What to do when you can't afford expensive hearing aids

I imagine there is many in here just like me, you’ve sat at a table with people all around you and you can hear them talk but can’t understand what they say. Its a terrible feeling. Especially when you can’t understand you grandkids unless ask them to speak up.

I’m 63 and for the past 10-15yrs I’ve had caption on my TV. Its not that I can’t hear words they just sound muffled. In person I can understand some people others I can’t I’ve often wondered if something is wrong with my brain understanding words and its not my hearing.

I went to Belltone once the aid they put in helped so I was thinking about getting it but no way I could spend $7,000. My income is very little($15,000/yr) so I would even hate to spend $500 on a aid that would not work/last years. I’ve read allot about people paying thousands of dollars only to have it go bad and they’re out that money, I can’t take that chance of wasting money, my hi-deductible insurance will not help I have to pay all cost.

So my question is, out of all the hundreds of aids out there is there any cheap aid that can help just a little. If I could hear half of what I’m missing it would be great. And if it fails after time I won’t be out more than a couple hundred $. Online there are some used ones selling, maybe that’s my best bet.

You can get a very good aid (and free hearing test) at Costco for $1700. I know that’s more than you want to pay, but assuming you live in the US, you have the opportunity to try it out for 180 days with the possibility of returning it and getting a full refund if you’re not satisfied. I think Costco may even have some less advanced aids for about $1000 for the pair. If you’re completely new to this, I’d shy away from trying to do it online.

tks for the reply. I have done allot of online research and I’ve already checked out Costco, I don’t have that kind of money. Maybe I’ll just buy a used one on ebay, a pair of used KIRKLAND KS661 RIC sold a few days ago for $200, details said the pair cost $4,500 new. Here’s the ebay link, was it a good buy?

Does Medicare help pay for HA? I’m not 65 yet so I can’t get medicare, if medicare helps pay for HA I’ll just have to wait until I’m 65.

The problem with buying aids like these online is that you need to make sure you get the right receivers for your hearing loss and that you get programmed for your hearing loss. I’m fuzzy on exactly which aids these are, but 1)they didn’t cost $4500 new, more like $2000. They might be similar to aids that cost $4500 new, but they didn’t cost that much. 2)I believe those aids would be “locked”, meaning they could only be programmed by Costco and you’d likely find it challenging to get Costco to program them. So, my take is No, they are not a good deal because there are so many ways they could end up being completely useless to you and you’d be out the money. There are potential ways to do better than Costco prices, but they’ll take research and knowledge to implement.

No it doesn’t.

At least go to Costco and get the free testing and post it then we could make some recommendations

I’m assuming you were never in the military?

Most decent size cities have hearing and speech clinic’s that accept donated aids and then give them out particularly if
They will help you keep or find a job.

I’d call the folks at BuyHear; excellent service and prices.

If you buy the Kirkland’s on ebay, you’re screwed. The setup software is limited to Costco. If you find a pair, they must be transferred to you by the owner in person at Costco. You can then buy a $55 membership and get them adjusted and get supplies. Without that being done, you have the setting for someone else and no way to change them.

You can pick another brand but most clinics won’t adjust them for you. Ones that will likely will charge you hundreds to do so. They would have to give you a hearing exam so their cost/time isn’t small. Some ebay vendors will do an initial setup from a audiogram you have. But after that it is your problem.

I think you best bet is to try something called PSAP which are mostly user adjustable for a mild-moderate loss. Amazon has them. I used them successfully when my hearing was better. Another choice are the Chinese Siemens aids on ebay. I used them when my loss wasn’t as bad to good effect. They run around $60 each. Just try one because they have no return. That’s the cheapest reasonable route. The PSAPS can run 4-600 for a pair.

You might also check with the state’s employment commission. Many will provide support getting aids to keep people in the workforce.

Many of us here share the “ouch” about cost.

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Ya posting a test result would help. I would say I have severe hearing problems. Lots of times I have to ask my wife to repeat what she says 2-3-4 times cause I can not make all the words out even when shes only a few feet away. I can hear her talk but the words don’t register.

The closest Costco is about a 1-1/2 to 2 hr drive(Indy,Ind). Yes I was not in the military. My city is about 3,000, don’t think there’s a hearing clinic here. I’m retired so I can say I need a HA to keep or find a job.

Have you looked into your local OVR (Office of Vocational Rehabilitation)? That’s how I got my HA’s, and they were FREE! If you call them, they can direct you to the right person who will be able to schedule an appointment with you. They’ll do a needs evaluation based on your income and the type of work that you do. I’m a teacher, so it’s crucial that I have my hearing functioning at the right level. I live in PA and I called the local “Career Link” office. Also, if you are a veteran, you can get free HA’s. Hope this info is helpful to you.

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From what I have read a Personal Sound Amplification Product is not a good idea for a HA. They do not block out some sound that could cause more hearing damage.

Small town we don’t have a Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. We do have a Senior Citizens Center, I may go down there and see if I can get some advice. As I said I do not have a job I retired last year when I turned 62.

I’ve had hearing problems for last 10-15 yrs, I may just have to live the rest of my life w/out a HA. I’m used to it, tks all for the input.

I think what you read is wrong. At least the part where you assume that hearing aids can act as hearing protection devices to block out sound that is too loud and can damage your hearing. Neither PSAP nor HA are sound protection devices.

PSAP is just a much cheaper and simpler version of HA that can help enhance your hearing, but it’s not as compact and inconspicuous as HA. It may block out sound more than the HA because it’s usually is a closed fitting system without any venting. But with that will come the trade-off of more occlusion feeling to your ear, although in a noisy environment it can help block out more noise compare to an HA fitting that is more vented.

http://www.ihearmedical.com/ihear-max/
These are $600/pair; I trialed them for a month. Seemed ok for the price, I decided to go with Signia Silks from buyhear

Is that just for Kirklands or everything sold at Costco? I mean does Costco lock all their hearing aids to their software for adjustments? Do you have to maintain a Costco membership to get adjustments?

Without an audiogram everyone’s suggestion is guessing at best!

He doesn’t sound that motivated.

Most of the major manufacturer website have a 1/2 ass diy hearing test… Hell maybe his wife does mumble!

The Costco aids that are locked are the KS5 and KS6. At my Costco in Central California, if you buy aids from them new, you do not need to maintain a membership to get adjustments. You do need to be a member to get a free hearing test.

You need to be a member to purchase aids. But you can let that lapse and still get service.

Anyone can go into Costco and get a free hearing test, all you need to do is tell the person at the door you are there for a hearing test. To buy their HA’s you will need to be a member.