For people with many types of hearing loss, hearing aids provide vital assistance that can make it easier to interact with the world around them. Unfortunately, hearing aids are often extremely expensive. What is it about hearing aids that increase the cost so much? Why do they have to be so expensive? This guide can help you better understand the cost of hearing aids and why they can create such a pinch in your pocket.
Stage One: Research and Development
Over the past several decades, researchers have spent billions of dollars on research and development to help them better understand hearing loss; how it impacts the people who suffer from it, and how hearing aids can help fix it. Research and development, however, costs money. Those costs are often passed on to people with hearing loss, as they purchase, maintain, and upgrade their hearing aids. Whether you’re purchasing your first set of hearing aids or taking advantage of the latest upgrades to hearing aid technology, you may notice these increased costs. But like anything good in life, they come at a cost. We can assure you that today’s hearing aids have been developed to make your auditory input as clear and convenient to your lifestyle as possible.
Stage Two: Increased Technology
Hearing aids on their own provide a vital service: they help you hear. From increasing your ability to carry on a conversation with your loved ones, to allowing you to hear warnings or notice common auditory signals like barking dogs or a knock on your door, hearing aids quickly become a vital part of your life after hearing loss. The latest technology, however, offers a number of added advantages. Your hearing aids can:
Connect to your smartphone. Do you want to carry on a phone conversation or receive auditory cues from your smartphone? The latest advances in hearing aid technology allow you to connect your smartphone and your hearing aids directly. Many apps can help improve overall convenience in your life. Unfortunately, this advanced technology does come at a financial cost.
Appear smaller than ever. Many of today’s hearing aids are virtually invisible. You don’t need to announce your hearing loss to the world through bulky hearing aid designs; instead, you can simply place your hearing aids into your ears. A transparent tube on the outside may pose the only visual cue of your hearing loss–an advantage that many people appreciate. With the advanced technology used in today’s hearing aids combined with that small size; it’s little wonder that the price is going up.
Block out unnecessary sounds. Old-style hearing aids didn’t just magnify important sounds; they also magnified unnecessary sounds like wind or background chatter, making it difficult to pick out important sounds or creating unnecessary feedback. The latest technology in hearing aids, on the other hand, are designed to block out those unnecessary sounds, which means that your hearing aids will be a real source of aid rather than an ongoing frustration.
Stage Three: Testing
In addition to overall research and development, hearing aid companies must also conduct highly specific tests on the individuals who use their hearing aids. You want a hearing aid that has been calibrated specifically to your needs that fits both your ears and your lifestyle. That means extensive testing, including specific tests designed to make sure your hearing aids are working for you. Often, the cost of that testing is worked into the price of your hearing aids so that you can get all the testing you need without adding unexpected appointments to your budget.
Stage Four: Warranty
If anything goes wrong with your hearing aids, you want to be sure it will be taken care of as effectively and smoothly as possible. Your hearing aid warranty is designed to protect that expensive investment–and often, that warranty includes some errors made by the patient, not just manufacturer defects. You try to be careful with your hearing aids, but they can still get wet, suffer damage from being dropped, or end up stepped on when they are knocked off of a table. They may also need a regular cleaning or other adjustments to keep them functioning their best–which needs to be done by a professional to ensure that they are cleaned properly. A great warranty, however, often means an increased initial price for your hearing aids. On the other hand, that increased price means that you will be able to get more use out of your investment.
While hearing aids are certainly expensive–and with good reason–there are options available that can fit your budget. Whether you need to schedule a hearing test, try out Resound hearing aids to discover if they work for you, or you need to discuss hearing aid options that are designed to fit your budget, then contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Dr. Joni Ruiz is the owner and Doctor of Audiology at Big Thicket Hearing Aids and Audiology. She earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009 from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. Selected for a prestigious fourth-year externship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ruiz has more than ten years’ experience as an Audiologist. She has a heart for patient-centered care. At her hearing care practice, she performs comprehensive diagnostic audiological evaluations, provides aural rehabilitation to her patients and their loved ones, dispenses state of the art hearing aids, and manages the care of said devices for their life. Dr. Ruiz is dedicated to patient education regarding hearing loss, hearing protection, and hearing aid selection.