Hearing health is an essential part of overall wellbeing, and hearing aids are a great way to improve your hearing. But why do hearing aids cost so much? In this article, we'll explore the factors that influence the price of hearing aids, as well as ways to make them more affordable. Nowadays, audiologists offer a wide range of types of hearing aids, each with its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the individual's hearing health needs. The prices of these headphones can also vary significantly.
Generally, headphones are sold together with professional services, meaning that everything is included in the sticker price. This includes the retail cost of the hearing aids and the professional audiology services needed to install and program the devices, as well as to repair and maintain them for a certain period of time, usually two to four years. In some cases, initial diagnostic tests are offered free of charge or are included in the package price. Hearing aids can also be sold “unbundled” or without professional services included.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently considering regulations regarding over-the-counter hearing aids and the possible expansion of Medicare to include coverage for hearing aids and related services. With the disaggregated model, you purchase the headphones separately from any related services. The disaggregated price may also include one or two follow-up office visits, after which you pay out of pocket for each visit to the audiology office. It all starts with an audiogram, which is a hearing test conducted by a licensed audiologist.
Private health insurance generally covers a diagnostic audiogram (but see your specific policy for more details). It can help determine if hearing loss is age-related or caused by a medical condition that requires additional monitoring, care, and treatment. These headphones can also be small and go unnoticed compared to low-end models. For example, Starkey's Invisible (IIC) model rests deeply on the second curve of the ear canal, making it virtually invisible.
Premium hearing aids also have rechargeable batteries that can provide up to 30 hours of continuous use before needing to be recharged (usually at night). The included service model includes adaptation, which consists of physically fitting a hearing device or a component of the device to the patient's ear. Depending on the hearing aid you choose, a physical mold of your ear may be necessary. An adaptation also includes importing the results of the audiogram into the device's software and programming the hearing aid to suit your unique hearing capacity and the specific acoustics of your ears.
Hearing aid programming is a verification and validation process that measures the sound amplified by the hearing aid before it reaches the ear canal and quantifies the number of decibels that patients hear. Get ready to test your hearing aids in real-world situations and visit your audiologist several times until you can hear well in places like noisy restaurants with friends. Hearing aids can become filled with moisture and wax, and audiologists can perform professional cleaning with vacuums and supersonic cleaners. The package price usually includes professional maintenance checks every six months so that your hearing aids continue to work properly. The combined price usually includes a one- to three-year warranty specified by the manufacturer to cover repair costs, and complete replacements usually cost a certain amount per device and can only be performed at that rate once. When your warranty coverage ends, you can pay to extend it, but that can be expensive.
If something breaks after the standard warranty expires, you can also pay to have it repaired, as this will include a new warranty. Not sure which hearing aid is best for you? Answer a few simple questions on MDhearing website or call 1-855-671-2524 to find out. Research and development drive much of the cost of hearing aids. Research is underway to improve these small but powerful and personalized medical devices to mimic natural hearing. The best hearing aids for you include the right support at an affordable price. While discount options may limit the amount of services you can receive from an audiologist for the chosen hearing aids or restrict warranty options available to you, there are still ways to save on this health expense. According to the American Hearing Loss Association, only one in five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually use it, but hearing health is an essential component of overall health and wellbeing.
If left untreated, hearing loss can lead to increased cognitive decline and exacerbate social isolation. Over time, both of these factors can contribute to an increased risk of dementia. Integrating hearing aids into your wellness plan is one of the easiest ways to mitigate these risks and continue living a full life. The information provided on Forbes Health is for educational purposes only. Your health and wellbeing are unique to you, and products or services we review may not be suitable for your circumstances. We don't offer individual medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment plans.
For personal advice, consult a medical professional. Forbes Health meets strict standards of editorial integrity. As far as we know, all content is correct as of publication date; however offers contained in this document may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are solely those of Abram Bailey PhD., who has not been provided with any compensation from advertisers.