Hearing aids come with a cost, but improved hearing is priceless
Hearing loss is common among Americans, but few seek treatment right away. Understanding your options to improve hearing can be a difficult process. Contacting a local audiologist is the best place to start as they possess the education and clinical training to care for patients with many different hearing difficulties.
Audiology is one of the most challenging – yet rewarding – professions, per Dr. Hamlett of ENT Audiology Center in Abilene. “As an audiologist, I have the unique pleasure of counseling patients on their options for improving their quality of life through the use of amplification,” said Dr. Hamlett.
But improving that quality of life requires commitment. While patients do want to hear better, few like the idea of wearing a hearing aid. Some of this reluctance has its roots in stereotypes about getting older, but cost can also be a major factor for many patients looking to improve their hearing.
The Best Hearing Care for Your Money
When purchasing a hearing aid, patients are not only putting their money and faith in a small electronic device, but rather the ability of the audiologist to tailor the appropriate device to their unique needs. The patient is not just purchasing a hearing aid but also auditory rehabilitative services and continued care that is crucial to the overall success of the hearing aid experience.
“This can have a big impact on the quality of life for a patient. It is so important to have trust and confidence in your hearing health care provider,” said Dr. Hamlett. “I always recommend using an audiologist for hearing aid services. The experience and expertise of a clinical professional can drastically improve the outcome for any patient.”
In the age of retail stores and online shopping, hearing aids have been misrepresented as a commodity and not a medical device. This misrepresentation can cause many patients to be swayed by the potential short-term savings. But as with many things, purchasing a pair of hearing aids based on the cheapest price or best advertised “deal” can often lead patients to frustrating outcomes. “If a patient does not have good follow-up care and support from the provider who sold you hearing aids, you most likely did not get the most out of the money you spent,” said Dr. Hamlett.
Hearing Aid Costs
“On average, a good quality pair of hearing aids from a reputable manufacturer is going to cost between $2,500 and $6,000,” said Dr. Hamlett. “The major factor in the range of pricing has to do with the computer chip and the amount of processing power the hearing aid will have to better meet your communicative needs.” In other words, more sophisticated technology means a higher price point.
If that price tag seems intimidating, it is important to keep in mind that this cost covers services that can ultimately contribute to long-term comfort and hearing ability. There is much more involved in the process than simply picking out a device, putting on the hearing aid and walking out the door. There are usually several follow-up appointments with your audiologist and continued regular care to ensure a positive outcome with your new hearing aids.
“An approximate breakdown of the cost of a new hearing aid is something like this,” said Dr. Hamlett. “60% of the total price accounts for the actual hearing aids, 10% is the cost of the initial fitting process, 10% is the cost for the first 30-60-day evaluation period and follow-up adjustments and the last 20% is the continued care through the warranty and maintenance for the life of the hearing aids.”
If you or a loved one have noticed increased difficulties in communication and are ready talk about options for improving your hearing, Call ENT Audiology Center at 325-437-3617 to set up your comprehensive hearing evaluation.
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