If you or a loved one is seeking treatment for hearing loss, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of options available. When researching the best options, you may find conflicting information from various sources. With so much information available, it’s understandable to feel uncertain about the best path forward.
Hearing loss affects a significant number of Canadians, with predictions indicating that the number of cases will continue to rise in the coming years. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, know that you’re certainly not alone.
And that’s exactly why we want to give you a comprehensive guide to all of your options as well as share an honest and unbiased viewpoint on the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Consider This When Evaluating Your Options
Before diving into the available options, it’s crucial to consider some essential factors that will influence your decision. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for hearing loss, as each individual’s needs are unique. Factors to take into account include:
- The specific degree and configuration of your hearing loss
- Your lifestyle and the environments you frequently encounter
- Your preference for face-to-face interactions or remote support
- Your budget and whether you are seeking a premium or cost-effective solution
- Your preference for a local company or a larger corporation
With these considerations in mind, let’s explore the different treatment options for hearing loss.
Available Options for Treating Hearing Loss
There are many options to choose from depending on your budget, needs, and circumstances. These options range from low to high budget and include:
- Earphones and cellphone apps [$0-$250]
- PSAPs (personal sound amplification products) [$79-$1250]
- Online hearing aids with audiological remote support [$1850-$2400]
- Hearing aids from big-box retail stores [$1250-$4000]
- Treatment from an audiology clinic [$2500-$7500]
- Hearing loss surgery (cochlear implants) [$30,000-$50,000]
Although they all offer some level of help for hearing loss, they are totally different solutions. Let’s explore each option in more detail.
Earphones and Cellphone Apps
If you have little to no budget and require amplification of sound only 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, providing increased hearing ability.
While they are cost-effective, they are limited, and they are only suitable for environments with minimal background noise. You’ll need to use your headphones and sit in a specific position for the apps to work. They don’t address your specific hearing challenges, and you won’t get support from a team of dedicated hearing health professionals.
PSAPs (Personal Sound Amplification Products)
PSAPs are amplification tools available online or in stores. They have a small, built-in microphone and amplify all sounds. They offer a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
While they are cost-effective, they do come with some drawbacks. These devices lack tailored testing, support, and warranties. If you only have very mild hearing loss and want an option that’s easy to purchase, PSAPs may be a viable option for you.
Online Hearing Aids With Audiological Remote Support
Some companies offer online hearing aids with audiological support, providing convenience and access to online hearing technology and hearing care. However, online assessments may not be entirely accurate, and remote support may not address other potential hearing loss causes. Additionally, in-person support and insurance utilization are limited.
If you’re looking for a convenient option and don’t want to visit a doctor, this may be a good option depending on your level of hearing loss. The hearing technology is developed by reputable manufacturers, they’re easy to purchase online, and they usually come with some sort of money-back guarantee.
Big-Box Retail Stores
Retail stores offer professional hearing aids with in-person fittings and warranties. While this is an improvement over online options, the service may have longer waiting times and limited ongoing support. Also, insurance coverage may not be an option.
Big-box stores like Costco do require you to have a hearing assessment to understand your level of hearing loss. They offer their own brand of hearing aids plus technology from some reputable manufacturers. Depending on where you purchase your hearing aids, you’ll receive a warranty of one to three years.
Keep in mind that if you lose or damage your devices, you may be without them for some time. And you won’t get the same level of follow-up support and care that you will when you work with a traditional hearing clinic.
Working With a Local Clinic
Visiting a local hearing care clinic is the “traditional” approach. A local hearing clinic offers comprehensive and advanced hearing assessments, customized technology options, and ongoing in-person support. Insurance can often be used, and payment plans may be available.
When you work with a dedicated team of hearing care professionals, your overall hearing health is prioritized, and you receive a more personalized and comprehensive experience. You’ll have professional help in the event that your hearing aids need repairs, cleanings, or adjustments. Usually, you’ll be able to book an appointment within two weeks or less. The biggest drawback to working with a local clinic is that you may have to go in person for multiple appointments.
Hearing Loss Surgery (Cochlear Implants)
Hearing Loss Surgery (Cochlear Implants)
For individuals suffering from severe hearing loss, cochlear implants may be an option. Cochlear implants involve the surgical implantation of a device into your cochlea to replace your cochlea’s function. While effective, they are costly and require specific candidacy evaluations. Usually, they’re recommended for patients who haven’t received benefits from traditional hearing aids.
Cochlear implants may be covered partially or completely by insurance; however, there are other costs associated with the procedure. Before you can begin your cochlear implant journey, you’ll need to be deemed an appropriate candidate.
I hope the above information helps you understand the options that are available to you. The ideal treatment option for hearing loss depends on your unique needs, circumstances, and preferences, and there isn’t one solution that’s right for everyone.
Considering your individual level of hearing loss, your lifestyle, and your budget will help you make an informed decision. If you’re unsure, consult a trusted hearing care professional who can provide personalized guidance.
If you’d like to chat with a trusted hearing care professional and receive personalized advice, then you can “Request a Callback” below, or you can call us at:
Our job is to understand your situation and make a recommendation that is right for you. We’re always here to help.