Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive? The Truth Behind Hearing Aid Pricing
Are you looking for new hearing aids and wondering why clinic A charges more for a hearing aid than clinic B? Is clinic A trying to rip you off? Not necessarily. Hearing aid prices depend on a lot of factors.
And whilst the brand and level of technology contribute to the cost of your hearing aids, the services you receive with your purchase will ultimately determine the price.
How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost?
When purchasing their first hearing aids, many people look at the brand first – e.g. Phonak, Signia or Oticon.
They don’t always consider that buying hearing aids isn’t as simple as visiting your Audiologist, choosing between hearing aid manufacturers and then leaving with brand new hearing aids and perfect hearing.
Before you make your choice, you’ll require another hearing test. Later you’ll need to book and pay for a hearing aid fitting appointment and varying levels of aftercare and hearing aid services.
Wouldn’t it be great if all of these services and appointments were already covered in the price for your hearing aids?
And that’s where the difference in price between clinic A and B originates.
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Hearing Aid Fitting
Hearing Aid Trial
Aftercare & Servicing
What Goes Into the Cost of Hearing Aids?
A comprehensive hearing test.
A comprehensive diagnostic assessment of your hearing and vestibular system is necessary to determine the type and degree of your hearing loss, identify any underlying medical pathology and recommend a hearing aid that will meet your needs.
This cost should always be included in the purchase price, so read the fine print before you agree to anything.
Assistance in finding the right hearing aids.
Your hearing aids need to meet your individual needs. Besides your type and degree of hearing loss, your lifestyle will be a determining factor in your choice.
A trusted hearing aid provider will not let you make this choice alone and clearly explain the difference between brands and technology levels and how they may serve you.
A hearing aid fitting.
Once you’ve found the perfect hearing aid, you’ll see your Audiologist for a fitting appointment. During the appointment, your provider will program the hearing aids to your preferences, undertake a soundcheck and educate you on the use of your hearing aids.
This appointment is essential to your hearing journey and will ensure that you enjoy your hearing aids for years to come. It should always be included in the cost of hearing aids.
A hearing aid trial.
Selected hearing care providers, Attune Hearing included, now offer comprehensive hearing aid trials with complete audiological support. You can get to know your hearing aids during a one-week trial period and test them in your everyday listening environments.
Hearing aid adjustments.
You will likely require follow-up services to ensure your happiness and satisfaction with your purchase. It can take weeks, even months, to get used to new hearing aids. During this time, you will rest easier knowing that you can rely on the support of your hearing aid provider.
Some clinics will only provide you with an appointment to set up the hearing aid and one follow-up to ensure that the hearing aids are working. Any further appointments are an extra expense. Other clinics will include more appointments in their initial cost of the hearing aid. Some places may offer a year of unlimited appointments, and some will even provide up to three years of service.
How Many Appointments Will I Need?
This is a tricky question as everybody is different and adapts to change at a different pace.
Generally, patients who are first time hearing aid users will require more appointments simply because they have not been through the process before, so they may need more fine-tuning and guidance to get the hearing aid at the right setting for them.
Experienced hearing aid users may only need a few appointments as their brain has already had the time to learn to hear with a hearing aid. As a result, they can adapt to their new hearing aid more quickly and are more familiar with the process.
This is a generalisation, and sometimes even experienced users will need a few appointments.
You may need another appointment a few weeks or months after your hearing aid fitting – it just depends on how quickly you adapt to having new hearing aids.
Generally, custom hearing aids require a few more appointments to make sure everything is fitting correctly and not causing any discomfort.
At the end of the day, it is about adjusting the hearing aid to suit your needs and lifestyle.
When to See Your Audiologist
You should get your ears, and hearing aids checked once a year. Some clinics will offer annual hearing checks as a part of their aftercare, so that is also something to consider.
There is no way to correctly predict the severity or speed in which your hearing will change with hearing loss. That is why it is so important to do annual checks.
Some things that might affect your hearing are exposure to loud noises or genetics. But, unfortunately, even if you know the actual cause of your hearing loss, the change cannot be accurately predicted.
Hearing aids are supposed to be used daily, and they will then be exposed to everything you are. So it is not surprising that they will build up with wax and debris over time, which sometimes means you will come into the clinic to get it checked out.
Some clinics will charge for this service while others include it as part of their aftercare package.
Hearing Aid Adjustments and Maintenance
Telecare is now available by several manufacturers such as Phonak and Signia. This may be an aftercare service that some clinics offer. All you need is a smartphone and access to the internet.
Brands such as Signia and Oticon work mainly with the iPhone and limited Android phones. However, Phonak and Unitron can be used with any smartphone device with BlueTooth 2.1.
Telehealth makes it really easy to connect with your audiologist when and wherever you are. This means even if you are halfway across the world on a trip, you can call up your audiologist, and your hearing aids can be adjusted.
So instead of spending the rest of your trip not hearing well, you can continue to enjoy it. Telehealth is a good alternative even if you are not on a trip and just live far away from the clinic or have difficulty finding transport into a clinic.
Choosing the Right Hearing Aid Provider
Finally, what may be the most important part of your aftercare is your relationship with your Audiologist.
No matter what hearing aid you choose, Phonak, Unitron or Signia, your audiologist will be able to help you.
They should be competent enough to adjust your hearing aid no matter the brand.
You should be able to trust your audiologist, knowing that they will do the best they can for you because at the end of the day, are you going to take advice and care from somebody you don’t trust?
Having a hearing test is a great way to get to know your audiologist. And perhaps, this will start your hearing journey and lead to a hearing aid trial.