Your Guide to Simple Hearing
A comprehensive knowledge base of resources and information to help you along your path to improved hearing health.
A comprehensive knowledge base of resources and information to help you along your path to improved hearing health.
To Make an Informed Decision
Hearing aids are small electronic devices worn in that ear that let people who have experienced hearing loss live their lives to the fullest. Today’s hearing aids are not the same bulky, obtrusive devices you may remember from the past. Most hearing aids now are digital, discreet, and can be controlled by advanced technology like the Signia smartphone app.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 28.8 million adults in the U.S. would benefit from using a hearing aid. Unfortunately, the majority of those people don’t actually use one.
So, how do hearing aids work? No matter how modern, hearing aids still have three basic components:
All of which work together to amplify sounds so you can better hear them. The microphone’s job is to receive sounds. The amplifier converts the sounds into electronic or digital signals, which are then amplified to meet your specific needs, and delivered to your ear through the speaker.
Learn more about how hearing aids work.
The most substantial advances in hearing aids over the past decade is that they have become digitized—and as a result, more user-friendly, unobtrusive, and high quality.
One of the most meaningful advancements that digitization has allowed is the capacity for hearing aids to connect with smartphones via Bluetooth. This allows customers to adjust their hearing devices in real time, right from their phones. For example, if you are in a crowded environment such as a restaurant, you can change the setting on your hearing aid instantly to reduce background noise and focus on speech, using the Lively app.
Telehealth is another advancement that has broadened access to hearing aids and fueled the advancement of hearing aid technology.
CHOOSING A HEARING AID
Hearing aids come in many different of types and styles. Your audiologist can help you determine which type of hearing aid will work best for you based on the extent of your hearing loss, your age, how comfortable you are with new technology, and your budget.
Although it was once common to use hearing devices that use older, analog technology, today most hearing aids make use of state-of-the-art digital technology. Analog hearing aids simply amplify an existing sound, while digital hearing aids turn the sound into a digital signal that can be programmatically altered to fit different sound environments.
Hearing aid styles also vary. The most popular style is a behind-the-ear style, where the receiver is placed in the ear canal and the processing component is placed behind the ear.
Other style options include in-the-ear hearing aids, where the entire hearing aid is placed in the outer ear; and canal aids, which are placed directly into the ear canal.
Bluetooth hearing aids are one of the most convenient developments in hearing space. Bluetooth hearing aids work exactly like any other Bluetooth device, where the device is “paired” with another device such as an iPhone or Android smartphone.
Bluetooth allows customers to adjust their hearing aid settings through their smartphone or other smart devices, usually through an app. Some Bluetooth hearing aids, like those that Lively offers, also allow customers to listen to cell phone calls or stream their favorite music or television shows directly to the hearing aid, which can increase the quality of sound as well as minimizing background noise and distractions.
Simple’s hearing aids connect to your phone with Bluetooth, allowing you to adjust the settings through an app.
There are no “best” hearing aids, but there are some that work best for you and your unique needs.
Determining the best hearing aids for you depends on several factors, all of which determine which hearing aid will provide what you’re looking for. Factors that many people consider include:
The balance of the above factors will help you decide which hearing aid is best for you. At Lively, we’ve spoken with thousands of people with hearing loss, and offer a bundle that has everything you need for better hearing and can be personalized to match exactly what you’re looking for.
Lively hearing aids are for people with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. They are a behind-the-ear model with a small, discreet speaker placed inside your ear canal. All the features, including volume and the selection of different settings that make it easier to hear in different environments, are operated through the Lively app on your smartphone, so you can make adjustments with the swipe of a finger. Our app also includes a convenient “find my hearing aid” feature, so you never need to worry about losing them around the house.
Once you determine that Lively is right for you and make your purchase, your hearing aids will arrive in three days or less, because Lively usually ships the same day they are purchased.
