Hearing loss is a pretty serious disability no matter which way you look at it. In America alone, 48 million people have fallen prey to this physical condition. Judging by the trends, the numbers are only set to increase. Perhaps the most damaging aspect of hearing loss is that it is permanent. That is, once hair cells in the inner ear have become redundant, they cannot be brought back to functional form. Thankfully, with the advances in technology, hearing devices (hearing aids or amplifiers) can immensely improve your ability to hear normally (as you were able to hear before hearing loss).   

In our guide below, we have taken a look at the digital hearing aids that have come to the fore in recent times.  

What are digital hearing aids?

Unlike their older counterparts that accentuated the volume on everything in the background (including background noise), digital hearing aids are pretty high-tech. Digital hearing aids available today have built-in microphones that transmit sound to a computer-controlled chip, which then controls the volume and focuses on the frequencies required to help you hear better. Moreover, the software in these digital hearing aids can also be tweaked to close out background noises completely. Some higher-end models can even be synced wirelessly through Bluetooth to smartphones, allowing you to answer phone calls through the hearing aid and to use your smartphone to tinker the aid's settings.   

Hearing aid technology

Today, digital hearing aids can also be upgraded through OEM or third party supplied accessories. These accessories also allow you to sync audio from your MP3 players or TV to your hearing aid. A novel feature available to people with hearing aids is the "Hearing Loop" technology. This particular feature emits a magnetic signal that is received by a small-coiled wire located inside the hearing aid, which pushes the sound into the user's ear.   

Another neat feature that modern digital hearing aids have is a small size. Far from being ugly and obtrusive things sticking out of your ear, these digital hearing aids fit discreetly inside the ear canal. However, you might have to sacrifice some features for the additional styles.  

How much do they cost?

The price of digital hearing aids depends on two factors. Firstly, the level of technology and the list of features that the device packs. Secondly, the place where you get the hearing aids fitted from.   

All in all, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1000-6500 per pair of hearing aids. Although private insurers and Medicare do not cover hearing aids, you can still check your personal health plan to see whether you qualify for some sort of cover or not. For students, the State Vocational Rehabilitation Program is an option. Thus, if you're a student, you can check your State's website to see whether or not you qualify for this program. Veterans too can check the Veterans Affairs facility for free hearing aids.