Why do Hearing Aids are so Expensive? How To Keep Costs Down
- Last Updated: May 3rd, 2018
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Hearing Aids
As soon as a person realizes that they have hearing loss, they often go through an emotional roller coaster. Understanding that hearing aids might help them live a happier, more fulfilled life make them excited and hopeful.
But as they search for the options, there can be a bit of sticker shock for them. An average mid-line hearing device from any private hearing healthcare provider can cost between $2,000 and $3,400 or even more. As soon as you get to know the price of the device, a question pops up in the mind:
Why do hearing aids are so expensive?
According to a recent survey, the price of hearing aid for mild to severe hearing loss is around $4000 a pair. A common argument you hear is that “I can get iPhone, iPad or any other gadget for such price, so why not hearing devices are priced similarly?” They both are the technology-related device. So what is the difference?
The main variation between the price of hearing aids from other electronic device is manufacturing, distribution, and economics. Ear machines diverge sharply in these areas.
There are more ways to think why do hearing aids are so expensive. If you buy a device with a life expectancy of five years. Then once count its per day expenses which are way less than your favourite coffee. So the point is that while total amount may be expensive but the ongoing usage price is quite reasonable. As you start wearing these devices and enjoy your relationships, lifestyle, and health, then its all worth it. Do a proper cleaning of hearing aids for their long lasting services & effectiveness.
Hearing Aid price is not the only factor to consider when you seek to improve your life and relationships through better hearing. Take a deeper look at why hearing aids from a private healthcare provider are a safe and smart investment for your happiness and well-being.
What goes into the cost of making a hearing aid?
As suggested by some critic, a hearing aid shouldn’t cost more than a laptop or computer. After all, both these devices contain the parts and technology to process information. But ear machines are much smaller as compared to laptop or computer. However, the objection arose is quite misleading.
The technology within the machine is both sophisticated and subject to constant improvement. The cost of hearing aid adds product charge as well as a service charge of professionals that go along with the hearing aid fitting.
A good amount involved in manufacturing hearing aids consists of research and development (R&D). Millions of dollars and countless man-hours are spent making these devices suitable for people’s needs. The hearing aid will be more comfortable and effective.
Thanks to researchers that today’s hearing aids are digital and have more features such as directional microphones. They focus on sounds aimed directly at the wearer. Tech-focused hearing aids can be connected to your television or smartphone for being more effective.
A lot is expected from a hearing aid. We want to put them in and immediately be able to hear as close to normal as possible. Firstly, we ask them to literally recreate functioning of the brain. In a person with perfect hearing, the ears communicate with the brain in such a way that you have a sort of auditory “depth perception”. And can precisely tell where a sound came from.
Hearing aid manufacturers are still working to improve this technology. To such a point where hearing aids can provide you with this “depth perception” as well. All of this is expected from these tiny parts, and expect them to be powered by a tiny battery for days in a row.
As the cost of R&D is hefty, it adds to the price of the final product. But it benefits every user in the long run. Without it, hearing aids would still be simple amplifiers. It will be unable to come close to a true hearing experience.
You must notice that computers are high-tech, high-volume products, while hearing aids are high-tech, low-volume products. 89.5 million computers were sold in 2014, as compared to only 3 million hearing aids.
Reason to go through a private hearing healthcare provider
A lot of different costs need to be covered by the Audiologists and other hearing healthcare professionals with the selling price of hearing aids. Paying to purchase the hearing aids from the manufacturer is the First and foremost thing done by them. They also incur overhead, including rent, training, personnel salaries, marketing, and the purchases of high-cost hearing testing machinery which needs to be replaced every few years.
The most important offerings hearing health professionals include in the hearing aid price are of additional services as well as customization. Your hearing aids do come with free cleanings, adjustments, and even hearing health checkups for the hearing aids’ entire lifespan, in some cases.
Is it not worth a little more money to make sure that what you’re getting will fulfill your needs exactly? Something it comes with years of reassurance to continue to be the best product you could have ever purchased?
As you go beyond free services, the initial processes to choose and customize hearing aids for each patient is not so quick or straightforward. Mainly three big factors are considered while diagnosing and treating a hearing loss:
- Type of hearing loss (sensorineural, noise-induced, etc.)
- Depth and range of hearing loss
The professional will weigh all the above factors to find the solution that works best for your needs. Even some hearing aid styles require them to get a unique mold according to your ear. Hence, this is where the saying comes into the picture, “you get what you pay for”.
As the devices arrive, the professional will adjust your hearing aids according to your unique hearing loss type and explain you ways to take care of them for longer life. Next thing is to help you through the rehabilitation process for adjustment to life with new hearing devices.
The rehabilitation process is crucial for the hearing aid wearer. If you have an untreated hearing loss, the brain gets accustomed to that hearing loss. Using hearing aids for the first time can be a bit of a shock to your auditory system. Many first-time hearing aid users experience fatigue and frustration during their first few weeks of use before they fully experience the benefits and changes to their lives.
Initially, your professional will program them to a lower volume than full hearing ability would give you. Once your brain gets adjusted to that volume, you’ll return to the office to get it raised a bit higher. The process will continue until your hearing aids are fully compensating for your specific hearing loss type, and the time required for the process varies according to the user.
Get your hearing assessed by a private provider and allow them to order, fit, and program your hearing aids to make you more satisfied with your devices and more engaged in the world around you. It will also be a smart and responsible investment about which you can feel ensured. This is so because that investment will be of high quality, protected, and built to give you everything you need.
Big-box discount retailers or Buying hearing aids online
As you research and browse hearing aid review forums online, you will get to see the same sentiment echoed from above: “you get what you pay for”.
Countless hearing aid users will tell you that the success or failure of a hearing aid rests on the shoulders of the professional who fits it. Even the worst hearing aid in the world will do good for the patient if fitted by a person with expertise than the best hearing aid will do when fitted by someone with less knowledge.
Most professionals are required to have at least a master’s degree to obtain a hearing aid dispensing license. But it varies state by state. Audiologists are required to have a doctoral degree (Au.D.). On the other hand, mail-order, online, and big-box retailers are sometimes staffed by salespeople. They don’t have much training on the medical aspects of hearing healthcare.
Most probably they’ll not understand your experience during the journey. As it’s not their job to be your team member, guide or support.
Hearing aids which we get from these retailers are not likely to include many instructions and adjustments. If the hearing aids are ordered online or through the mail, you need to mail them back for any adjustments that are required. You can provide real-time feedback to the person making the adjustments about whether the adjustment seems better or not. Also, postage and re-adjustment costs can add up. Over the hearing aid’s lifespan, it is possible for you to end up spending more money on these retail options than you would have actually spent with a private provider. You’ll feel better about this investment when you know that the person who helped you purchase was on your side.
Do yourself a favor: invest in the attention and expertise of a qualified and patient-focused hearing healthcare professionals.