At Hearing Help Express we offer a free on demand hearing health assessment and the support of Hearing Health Specialists. Our Hearing Health Specialists are here to help you determine your level of hearing loss, provide personalized recommendations and ensure you are able to get the most out of your hearing aid.
Now that you've identified that you are experiencing hearing loss and your level of loss, let's get started on reviewing all that you need to know to help you aid your hearing. Luckily, the most common way to treat hearing loss is with hearing aids. Hearing aids can be nearly unnoticeable and fully equipped to provide you a natural listening experience.
How is hearing loss measured?
There are a few ways to measure hearing loss. A hearing loss professional (doctor, licensed hearing instrument dispenser, audiologist) can perform clinical and very precise measurements of your level of hearing. However, for a large percentage of people with hearing loss, we recommend a hearing self-test. Frequently, a few simple questions about your day-to-day hearing can help us to align your hearing loss with the proper solution.
Experienced hearing aid users typically have a good idea of how advanced their hearing loss is. They might benefit from a review of their hearing status if it’s changed, but mostly, they know what they’re experiencing. If it’s been a while since they first tried hearing aids, they likely know which devices work best for them as well.
New hearing aid users are usually aware of their hearing loss as well, but not sure how to categorize it. Furthermore, people typically address their hearing loss just as it becomes a nuisance. For most people in this stage of the hearing loss journey, an online hearing assessment might be sufficient. The Hearing Help Express online hearing assessment at the top of this page is a great example. It can help a new or experienced user to narrow down what type of hearing aid may be suited for their level of hearing loss.
Degrees of hearing loss
Hearing Health experts like to focus on 4 basic levels: mild, moderate, severe, or profound. Mild hearing loss is commonly when people start to notice that their hearing loss is not temporary. We find that this is where hearing loss begins to impact their life, and when they start looking at options to address it. Explore hearing aids for mild hearing loss.
Moderate hearing loss is a natural progression from mild, and many of the devices geared toward mild hearing loss can also help with moderate hearing loss. For most people, hearing loss continues to increase as they age, and this is an early, middle stage of hearing loss. Explore hearing aids for moderate hearing loss.
Severe hearing loss probably includes the largest group of experienced hearing aid users. By the time the loss is severe, they have likely gone through one or more hearing aids. Explore hearing aids for severe hearing loss.
Profound hearing loss is the stage just before deafness. If you’re in this category, folks are quite familiar with hearing loss, and only the most powerful hearing aids will help. Explore hearing aids for profound hearing loss.
Since people don’t usually wait until their hearing loss is profound to start working on it, they don’t need the most powerful hearing aids.
Signs of hearing loss
Probably the most obvious sign of hearing loss is when you (or others) notice that you ask people to repeat themselves a lot. Higher-pitched voices (women and children) tend to be the most difficult. When you begin completely missing out on conversations, or have trouble locating sounds in a noisy environment, those are pretty strong signs.
If you miss phone calls because you didn’t hear the ring, you might not find out until someone mentions that they tried to call you. Or, if you turn up the volume on the television or radio so loud that others can’t enjoy it with you, it may have taken a few years for it to gradually get this loud, so you might not notice.
Side effects of not treating hearing loss
Ignoring hearing loss has lots of side effects, but there are two that stand out as significant. First, more and more research shows that hearing loss can make other health issues worse. There’s a connection between hearing loss and dementia, for example. One theory is that the brain needs to work harder to make sense of sounds when hearing loss is involved. That leaves less brain power to address other things.
Second, relationships are harder to maintain when communication is difficult. A person with hearing loss is likely to feel isolated, and avoid social situations where they’ll have difficulty understanding or responding to others. But it’s not always a crowded, noisy restaurant. If your television is too loud for your spouse most of the time, or if your best friend doesn’t call as much because each phone conversation is an ordeal, these are some possible consequences of ignoring your hearing loss.
Hearing loss treatment
We know that 48 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss. Only a small percentage of those have hearing loss caused by trauma or from a malformation of the ear. The overwhelming majority have the opportunity to improve their hearing.
The most direct and obvious way to treat hearing loss is with hearing aids. We recommend FDA-listed, 100% digital hearing aids - not amplifiers. Hearing aids are intended to correct hearing loss, while amplifiers are simply intended to boost volume. Whether you do a self-assessment, speak with one of our Hearing Health Advisers, or send in an audiogram, the first step is to understand your hearing loss. The treatment path falls into place after that.
What is a hearing aid?
A hearing aid is a device that helps a person to overcome hearing loss. Modern hearing aids use sophisticated digital technology to do much more than simply amplify the signal. The goal for hearing aid engineers is to restore hearing back to as natural as possible.
