Best Hearing Aid Alternatives
Hearing aids are expensive. We are talking thousands of dollars, sometimes even with insurance. In addition, they may be overkill for the amount of hearing support you require.
Fortunately, there are hearing aid alternatives. You just need to know where to look and what to look for.
Hearing Aids are Not Covered by Medicare
One of the main problems is that hearing aids are not covered by Original Medicare. (Read this article to learn more, and how they are sometimes “covered” or subsidized by select Medicare Advantage plans.
Just as a refresher, Medicare Advantage Plans are private insurance plans (Medicare Part C) that are available to Medicare Beneficiaries in certain geographic areas. Some of them do have hearing care benefits.
So, What is a Low Cost Hearing Aid Alternative?
Before 2009, the only solution for procuring a hearing aid was through a doctor. In addition, to make matters worse, these solutions were (and still are) thousands of dollars.
Enter the PSAP…
What is a PSAP?
However, in 2009, a court decision finally allowed sales of OTC (over the counter) hearing aids. They changed the name of these “hearing aid alternatives” to Personal Sound Amplifier Products or PSAP.
What is the Difference Between a Hearing Aid and an Amplifier?
To be frank, the main difference between a hearing aid and a hearing amplifier is FDA regulation. To get a hearing aid, you will
- Need to see a doctor
- Go to follow up doctor visits
- Get a prescription
- Pay a lot of money, or have great insurance to help cover the cost.
To get an amplifier (PSAP), you just need to purchase one online. No doctor or prescription required. However, you may want to see a hearing specialist just to be sure your hearing loss is not connected to another condition.
How do Amplifiers Work?
Personal Sound Amplifiers are basically over-the-counter hearing aids. They “manage” noise around you and help you hear what is important, like the sound of voices directed at you. Some of them even have noise cancelling technologies. (Affiliate Link)
Our PSAP Brand Recommendation
One of the first, and still very popular, brands of PSAP’s is Otofonix. We recommend this brand, and our links for them are affiliate links. The company was started by an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor and the company has many different options and price points.
Otofonix has some limited time offers for our readers. They are listed here:
Otofonix is known for having great customer service, a 1 year warranty and a up to 45 day return window.
Hearing Health Tips for Improving and Protecting Hearing
Finally, we are ending our hearing aid alternatives article with a few tips for naturally improving hearing. They might not be a substitute for an amplifier or hearing aid, but they might make a difference.
To Start, Keep Your Ears Unclogged
There are multiple ways your ears can get plugged up. You could have an infection, allergies, pressure build-up (like from a plane ride), or even too much war wax.
I remember when my mom spent months not being able to hear and thinking she needed hearing aids. However, when she went to the doctor, they found out she just had a prolific amount of ear wax! After they drained her wax out, she could hear again.
There are ways to “irrigate” your own ear canal, but that also might be something to consult your doctor about. It is always a good idea to be safe and gentle your ears. (And stay away from putting things in your ears like cotton swabs.)
Finally, Prevent Further Hearing Loss
Hearing Loss Prevention is the Key to hearing health! Make sure you are protecting your hearing by:
- Wearing ear plugs when you know you will be experiencing loud sounds. For example, at a concert or fireworks show.
- Give yourself some quiet time. Your ears and brain work hard together to interpret sounds. Make sure to give them a break every once-and-a-while.
- Turn down the volume on the TV and on your music.
- Take care of your whole self. Exercise and a healthy diet will help to keep all your body’s systems in proper working order, including your ears.
- In addition, foods rich in magnesium may help bolster hearing health. Studies have been inconclusive in how other vitamins and minerals help hearing health.