Posted by HearStore on Sep 4th 2018
In the first ever Visa Priceless ad, “a dad takes his son to a baseball game and pays for a hot dog and a drink, but the conversation between the two is priceless.” Though it has been over two decades since the “Priceless” Visa ads entered our collective consciousness, the message endures. There are just some things that money can’t buy.
When it comes to your hearing health, the same idea applies. It takes people an average of seven years from the time they first notice changes in their hearing to the time they decide to seek treatment. One reason may lie in the fact that hearing loss is invisible. If you’re having trouble with your vision, it is often more pressing to go get your vision tested and to get prescription lenses. With hearing loss, may people think they can push through and figure out different ways to accommodate their diminished hearing abilities.
One of the chief reasons for avoiding treatment is fiscal. Because hearing aids are not covered by insurance or Medicare, the price point for a pair of hearing aids could make them inaccessible to people who may need to use them. Indeed, hearing aids are costly, but their return on investment in your life is priceless. Here, we take a look at the benefits of treating hearing loss and review three of the top hearing aids under $1500.
The Real Cost of Hearing Loss
Untreated hearing loss affects almost every possible area of your life. On a personal level, people who struggle with untreated hearing loss are at higher risk for stress, anxiety, and depression. Because hearing loss affects speech recognition and makes conversations difficult, people who do not seek treatment tend to withdraw from their most important relationships. Overtime, avoidance and a breakdown in communication could harm these relationships. Additionally, people with untreated hearing loss may experience a drop in self-esteem and self-confidence, due to difficulties with communication and processing environmental sounds. This could affect one’s performance in the workplace; studies have found that people with untreated hearing loss earn less than colleagues with normal hearing and colleagues who treat their hearing loss with hearing aids.
Physically speaking, untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher rate for accidents and falls, as well as problems with personal safety (not hearing car horns or alarms, etc.). One study from Finland found that people with untreated hearing loss have a more limited “life space,” meaning they do not travel very far from their homes. This could affect one’s quality of life, affecting mental and physical well-being, as well as one’s sense of independence.
Perhaps the biggest issue related to hearing loss is the long-term effect on one’s cognitive abilities. Untreated hearing loss as been linked to dementia in countless studies. It is believed that when the brain receives unclear audio signals, due to complications in the auditory process, the brain must work harder to make sense of sounds. As a result, this creates a heavier cognitive load, which could increase the risk for developing dementia over time. The brain must put more of its resources into making sense of sounds, which detracts from other processes, from movement to memory.
In a 2015 New York Times piece, “Hearing Loss Costs Far More Than Ability to Hear,” a psychologist named Mark Hammel recounts his experience of his first pair of hearing aids, after decades of living with hearing loss: “It was very joyful, but also very sad, when I contemplated how much I had missed all those years. I could hear well enough sitting face to face with someone in a quiet room, but in public, with background noise, I knew people were talking, but I had no idea what they were saying. I just stood there nodding my head and smiling. Eventually, I stopped going to social gatherings. Even driving, I couldn’t hear what my daughter was saying in the backseat. I live in the country, and I couldn’t hear the birds singing. People with hearing loss often don’t realize what they’re missing. So much of what makes us human is social contact, interaction with other human beings. When that’s cut off, it comes with a very high cost.”
The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
The good news: you don’t have to live with untreated hearing loss. And, despite all the looming doom and gloom around untreated hearing loss, there is a very simple fix: treatment with the prescription of hearing aids.
Treating hearing loss with hearing aids bring significant benefits to your overall health and well-being. With improved communication, you can continue to maintain healthy relationships with your loved ones. In the workplace, people who treat their hearing loss with the use of hearing aids have higher earning power ($5,000 to $6,000 a month) than people who do not seek treatment. Studies have found that people who do treat their hearing loss with the use of hearing aids perform better on cognitive tests than those who do not.
Top Hearing Aids Under $1500
Hearing aids come in different models offering diverse features to support your hearing process. Currently, some of the best hearing aids on the market are priced under $1500 through HearStore, which could put clear hearing within your reach!
Phonak Audeo BR-50
Audeo is one of Phonak’s most powerful hearing aids, powered by the Belong platform and designed as a response to consumer demand for a sleek and comfortable hearing aid. Audeo boasts improved wireless connectivity and user accessibility, as well as a rechargeable energy source. Features such as AutoSense OS and SoundRecover 2 provide wearers with clarity and focus, no matter the environment they are in. AutoSense OS analyzes sound every 0.4 seconds within your environment and processes them using over 200 different settings. Audeo provides wearers with 20% better speech understanding overall and 60% speech improvement in noisy settings. BR-50 hearing aids have a respectable 12 adjustment bands, giving the provider plenty of flexibility for programming the device(s). The B-R hearing aids also come with lithium-ion rechargeability for maximum convenience.
Get the Phonak BR-50 starting starting at $1449.
Signia (Charge & Go) 3Nx
Since its inception just a few years ago, Signia has proven itself as a game-changing manufacturer. The Signia Nx platform couples lasting features such as SpeechMaster and EchoShield with a brand-new voice-recognition feature to help wearers get accustomed more quickly to the hearing aid experience. With a new pair of hearing aids, wearers may take between one to three months to grow accustomed to the sound of their own voice. With Own Voice Processing, Nx hearing aids ensures a more natural listening experience with a shorter adjustment period. With wireless connectivity and HD Music, wearers experience a well-rounded picture of sound. Signia’s Pure Charge & Go Nx hearing aid is an excellent rechargeable option, using lithium-ion technology that charges while you sleep and ensures all-day listening. The 3Nx hearing aids come with 24 channels of adjustability, which is quite high for a mid-range product. This not only gives the professional a lot of flexibility in fitting, but also gives the wearer a lot of value for the money.
Get the Signia Charge & Go 3Nx starting at $1449.
Widex EVOKE 330
EVOKE from Widex is the “world’s first smart hearing aid,” which means that it makes automatic adjustments intuitively for the most natural listening experience. As with other “smart” devices, EVOKE learns from the different situations in you personalize your listening experience. In the long-term, this profile of your listening experience will support more personalized sound the longer you use EVOKE. Furthermore, preferences are saved by location, so when you return to a challenging noise environment, your EVOKE hearing aids will make automatic adjustments to ensure seamlessness. With trustworthy Widex features such as SoundSense Adapt and Fluid Sound Controller, wearers are guaranteed a satisfying experience in different sound environments. With a powerful processing platform, EVOKE is a smart and flexible option for different degrees of hearing loss. With 10 processing channels and a long list of available accessories, the Evoke 330s are a great choice for the budget-conscious consumer.
Get the Widex Evoke 330 starting at $1499.