How do hearing aids help with hearing loss?
Modern, digital hearing aids take existing sounds and enhance it. This can mean making a particular sound louder, a different one softer, or to remove noise without compromising voices, taking all of the low end out of the sound signal to make it easier to have a conversation in a busy restaurant.
These adjustments are done automatically, as new sound information comes through the hearing aid microphones. In fact, some digital hearing aids have directional microphones which can help a person to locate the source of a sound.
Where hearing loss is a degradation of natural hearing, hearing aids help to restore natural hearing.
Are there different styles of hearing aids?
ITE hearing aids fit into the ear canal and a bit in the ear bowl. Because of their tiny size, they usually take smaller batteries. That means that ITE hearing aids are best for mild or moderate hearing loss, where natural sound is more important than power.
BTE hearing aids rest on the back of the ear with a tube connecting the electronics to an eartip that fits discreetly inside the ear canal. From the front or sides, BTE hearing aids with slim tubing are very difficult to see. Even from behind, they’re nearly unnoticeable.
For more severe hearing loss, the standard tubing is just slightly more visible, but allows more sound to flow through it. This is the logical option for people who need a powerful hearing aid. Even with the increase in power, digital technology can still provide a mostly natural hearing experience.
Do all hearing aids work the same way?
The basic functions of hearing aids are basically the same, but every different model has its unique features. All FDA-listed hearing aids are intended to treat hearing loss, but different styles are designed for specific hearing loss dimensions. There are also personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) that can look very similar to hearing aids. They do what you’d expect - make sounds louder. The FDA clarifies that PSAPs are not intended to treat hearing loss, but simply to help anyone to enhance sounds in certain circumstances. These are not cheap hearing aids, but rather a completely different product with a different intended use. Further, many PSAPs do not use digital technology.
There are also inexpensive, analog hearing aids that might look very similar to legitimate, FDA-listed, digital hearing aids. Analog technology does not have the ability to model or clean up sound the same way a digital hearing aid can. Digital hearing aids adjust to sounds as they happen, intelligently. Analog hearing aids may allow you to change the volume, but the sound depends on how it was programmed initially.
What type of hearing aid is best for me?
The right type of hearing aid depends on a few factors:
1. How far along is your hearing loss?
Regardless of your experience with hearing aids, you’ll want to learn more about your hearing loss to determine which range of hearing aids is suitable for you. Evaluate your hearing loss by taking our online hearing assessment.
2. Which style of hearing aid do you prefer?
If you have mild-to-moderate hearing loss, you have the widest range of options, including ITE or BTE hearing aids. If your hearing loss is severe or profound, you’ll likely need to stick with BTE options. From there, you can choose from a number of features and accessories to further tailor your experience. Shop all hearing aids.
3. What’s your budget for hearing aids?
Keep in mind that insurance and other medical assistance options don’t usually cover hearing aids. This was the initial reason that our company was created - people needed help with hearing but couldn’t afford the astronomical costs associated with visiting a doctor or audiologist. We now offer FDA-listed hearing aids starting at $299 each.
What are the newest types of hearing aids?
Digital hearing aids are the latest and most popular type of hearing aids. We’ve taken digital to another level by adding options to enhance natural hearing by combining an external microphone option to our Felix series. The “companion mic” can be placed in the middle of a table to help block out noise and focus on the conversations you want to hear. Or, set it in front of the television so you can leave the volume at a lower level and still hear it.
Matched with some of our best hearing aid technology in the Felix line, the companion mic is a game-changer.
Hearing Aid Technology
Once you’ve determined the proper style, power level, and price, you’ll need to know what technology options you have. All Hearing Help Express hearing aids are 100% digital, the technology is developed in the US, and all models include volume adjustment.
From there, there are various levels of feedback cancelation, noise reduction, and channels to process sound. Some devices offer voice prompts, which alert you to a low battery or reaching the top of the volume adjustment range. Some offer a telephone setting that makes talking over the phone a breeze. And some models are designed to assist with tinnitus.
Hearing aid fitting
Traditional hearing aid fitting is done in a doctor’s office, where you make an appointment, wait, check in, wait, see the doctor and take some hearing tests. Then, when you’ve determined what type of device you’ll need, they charge an average of $2300 per hearing aid.
At Hearing Help Express, we can get you fitted over the phone, or even by email or chat. Our process doesn’t require you to leave your home, and you’ll have a 45-day trial period in which you can try and get used to your new hearing aids before you commit to purchasing them.
What questions should I ask before buying a hearing aid?
