Even though you may have not visited your local hearing aid center on Main Street, it is likely you have already heard the news – quality hearing aids will cost you a few dollars. In fact hearing aids start at about $1,000 per ear and can go as high as $5,000.
Let's face it buying hearing aids – real hearing aids, puts a 'hurtin' on anybody's wallet, but the cost versus benefits clearly show that the money you spend on a pair of hearing aids is money well spent.
Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that treating hearing loss with hearing aids has a direct impact on quality of life. Some quality of life improvements these studies have shown include:
- Earning power on the job is increased – a survey found persons who chose to treat their hearing loss with hearing aids earned on average $7,000 more year than those who did not.
- Isolation and depression are reduced
- Relationships with friends and loved one improved due to improved communication
A decent set of hearing aids allow you to enjoy the sounds that surround you every day, adding richness to quality of life. So don't be discouraged by the cost of hearing aids until you understand the many benefits they will bring you and your loved ones.
Buying Hearing Aids
Before buying hearing aids, the first thing you should do is develop a list of priorities of features available in today's quality hearing aids including: type, cosmetic wishes, sound quality, wearing comfort, wireless connectivity, goals in various listening environments and automation options that simplifies hearing aid wear as you move through various listening environments.
Notice that price isn't on the priority menu. Why? Because you shouldn't make your buying decision based on price. If that's your top priority, chances are you're going to be unhappy with your decision over the long term.
Personal Sound Amplifiers
You see these gizmos on TV ads a lot – a smiling husband enjoying TV in bed while his wife sleeps in total quiet. Worth noting: these devices (that sell for as little as $14.95) are actually dangerous to your health. Yep, you'll do more damage to your ears using these cheapie electronic ear amps.
The reason is simple. These over the counter devices are not programmed for your hearing loss, in fact you control the volume on these toys. That means you turn up the volume to levels loud enough to hear clearly – and volumes that potentially could further damage an already-damaged natural hearing mechanism. It's inevitable.
So skip these low-ball devices and visit a hearing professional to get a tune-able pair of hearing aids. The operable word is tunable. The hearing professional tunes your hearing aids to suit your specific range and type of hearing loss. Need a boost in the high frequencies? Your hearing aid advisor will set your hearing aids to boost the high end while leaving the rest of the sound frequency spectrum on "normal."
Hearing Aids Prices: Why So High?
Good question, given you can buy something from a magazine that LOOKS like a hearing aid for only $14.95 plus s&h.
Quality aids are designed by hearing aid manufactures to be fitted to the needs of the wearer by a hearing aid professional.
Inside the small, hearing aid casing is digital technology consisting of circuit boards, sound amplification, automation and safety in the form of total tune-ability to your specific hearing needs. This technology, in a tiny casing, costs money end to end:
- research and development
- manufacturing costs
- customization of each hearing aid by a hearing aid professional
- time spent with the hearing aid professional (audiologist or licensed hearing aid specialist) in consultation to deliver the most desired outcome for not only the fitting but follow-up care.
- fittings and adjustments (usually included in the price of a hearing aid set)
- two hearing aids are better than one, even if you only experience hearing loss in one ear
- loss, damage and repair warranties that are typically included for the first 1-2 years following purchase
- geographical location (for example the cost of hearing aids in New York City or Los Angeles will be much different then hearing aids in small town Iowa - everything costs more in the Big City)
Today's hearing aids deliver the features that increase sound quality, wearing comfort, an improved wearer experience, low-profile designs and complete automation that actually "learns" your listening preferences over time.
|Time spent with the professional is an often overlooked factor for hearing aid prices|
Financial Help for Hearing Aids
There are numerous sources of financial aid and special financing for those who need a stretch-pay plan or a little help on the finance side of the purchase so, again, cross price off the list as a priority and explore payment options with your hearing aid authority.
One options it to plan ahead and use accumulated Healthcare Flex savings – money you've saved in a tax-free account for medical use. Hearing aids qualify for Flex withdrawals without penalty.
Numerous non-profit organizations subsidize hearing aid purchases so call around to local service and philanthropic organizations to see if you can get some help hearing better. Your hearing professional may be able to refer you to a state and/or national organization.
Finally, after selecting the right hearing aid to suit your type and extent of hearing loss, discuss financing with your hearing professional. Many of these professionals offer "in-house" financing so you can stretch payments while still enjoying the benefits of better hearing.
Remember, your hearing professional wants to improve the quality of your life and many will go the extra mile to ensure you hear all there is to hear.
Hearing aids are a worthy investment when improving your quality of life is considered - it's impossible to put a price on a richer fuller, hearing life.