If you have hearing loss, you may have already realized the challenges consumers face when trying to research treatment options. Hearing loss that is sensorineural and in the moderate to severe range is not considered to be a medical issue that necessitates coverage by the majority of insurance companies. Paying out of pocket is the norm, despite the current research showing extensive links between untreated hearing loss and a wide range of health issues. Exploring each potential option is an important part of the process.
It’s important to note:
- There is no cure for sensorineural hearing loss, so treatment will be ongoing
- Untreated hearing loss impacts your safety and your health
- Experts agree that a consistent hearing solution is the best option
When people learn they have hearing loss, hearing aids are often quickly suggested as the treatment option. Hearing aids are typically sold and fit by the audiologist or hearing aid dispenser that tests your hearing. While a hearing aid can provide much-needed improvement for many, some people experience too many drawbacks with the technology. As hearing declines, the hearing aid needs to be worn as much as possible, and this presents some additional daily challenges.
It’s less common for people to learn about implantable solutions, as you have to locate a surgeon that works with the particular technology. In addition, those that sell hearing aids don’t typically work with surgically implantable options. When comparing an implantable solution (in this case, the Esteem hearing implant) with an external option (such as hearing aid), it’s important to put your own needs first and really look at costs in a comprehensive way.
How much do the periods of not hearing cost you?
- Competence in your job or career
- Additional risk to your safety and security
- Periods of anxiety or frustration while you don’t know what’s going on
- Missed communication opportunities that affect your relationships with your spouse, children, grandchildren or family members
- Feelings of dependence, intermittent or frequent
- Lost moments, like hearing the water when swimming or boating, the wind when biking or waking up to the sounds of the day
- Personal growth and holding back from what you want to do
How much does hassle cost you?
- External options require maintenance. Daily cleaning, drying out overnight and replacement batteries can be a hassle. Ear wax is a constant issue and can get lodged in the tubes and it takes time, and sometimes a visit with a professional to clean it out.
- External options can become damaged or lost and microphone fidelity needs to be adjusted every few months to stay consistent.
- If you have a tight schedule, the time these various hassles cost you may create additional stress.
- The time spent thinking about and managing your hearing loss is ongoing when using an external option.
How much does comfort cost you?
- External options are worn in the ear canal all of the time, some people experience soreness at the end of the day and challenges with sweat.
- If you need to remove the aid to give your ear a break, you don’t hear.
- With an implantable solution, there is nothing in the ear canal to cause discomfort
What does having visible hearing loss cost you?
We are all different, some more open and others more private.
- Does it bother you that people know you have hearing loss or can see your hearing loss solution?
- Would it be worth it to you to have something no one could see?
- Do you care whether it can be seen or not?
What does your time cost?
- An implanted solution will require less time because and doesn’t have the external wear and tear issues.
- Implantable solutions require less hassle and have a “set it and forget it” quality.
- External solutions are not designed to be long-term and leave the patient to care for the device, and also think about the next hearing aid they’ll buy and what option they might choose when it needs to be replaced.
There is always more than one solution for you to consider when you have hearing loss and you should take time to explore options and really understand what the best solution might be. While costs laid out in dollars and cents are important to compare, they shouldn’t take precedence over everything. Take your time and explore the same options you would with any important and long-term investment that is vital to your day-to-day functioning.
If you’d like more information about the Esteem hearing implant, please contact us.