On the day of delivery, you’ll receive a call from a trained customer service representative who will walk you through what is in your Lively shipment box. They will also give you one-on-one instruction on how to download the app and use it with your hearing aids.
After that, within the same week of delivery, we will schedule your first video call with your Lively audiologist, who will answer questions about how your hearing aids are performing, determine if any adjustments are needed, and will answer any further questions you have. Follow-up appointments with an audiologist are available 7 days a week for three years, included in the price of your purchase.
SHOPPING FOR HEARING AID
Hearing aids are usually sold by health care professionals: audiologists or hearing aid dispensers. Although it isn’t always necessary to visit the office of an audiologist or other hearing specialist, it’s usually advised that you receive an audiologist-approved hearing test and consultation before purchasing. This way, you can be sure that your new device is addressing your particular hearing deficit.
These days, this can happen just as easily online as in person at a doctor’s office—with Lively you can receive a hearing assessment in just five minutes.
Wondering how to find hearing aids near you? Never fear, there are several ways that you can purchase. The largest market for hearing aid purchases is actually “big box” stores like Costco. The problem with purchasing from these stores is, of course, that, while they offer technicians to help with fit, they don’t always offer the assistance of specially trained audiology doctors. A doctor can help select the device that works best for your unique hearing loss needs and properly tune and adjust it for you.
Other options for purchasing hearing aids include doctor’s offices, audiologists’ offices, and hearing aid dispensers. Purchasing online from a company like Lively is a newer and increasingly popular option, and has many benefits, including reduced cost and the ability to connect with professional audiologists from the convenience of your own home.
In 2017, a federal law was passed that allows the FDA to ease its rules regarding the purchase of hearing aids, paving the way for over the counter hearing aids to become more widely available to the general public.
In the past, hearing aids could only be dispensed by a licensed hearing care professional such as an audiologist. OTC devices do not have those requirements—no appointment with a hearing professional will be needed to purchase over the counter hearing aids.
It’s important to understand, however, that over the counter hearing aids are not for people with severe hearing loss. These devices require more intervention and monitoring from licensed healthcare professionals. Additional issues include the lack of access to an audiologist, lack of insight into hearing loss patterns, no adjustments after purchase, and problems with self-tuning.
Direct to consumer devices, however, are a more established option. These hearing aids, like those offered by Lively, are pre-tuned to enhance hearing frequencies—providing a great hearing experience even at a crowded restaurant or a concert. Unlike over the counter hearing aids, the settings are adjusted with help from experienced audiologists.
Additionally, you can also customize Lively hearing aids further, beyond the original settings, by downloading their easy-to-use app to control their settings to fit their surroundings. And should you run into any trouble, you can schedule a video call with your audiologist — something no OTC hearing aid offers.
Buying hearing aids online is a great option for someone looking for a cost-effective option and who wants the convenience and ease of purchasing online. If you are looking to buy online, you should make certain that the retailer you’re purchasing from is reputable, experienced, and has licensed professionals on staff.
Here are a few more key points to keep in mind when shopping for hearing aids:
Simple’s hearing test is easy to do online — and it only takes 5 minutes to get your results.
Hearing aids take a little getting used to and it’s very common to have questions as you adjust to living with your new devices.
If you’re not sure if they are working correctly, consider the following:
Whenever you purchase a new product, you want to hear what other customers are saying about their experience. As you look at various hearing aid reviews, there are a few factors to keep in mind:
PAYING FOR HEARING AIDS
The average cost of hearing aids varies greatly, but are commonly $2,300 per ear, while the highest priced hearing aids cost between $4,000-$6,000 per ear.
Most hearing aid pricing includes not only the hearing devices themselves, but the initial consultation, fittings, and follow-up help. Many hearing aids have warranties, although some only last one year. When buying, it’s important to understand whether these additional services are included in the overall cost, or if you’ll be paying for them separately.
