Congratulations on researching ways to treat your hearing loss. Current statistics show that only one in three people who need hearing treatment take the steps to get it, so you are already a superstar.
Because we believe in delivering the highest level of hearing healthcare in Maryland, we like to tell our patients every bit of information possible so that they can understand what their hearing journey might entail.
We get asked a lot about the different types of hearing treatment available, so in this post, I’m going to share my expertise with you.
Questions about Hearing Treatment
Before I go into the treatment types, I find it helpful to ask my patients what the end goal is in their research. For example, what is the most important to you and your choice of hearing device?
Some good questions to ask yourself include:
- Does this device treat my degree of hearing loss?
- Will this device give me the technology I want?
- Will this device fit well in my ear and suit my lifestyle?
- What’s my budget?
- Does in-person, local hearing care matter, or would I rather just go for the most convenient option?
- Would I like ongoing support and follow-up care?
Your answers to these questions will help lead you to choose the best device for you.
Treatments for Hearing Loss
For the most part, a hearing loss is treated with a hearing device. There are many different devices available online, in retail stores, and through hearing professionals.
There are cell phone apps, personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), hearing aids bought in stores or online, hearing aids bought through hearing experts, and cochlear implants.
Cell phone apps
Some good cell phone apps will amplify the volume of anything on your phone and deliver sounds through earphones, headphones, or wirelessly. They can also pick up speech through the speaker on your phone and amplify that too.
Some apps are free while others can cost a small fee per month. The downside to these is that all they do is turn up the volume rather than treat a hearing loss.
Much like cell phone apps, these personal amplification devices turn up the volume on what you hear. Unlike cell phone apps, these look like hearing aids and are worn on the ear.
You can buy a PSAP anywhere. Expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $1,000.
Nonprescription Hearing Aids Bought in Stores
You can now buy nonprescription hearing aids in stores, with the Bose SoundControl and the Jabra Enhance Plus being two of the more recognized devices.
You don’t need a professional hearing assessment before buying these. This concerns us because there is no way to treat a hearing loss properly without having the results of an accurate hearing test. It’s hard to adjust the settings on these too, even if you work with an audiologist on them.
We find that most people do not assess their degree of hearing loss correctly, so they might buy one of these thinking it will treat their mild hearing loss when, in fact, they have a moderate or severe hearing loss, thus wasting their money.
These types of hearing aids are not comfortable for all-day wear, but they are helpful to boost hearing when needed, such as in a restaurant or meeting.
You’re on your own when it comes to fitting these, and there is no long-term support or follow up provided with purchase.
Prices start at $600 to $800.
Prescription Hearing Aids Bought in Stores
Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club have hearing aid centers where you can buy prescription hearing aids. They’ll do a hearing test, show you their line of hearing aids, and fit you for the hearing aid of your choice. They also do follow-up visits.
The hearing aids Costco advertise at a low price are their Kirkland brand, which has a variety of ratings and reviews. One of the disadvantages of buying this brand is that they are locked so that only Costco can program or repair them.
Also, you have to be a member of Costco or Sam’s Club to avail of their hearing service, and they do not work with insurance companies or offer payment plans.
Hearing Aids Bought Online
Most manufacturers that sell hearing aids online, such as Lively or Eargo, sell them by starting with an online hearing assessment. These tests are never going to be accurate, on top of which you miss out on getting your ears examined and giving your hearing and medical history.
This can be dangerous for your hearing health.
- Without a physical exam, you’ll never know if it’s something in your ear canal that is causing your hearing loss, such as a buildup of earwax or a growth.
- Without giving your medical history, something serious might be missed, such as an ototoxic medication causing your hearing loss.
- And without an accurate hearing test, your hearing aids will not be programmed to precisely match your hearing needs.
A cochlear implant is often considered when a person has a severe to profound hearing loss that hearing aids no longer work for.
While insurance companies usually cover the cost of this, it can cost about $60,000 without insurance, and not everybody will be a good candidate. Talk to us if you’d like more information about this option.
Hearing Treatment from an Audiologist
An audiologist is a hearing professional who has studied for many years to become an expert on hearing health, so if you choose to treat your hearing with an audiologist, you can rest assured that every aspect of your hearing health will be taken care of.
The services we consider important when treating your hearing include:
- A complete hearing evaluation
- One-on-one care
- Welcome you as part of our local hearing center family
- Give unbiased advice and recommendations for hearing treatment
- Deal with your insurance company on your behalf
- Offer payment plans
- Offer hearing packages that can include three to five years of follow-up care, a clean and check service, and a repair service
- Warranties for loss and damage
Jacobs Audiology offers you our expertise, meticulous practices, use of current technology, and compassion. If you choose us for your hearing treatment, we promise we’ll make sure you get the best care in Maryland.
How to Treat Your Hearing in Maryland
I hope this list of hearing treatment options has helped you understand what you can choose from. If you have any more questions about any of the options I’ve listed, feel free to give us a call.
I truly don’t believe hearing can be treated properly without an accurate hearing test. No matter what you end up choosing, book a hearing test with us first to make sure you know exactly what your hearing needs are.
Good luck with your research, and we hope we get to meet you soon.