For the estimated 30 million people in this country with a hearing loss, acquiring the most suitable hearing aid is critical to enjoying life to its fullest. Hearing aids differ in design, amount of power, ease of handling and availability of special features. Our audiologists provide thorough hearing evaluations and will advise you on the hearing aid that best meets your needs.
We offer a wide range of hearing aid brands and styles:
BTE hearing aids include electronics that sit behind the ear, along with a molding that is in the ear. The two pieces are connected by a small hollow tube, or small tubing with a thin wire in it. This instrument comes in many sizes, depending on the degree of hearing loss and other listening needs.
CIC hearing aids are the smallest available and fit entirely in the ear canal. They may not be suitable for people with severe hearing loss or problems with dexterity.
Canal instruments are larger than CICs. They are contained in a small case that fits into the canal. They may not be suitable for people where retention or feedback are problems.
In-the-ear (ITE) instruments
With this hearing aid, all parts, which are a bit larger, are contained in the outer part of the ear. This style is usually suitable for virtually all degrees of hearing loss.
If you only have hearing in one ear
Other types of instruments are available. They are known as CROS or Bi-CROS hearing aids, and include devices on both ears--the one on the ear with poorer hearing transmits sound to the better-hearing ear.
Baha - Bone-anchored hearing assistive device
A Baha is a surgically implanted device designed to assist people with usable hearing in only one ear and/or for those unable to wear conventional hearing aids.
All hearing aids work similarly and include:
- A microphone to pick up sound.
- An amplifier to make sound louder.
- A miniature loudspeaker (receiver) to deliver the louder sound into the ear.
- Batteries to power the electric parts.
Some hearing aids also have earmolds (ear pieces) to control the flow of sound into the ear and help hold them in place.
How expensive are hearing instruments?
Hearing aids vary in price, depending on brand, style and features. Most quality hearing aids cost between $1,300 and $2,800 each. Some healthcare plans will cover the cost of the hearing test, hearing aid evaluation and even the hearing aid. Check with your health insurance company to find out exactly what your policy covers.
Gundersen provides a 45-day trial period on hearing aids we sell. If you decide to cancel your purchase during the trial period, there may be a non-refundable fitting charge.
Hearing aids cannot correct and restore normal hearing. Hearing aids should help you hear better, but not necessarily in all situations. Despite advances in hearing aid technology and good follow-up care, when there is loud background noise, hearing may still be difficult.
Hearing instrument tips
Hearing loss doesn't have to mean missing out on life. A properly fitted hearing instrument with appropriate instruction on how to use the device can help millions of people. The following step-by-step approach will help you find out if a hearing instrument will help you.
- See a certified and licensed Doctor of Audiology (AuD) to find out the type and extent of any hearing loss.
- Rule out any medical or surgical treatment for the hearing loss by contacting your personal physician or an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.
- Get a professional hearing instrument evaluation from a certified audiologist.
When purchasing the recommended hearing instruments, make sure you:
- Buy the recommended hearing instruments making sure you:
- Know why the hearing instruments were chosen.
- Receive a trial period.
- Know what kind of warranty comes with the instruments.
- Receive quality follow-up care.
- Carefully read any sales contract before signing.
- Attend all follow-up care sessions and follow the professional advice given to you.
- Keep your expectations for improvement realistic.
- Report all problems you have with communication, even if they seem minor. A simple adjustment in a hearing instrument can make a big difference in terms of communication. If there are situations that still are hard for you, ask your audiologist about techniques and/or listening devices that can be used with your hearing instruments to improve communications.