Anyone who has reached the point of wanting to improve their hearing loss should ask the following:
- Are these hearing aids FDA-listed?
- Is this company established, or a startup with no track record?
- Does the company offer free support?
- What kind of warranty and service plans are available?
- Does the company have an in-house repair and cleaning lab?
- Is there human support available?
- Does the company stand behind their products?
How much do hearing aids cost?
The industry average for a single hearing aid is $2300. Consumer Reports found that their readers paid more than $2600 per hearing aid. While we understand the value of hearing as well as anyone, it seems excessive to charge the same amount as a fully-loaded 82” smart TV for a single hearing aid.
Worse yet, the cost could prevent some folks from getting the help they desperately need. Either way, we highly recommend doing your research, and deciding if a retail or doctor’s office hearing aid is $2000 better than a $299 digital hearing aid from Hearing Help Express.
Will insurance cover my hearing aids?
Most insurance plans do not cover hearing aids in our experience. You should contact your insurance provider to find out if they have a reimbursement policy.
How can I get financial support for hearing aids?
There are programs available to assist with purchasing hearing aids. At Hearing Help Express, we offer very competitive prices on medical-grade, FDA-listed hearing aids. We also offer payment plans available to make sure anyone has access to improved hearing.
How do I get hearing aids?
The simplest way to get hearing aids is to order them online from a reputable company, like Hearing Help Express. Start by assessing your hearing loss level, or talking to one of our Hearing Health Advisors to understand your hearing needs. Then, select a style and the features you want. Finally, you can order over the phone or directly on the website, and your new hearing aids will be mailed right to your front door.
Where can I buy cheap hearing aids?
You can buy them right here on our website. However, we prefer “inexpensive hearing aids” over “cheap hearing aids” to describe our devices. Referring only to the prices, you could say our hearing aids are cheap. If you’re talking about quality and technology, “cheap” is definitely the wrong word to describe them.
Our 100% digital, medical-grade hearing aids are high-quality devices at incredible prices. When you combine the quality, technology, support, and price, our hearing aids are the best hearing aid value in America.
Will I hear better right away?
Some people can plug in a new hearing aid and benefit right away, but for many, it takes a little time to retrain their brains to hear. With hearing loss, certain sound signals are no longer sent to the brain. When they are able to get through again, it can be a little difficult to process everything.
How can I adjust to my hearing aid?
Our Hearing Health Advisors note that buying a hearing aid is the first step, but committing to improving your hearing is the most important step. With Hearing Help Express, you’re not just buying a product, but also a proven process for hearing improvement. The hearing aid is the instrument, but ongoing communication with our Hearing Health Advisors is also very important. With your commitment and their guidance, you’ll have everything you need to adjust quickly.
How can I care for my hearing aids?
Always keep in mind that hearing aids are sophisticated electronic devices in a very tiny package. We design them to be tough enough to withstand daily wear and tear, but maintenance and cleaning are very important. Extend the life of your hearing aid by starting a daily cleaning routine early and sticking with it. If you don’t create a routine, there’s still hope! We offer professional cleaning plans that put your hearing aid maintenance in the hands of our professionals. Read more about our cleaning plan here.
No matter how well you maintain them, accidents can always happen. Manufacturing issues are covered under the warranty, but if you want to safeguard against drops, spills, dunks, or crunches, you should consider a protection plan.
With a service plan, you mail your broken hearing aid to us, and we fix it and send it back. It’s that simple. Our plans cover pretty much everything except loss, and we don’t ship out our service work. We have a cleaning lab right here in our building and technicians on staff.
What research is being done on hearing aids?
Our parent company, IntriCon, is continually looking at ways to improve our existing product line and developing new technology. Lots of research lately has been done around the idea of buying hearing aids without visiting a doctor or audiologist in their office. In this study by our own Dr. Sergei Kochkin (read the full study here), he shows that people who buy less-expensive, high-quality hearing aids by mail are more satisfied with their purchase.
Where can I find additional information about hearing aids?
There are many excellent resources for more information on hearing aids and hearing health. On this site, you can read more about hearing health here, and about hearing aids to match any hearing requirements here. You can see our entire line of hearing aids here.
There are industry and medical websites that also offer information on hearing health. Here are some recommendations:
Do I really need hearing aids?
We can’t answer that for you, but we are here to support you if you decide that you do need hearing aids. We recommend that you do some sort of hearing assessment to learn about your level of hearing loss.
If an assessment shows that hearing aids can help you, remember that they may be helping more than just hearing. You may also be improving your social life and warding off other health issues by improving your hearing.