Seriously, why are hearing aids so firstname.lastname@example.org
Properly fit, quality hearing aids can be expensive. It is important to realize that the price for “hearing aids” encompasses much more than just the devices themselves (considering they are being purchased through a hearing healthcare professional). To properly answer this question, consider the following:
– Quality, high performing hearing devices cost the manufacturers of these devices considerable resources to research and develop, produce (on a relatively small scale compared to cell phones or computers), and support (all devices come with a warranty). Hearing aids are used in a pretty rough environment exposed to ear wax, sweat, dust, hairspray, etc…so that warranty is important.
– The device, while a necessary part of the equation cannot be programmed and physical fit properly without a hearing healthcare professional. This is where considerable resources are also consumed.
– Hearing aids, for most people, are not like eyeglasses where you have a prescription, the glasses are made and you put them on and your vision is corrected to near perfect levels. There are very little “adjustments” that need to be made. Fitting hearing aids, in most cases, involves much more than just handing the devices over and sending you on your way!
– Hearing aids must be adjusted for your unique hearing loss and because everyone perceives what they hear differently, there are many adjustments that can be made to develop a sound which is acceptable for you all day everyday (because you are going to wear these things all the time, right?!). Because everyone’s perception of what they hear is different, there are different manufacturers products which tend to be more accepted by certain people. Having the ability to try different products if the original choice is not the best is important.
– In addition to adjusting the acoustics, the physical fit must be correct, otherwise they may be uncomfortable to wear, there will be feedback, you won’t get the proper sound from the devices, or a combination of these things. Whether it is a hearing aid that goes behind your ear or in your ear, getting the physical fit right is paramount.
– The fitting process can take multiple visits in order to get the right results and this varies widely depending on your individual preferences, hearing loss, physical characteristics of your ear, type of hearing aids, etc…
– Hearing changes over time, devices can malfunction (remember the environment they operate in), physical adjustments need to be made, routine maintenance should be performed, etc… This is where many problems occur – after the initial fitting of the instruments. Having a hearing healthcare professional to ensure everything continues to work well is important.
Disclaimer: We should also note that while our business has been built on providing all of these services, it is not your only option. There are many options today whereby you can purchase hearing devices online, through low cost retailers, etc… However, we always like to point out that the reason these options do cost much less money is because typically they lack in a number of the above areas. Is it possible to get hearing aids through these channels and be satisfied? That depends on your expectations, your hearing loss, the outcome you are looking for, etc…