. Siemens is one the largest maker of hearing aids here in America but there models tend to be very expensive while the popular Beltone hearing aids are cheaper and often more readily available in stores. We read on several websites that hearing aids have a tendency to need repairs every once in a while so getting a warranty should help with repair costs. One question that many seniors want to know is Does insurance cover the cost of hearing aids? Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids. In fact, few insurance plans offer a hearing aid benefit. The irony of all this is that insurance often covers medical procedures like cochlear implants which are about 3 to 5 times more expensive than hearing aids. In any event, if you will be paying for your own hearing aids then you need to shop wisely. Keep in mind that perhaps you only need one hearing aid as both ears may not be bad (let a professional decide that one for you). What we suggest is reading some reviews online. We think that sites like Lloydhearingaid.com (with over 100 reviews) is a great place to start. Learn about the Siemens Acuris Life BTE, Sonic Innovations Adesso, Oticon E380 P, or the Rexton Targa2P Digital BTE. Other sites like Hearingaidreviews.com are more an advertisement for their hearing aids, so BEWARE. That's the unfortunate things about all the made for TV infomercials and ads in the local newspaper, they try to take advantage of seniors with big promises about hearing improvements for products that are very expensive. We read plenty of reports online that products like the Miracle Ear are RIP OFFS, we'll leave those opinions to others but you need to be careful where you spend your money as prices for some hearing aids are $1000's. You can browse the top rated hearing aids here.
Digital Hearing Aids:
Digital hearing aids are the latest advancement for hearing impaired people. They use a digital circuit to analyze and process sound and are much less bulky than the older hearing aids we grew up with. A Digital hearing aid offers many advantages over their analog counterparts. They supply gain processing, which gives the user a greater hearing for sounds of interest versus background noises. You also get better digital feedback reduction, digital noise reduction, and digital speech enhancement. The Beltone Corus, Mira and EDGE are the leading digital hearing aids. Other top digital hearing aids are Starkey, Oticon, Unitron, Argosy, and the Micro Tech Hearing aid Seneca Open Ear. With the digital revolution, hearing aids will continue to get smaller and smaller with better sound quality and perhaps hearing problems of yesterday will no longer exist in the future. RECOMMENDED - From reports we could find the Siemens hearing aids are top rated and receive excellent owner reviews. The Siemens Centra Active Hearing Aid is one to consider at around $1500. You get a full 3 year warranty, a rechargeable battery, and plenty of extras in the box. Siemens offers quality products with the latest technology. Why wait to be able to hear your favorite tv show, music, or listen to your grandchildren talk.
Best Hearing Aids:
We think paying $1000 or more for a hearing aid is probably not going to happen for most seniors so we wanted to list a few other brands and models that are around $500. I know, $500 is still expensive, but we are talking about your hearing and it's not something you can put a price on. The Nexear hearing aids are reasonably priced. The 200 AFC is a digital hearing aid that sells for less than $400 and the 500 NR model is just slightly more at around $500. The Nexear 500 NR features adaptive feedback cancellation and noise reduction and it maximizes low speak quality. Another good option are the MDHearingAid Acoustitone PRO Hearing Aid (Set of 2) which sell for under $400 for a pair.
Hearing Aid Batteries:
Nothing like have your hearing aid batteries go out on a trip or when you suddenly need them most. Many people don't know the batteries are going low since they have trouble hearing anyways. The best solution is to mark your calendar with a date that you will replace the batteries no matter what. That way you are assured of having fresh batteries in your hearing aids at all times. If you are looking for hearing aid batteries at up to 75% off, then go to Amazon.com. They offer the lowest prices on hearing aid batteries from Duracell, Energizer and Rayovac. You can view their entire inventory of hearing aid batteries here.