Millions of people can be affected by hearing loss every year. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), that number is around 28.8 million adults. Receiving a hearing aid device can benefit these people and improve their hearing. However, not everyone chooses to use hearing aid devices. Most of the time people will put off seeking hearing loss treatment for a few reasons. One is due to the fact they believe it is either too expensive or their insurance may not cover it. Or it is the overwhelming fear of sitting down with an audiologist for fittings and follow-up care. However, most purchases can now be done online, which helps with the anxiety of other people knowing you even have one. Plus, getting them online is more convenient for patients who have limited access to transportation for doctor visits.
How to Choose the Best Hearing Aid for You
There are numerous types of hearing aids to choose from. For seniors or anyone looking to find the right hearing aid for them, you should first look at the online reviews. Also, compare the product specs, features, device types, and technology levels. You should also consult hearing aid experts and consider the costs involved. When choosing a hearing aid, consider the availability of modern features it provides, such as rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth connectivity. Make sure the seller is a licensed hearing professional and the devices are FDA-registered. Below are the top five Best Hearing Aids for active adults. These five make this list because they met all the recommendations for being the best.
1. Audicus Wave: Top Low-Cost Bluetooth Hearing Aid
Audicus is an affordable digital Bluetooth hearing aid company, available to seniors and individuals with some type of hearing loss. What makes Audicus a top hearing aid provider? They offer comparable low-cost products with many advanced features. Audicus is able to offer these hearing aids at competitive prices by offering them online and selling them directly to consumers via Audicus.com. Not all hearing aids are an “one size fits all” model, so Audicus provides free online hearing tests to determine the best fit. Individuals can upload their audiogram results to the website before purchasing the hearing aids. In addition, Audicus prides on having a team of experts ready to suit the needs of its buyers. Audicus also has clinics around the U.S., two being in NYC and Chicago. Audicus’ lowest price hearing aids models are fully digital, directional, noise suppressing and Bluetooth compatible. The Bluetooth device can be enabled through direct streaming. Compared to their competitors, there is no doubt that Audicus hearing aids are hard to beat.
2. Eargo: Best for Comfortable In-Ear Hearing Aids
Unlike many other hearing aid brands, Eargo is among the least visible and rechargeable hearing aids, offering completely-in-canal models. This brand is unique in its approach to inner-ear comfort and sound amplification. One of their features is the soft silicone earpieces, which are suspended within the ear canal rather than through a plug. Eargo hearing aids are for users with mild to moderate hearing loss. The Eargo is a far more breathable option for users, plus, Eargo’s Flexi earpieces fit deep inside the ear. This hides the hearing aid from view, so others do not even know a person has a hearing problem. Eargo offers several types of hearing aids to pick from with all being rechargeable while offering active noise cancellation and feedback reduction. Some may also provide different sizes, a wax guard, cleaning brush, USB plug, access to a mobile app, and an USB-C cable.
3. Starkey Hearing Technologies: Best for Assistive Technology
Founded in 1964, Starkley has been an American owned and operated brand, developing the most technological advances available for hearing aids. Starkley’s hearing aids advance the clarity of sound, which benefits many elderly individuals. There are several technological-advanced models, such as the Livio, Livio AI, and Livio AI Edge models. Each one helps seniors and all users to connect with the Thrive app, giving them better control over their hearing aids. These models also offer a live telehealth feature, connecting users to a licensed audiologist. If there are any problems with the hearing aid, they can remotely tune the hearing aids appropriately to solve any issues. A bonus feature includes fall detection; if a user does lose their balance, the proper authorities will be notified. All users receive a free online hearing test to determine which model or type fits their needs.
4. Lively: Best for Customer Experience
Lively is an online company, offering two types of hearing aids to seniors and anyone with hearing loss. Their hearing aids cost much less than their competitors while still providing top of the line products. The designs of Lively’s hearing aids are user-friendly and offer a free 3-year loss and damage coverage. Seniors can also use the Lively Mobile app, that connects its customers and trained audiologists remotely. This can help when customers enter a new environment or just need a tune up with the device. Users will also receive three years of follow-up care with a trained audiologist. The hearing aids from Lively also provide direct Bluetooth streaming. At this time, Lively only offers behind the ear hearing aid devices. Each hearing aid is programmed to fit the needs of each individual’s hearing loss care.
5. Horizon: Best Rechargeable Digital Hearing Aid
Horizon hearing aids are available through Hear.com and offer many benefits to the user. Each hearing aid is tested by experts in the field and brings the next level of performance care, unique to each user’s personal experience. The Horizon hearing aids are nearly invisible, and come with a small, portable charging case, which provides a full charge in less than four hours. Seniors who use the Horizon hearing aids will receive an unimaginable experience with complete speech clarity in any environment. Users can also stream TV shows, podcasts, audiobooks, and phone calls without additional devices. The hearing aids are also Bluetooth-enabled, perfectly designed for active seniors and adults with an on-the-go lifestyle. Horizon comes with a 45-day free trial.
How to Determine if You Need a Hearing Aid
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), hearing loss usually occurs when an individual is experiencing age-related damage to the sensory hair cells, located in the ears. Wearing a hearing aid can help seniors or older adults to manage this problem while helping you hear better. However, some people may not realize they have this problem or recognize you even need a hearing aid. Don’t worry.
To help determine if a hearing aid is right for you, here are some signs of hearing loss to watch for:
- Ringing in the ears.
- Difficulty hearing people over the phone.
- Trouble understanding conversations, especially when in loud or distracting environments.
- Constantly needing to turn up the volume on the TV or phone.
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
- Certain sounds seem harder to hear now more than before.
- Increased sensitivity to certain sounds.
For those who need to see a specialist to help determine hearing loss, an audiologist or otolaryngologist is suggested. An audiologist or otolaryngologist is one that performs one or more hearing tests to help patients with the loss of hearing. There are several types of tests available, according to a recent 2021 peer-reviewed article by WebMD. Here are the most common types of hearing tests.
- Weber hearing loss test: This test is done by using tuning forks to gently strike the forehead to determine which side is worse due to hearing loss.
- Audiogram hearing test: This is a behavioral hearing test. It is conducted in a soundproof booth where the patient will raise their hand or push a button to indicate when they hear sounds. Results are then plotted on an audiogram, identifying the frequencies which hearing is best.
- Rinne hearing test: This test also uses tuning forks. They are placed against the mastoid bones behind the ear when determining the point at which the patient can no longer hear.
- Tympanometry test: This is a device that tests the eardrum for stiffness, checking the functionality of the ear.
Quick Statistics About Hearing
- More than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents.
- Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss among adults aged 20-69, with the greatest amount of hearing loss in the 60 to 69 age group.
- One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.
- Men are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss among adults aged 20-69.
- Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing.
- Five out of 6 children experience ear infection (otitis media) by the time they are 3 years old.
- Among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, less than one in three (30 percent) have used them. Even fewer adults aged 20 to 69 (approximately 16 percent) who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them.