Why Do Hearing Aids Cost So Much?
A hearing aid is an investment in your health and it’s important to spend both time and money to ensure that you receive the best care possible. Of course, that means the sticker price of quality hearing aids can be shocking especially when it’s easy to find advertisements that show great “deals”. However, at Kaczmarski Hearing Services, we strive to provide not only great hearing aids, but also great service and care within your budget.
Hearing aids are only as good as the person that fits it to your ears. Remember that sensorineural hearing loss is damage that complicates how we add amplification. Simply amplifying missing sounds won’t match a person’s needs because no two hearing losses are the same. A prescriptive method is only the start to receiving a well fit hearing aid. In essence, it is important to fit the ear AND the brain.
Everyone has different likes and dislikes in their "sound world" so it takes an understanding audiologist to really put the puzzle pieces together for each individual! Just think of the different challenging environments we face each day. A person can move from a quiet lobby to a loud restaurant and then to their car, perhaps to a concert, and then home again to their living room all in one night. Hearing aids are smart enough to take on these challenges but only when they are set appropriately by a qualified audiologist.
Remember the adage, ‘You get what you pay for.’ If you invest in a hearing aid built by a reputable manufacturer your experience is guaranteed to be better. Homemade or cheap generic hearing aids simply do not sound good and most people who purchase these end up regretting it. Our goal is to make your life safer, better and easier.
Hearing aid manufacturers spend an enormous amount of time and money on the research and development of their products before they are released to the public. The three main companies we work with reportedly spent $20-30 million each on the research and development of their latest products.
Developing new hearing aid technology is not just about electronics any more. Medical research is a new area of cost for manufacturers because it is necessary for scientists to gain a better understanding of the complexity of the cochlea and the effects of hearing loss on the hearing organ. Computer scientists and engineers must then use this medical research to develop miniaturized computer chips and formulas that the hearing aids use when amplifying sound.
Engineers must also design software for the audiologist to use when programming and adjusting the computer chips within the hearing aids. It can take years of development and redesigning to generate even one new product. Our manufacturers are continually striving to produce a product that amplifies sound more naturally, clearly, and comfortably.
Learning to use and adjust a hearing aid manufacturer’s technology takes time whether you’re a first time user or you’re simply upgrading. Even the most independent do-it-yourself type of people can benefit from someone who really understands hearing loss and hearing aids.
During the adjustment period, it helps to have a qualified, reliable audiologist available. They will help you to troubleshoot any problems you’re experiencing and also work with you to readjust the hearing aid as needed.
The amount of time an audiologist spends with someone learning to use a new hearing aid is significant. At Kaczmarski Hearing Services, we average five direct contact hours during this critical learning period. Our audiologists are highly-trained and very necessary which is why some of the cost of your hearing aid goes to this one-on-one learning time.
When you purchase a hearing aid from Kaczmarski Hearing Services, you are purchasing a high-quality product that comes with top-of-the-line care. The elevated price that seems to accompany this marvelous technology is definitely worth every cent especially when you compare it to other expenditures families experience these days.
The average cost of one digital hearing aid can range from $1500 to $3500. Take the average cost of a top of the line digital hearing aid - $3199.40, divide that cost by 5 years (the lower end of the life expectancy of a hearing aid) and it computes to $639.88 a year or $53.88 a month. The amount of money most people spend monthly for cable, movie rentals, movie theater tickets, cell phones, magazine subscriptions, and restaurant bills well exceeds $53.88.
Audiologists, like consumers, are concerned about keeping the cost of hearing aids affordable. We would love it if more people could benefit from the technology because communication is one of the most important skills humans possess. We cannot stress enough how important it is to make an educated decision concerning your hearing loss and hearing aids while trying to not be driven purely by cost.