Above all else, audiologists recommend making sure that you’re buying a quality device. Your hearing aid is something you’ll be wearing every day, so you want to make sure it works well with your lifestyle, feels comfortable, improves your quality of life, and endures for several years.
While the cost of hearing aids may at first sound high, when you consider the sophistication of the technology and the precision necessary for custom small-scale digital electronics, the associated costs start to make more sense.
There are a few reasons why high-quality devices are sometimes more expensive than customers initially expect. The first is that the clinics have high costs—overhead that includes staff and facility costs—and those costs get passed along to the consumer.
Another reason hearing aids are sometimes more expensive than you might expect is that they are often sold in small volumes. For example, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, roughly 1.7 million hearing aids are manufactured annually—in stark contrast to the hundreds of millions of smartphones that are manufactured each year. Because of these smaller numbers, each consumer needs to pay for more of the R&D, overhead, and additional operating expenses. Additionally, each clinic sells to relatively few new patients — about twenty per month. This means that they have limited ability to negotiate large purchase discounts with manufacturers.
This, however, is what makes Lively so exciting—because Lively sells hearing aids online directly to those with hearing loss, overhead costs are kept low. With Lively, you’ll get a pair of high-quality hearing devices, with the functions you need, at a fraction of the cost of most comparable technology.
Unfortunately, most of the time, hearing aids are not covered by insurance, although some insurance companies will cover a portion or percentage of the cost. If your insurance is provided by Medicaid, your child under the age of 21 will have the cost of hearing aids fully covered. Medicare, however, doesn’t cover the cost of hearing devices themselves but will cover the cost of a hearing evaluation if it’s been ordered by a physician. Even in the unlikely event that your insurance does cover hearing aids, there are often unfortunate restrictions that limit the kinds available to you. Many find that they are not able to find the features or functions they require. Additionally, insurance is not accepted by most direct-to-consumer companies like Lively (although many find that paying Lively’s prices is much better than paying the bill their insurance company may stick them with.)
You may, additionally, be able to use your flexible spending account (FSA) to cover some of the costs. You should always check with your individual plan to discuss coverage options for hearing aid insurance.
The price of a pair Simple hearing aids starts at $1,850 — for both ears together. You can pay at once, or choose a convenient and flexible payment plan for as little as $60 per month, depending on your plan. When you buy from Lively, you aren’t just getting a hearing aid. Instead, your package includes:
Besides using your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for the purchase, or considering a payment plan, you do have several options for making the cost work for your budget. Buying online is a great option, as many retailers such as Lively offer hearing aids for significantly less than you would pay at a traditional office.
THE SIMPLE DIFFERENCE
Simple is on a mission to democratize, simplify and de-stigmatize the adoption and use of technically advanced hearing aids, so that more people with hearing loss can live their lives to the fullest.
We offer powerful, nearly-invisible hearing aids and at-home audiologist care, all for 50% less than the national average. Simple devices can be purchased from your home, making initial consultation, set-up, and follow-up appointments a snap.
To put it simply: Simple is one of the most convenient and budget-friendly ways to purchase hearing aids. Here’s what you get when you decide to buy from Simple:
Once you have decided you are interested in learning more about Simple, it’s time to get started!
Your first step will be to either upload a hearing test from your doctor or take a free online hearing assessment. The Simple online hearing test takes approximately five minutes and, after you finish the test, you’ll receive a prompt follow-up call if the audiologist reviewing your test results has any questions.
You are a good candidate for Simple if your tests show that you have mild to moderately severe hearing loss. If it’s determined that you are a good candidate, but you are unsure if you are ready to purchase from Simple, you can easily contact us to discuss your options and concerns. During a consultation, you can discuss your experience of hearing loss, including what hearing difficulties you are having, how bothersome your hearing loss is, and how hearing loss is impacting your quality of life, so that you can make an informed decision about your purchase.
Simple customers are enthusiastic about the products as well as their experience — here’s what they have to say!
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