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Why are proper hearing aids more expensive than internet devices?

Often the most asked question by those seeking help with hearing loss is “Why are hearing aids so expensive?” As most insurances do not cover hearing aids, this is usually the primary concern for most consumers. The answer to this question is comprised of many different parts which all should be taken into consideration when looking at the big picture of cost:

Advanced Technology: Unlike personal sound amplification systems (PSAPs), over the counter hearing devices, and even the hearing aids our grandparents wore, which all simply amplify sound, today’s hearing aids contain very advanced digital technology. This technology allows hearing aids to be programmed and fine-tuned to each individual users’ hearing loss. This also gives them the ability to analyze the listening environments thousands of times per minute, filter out unwanted background noise, enhance speech, and control environmental sounds. Some hearing aids can even stream audio and phone calls directly from your cell phone to your ears. A portion of hearing aid cost goes toward the technology itself, as there is essentially a mini-computer sitting on each ear.

Services: Buying a hearing aid is not as simple as picking a device up off a shelf and putting it on your ear. Usually bundled with the cost of a hearing aid purchase are many services to customize it to your hearing loss and maximize benefit from the devices. Usually these services are provided by a doctor of audiology, so you are also, in part, paying for their experience and expertise. While services vary from location to location, generally included in the cost of your hearing aid purchase are services such as a hearing evaluation, hearing aid fitting and programming, fitting verification, counseling, earmold impressions (if needed), batteries, adjustments, follow up care, and repairs.

Some people try to avoid the additional cost of professional services by purchasing a hearing aids online and foregoing proper evaluation and treatment, or unbundling professional services. Unfortunately, this can have potential serious complications such as further impairing communication abilities or causing additional hearing loss by using a product that is not customized to the user’s hearing prescription. It is always recommended that you consult a hearing healthcare professional about your hearing aid purchase. Many offer hearing aid options in a wide range of prices from a few hundred dollars a pair to a few thousand dollars a pair; all of which can be custom-fit to a range of hearing losses. In considering a $5000 pair of hearing aids with a six-year life expectancy, you are looking at an average cost of a little over $800/year, or roughly just a $2.30/day investment. This would not just be an investment to improve hearing, but one that can improve communication, productivity, and quality of life.

If you would like one of our knowledgeable doctors of audiology to assist you with your hearing healthcare journey and discuss hearing aid options, please contact Gardner Audiology to schedule a consultation. 1-800-277-1182.

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