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Why Are Hearing Aids Expensive?


Why does it cost so much?

First of all, hearing aids today have tiny computer chips inside of them. They have features that allow the two hearing aids to work together, much like your brain allows your two ears to work together to gather information that allows you to hear. If your ears are missing any information because of a hearing loss in certain frequencies, your brain has to work harder to put together the sounds that help it decipher conversation. The chips inside of your hearing aids help with this processing. This chip also gathers information that will help your hearing professional customize the fit of your hearing aids to allow for a more tailored sound gathering for you.

To assure that these chips will increase the sound at the pitches of frequencies that you need it increased, and reduce noise when you need that assistance; manufacturers spend upward of a million dollars on research and development. This along with all the services that they provide you for your hearing aids increases the wholesale cost of your aids. Without research and development you could have an amplifier that does not meet your hearing needs and worse yet, one that could further damage your hearing.

Manufacturers provide support for your devices by way of software and training for your hearing professional. This is essential if you want your aids to sound comfortable while they provide you with the highs and lows that you need. You do not want to hear yourself echoing and have to say, “What?” every time your husband/wife speaks to you. There is quite a bit of customized fine tuning involved in the fitting of a pair of hearing aids.

Manufacturers also have to eat the cost of hearing aids that are returned. They cannot be resold to another patient. If you have a warranty, which you should, that is also absorbed into the price of a hearing aid. I am sure you are noticing that these prices are adding up to something much more expensive than the amplifier that you can purchase at your local Rite Aid.

I do not know all of the factors that are involved in the pricing of hearing aids by the manufacturer, but I do know that they are expensive wholesale as well. The mark up on hearing aids is nominal, as far as the cost of the aid in comparison to the added service cost.

When you go to the garage to get your car repaired, you expect to pay for parts and labor/service. When you get your hearing aids, you pay for service as well. That hearing healthcare person that you trust and go to with your hearing aids for repairs and cleaning; went to training for certification. It all costs money. The audiometer used for your hearing test cost thousands of dollars. The software and equipment used for programming your aids also cost something. When you go to that office for a 30-60 minute appointment, you are taking time away from your provider. I am sure she/he is happy to see you and care for your needs, as am I with all of my patients, but there are costs involved with having an office, equipment, supplies and personnel to care for you.

Highest Quality Hearing Aids-Hearontheshore.com

I love to work for free! No, really, I do. I spend many hours volunteering and servicing people that did not purchase from me, because I want to help them. The problem is that I have to pay to live in a house and nourish my body. That means that we need to profit from our business. Services do cost even if you do not see that separated from your hearing aids. Higher priced aids have service prices included.

I know that it should be easy. We compare the same exact model/make of hearing aid; one set is $1,000.00 less. It seems to be a “no brainer” to go with the cheaper set, but what are your service costs? Now you can do a better comparison and not risk getting a set of aids that are not programmed to fit your hearing needs that you will return or put in a drawer forever.






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Buying Hearing Aids On Line

I need new hearing aids.

Where do I go?

Is my hearing care provider trying to rip me off?

Maybe I will call the number on this mailer-$375 for a hearing aid!

I feel like I have been to a used car salesman. (“Sorry,” to all of you professionals that do sell used cars.)


Does this sound like you? If it does, you are not alone. Perhaps you even went online and did a search for hearing aids. If you did, you were probably bombarded with pop-up advertising from many angles. Some companies sell to you through a local professional, I will not mention their names since I am contracted with a few of them as a local professional. That works well. You get a test, the professional orders the correct aid for you. It is shipped to her/him and they insure that you have a proper fit physically and audiometrically. They will also be your go to for a certain amount of follow up visits and adjustments. These companies usually have competitive prices, but they are the sales end of hearing healthcare. They provide you with no service except that which is contracted with the local hearing care professional who is paid a fitting fee for their limited services.

Another type of company which truthfully does their business illegally in most states is the online seller like HearStore.com and BuyHear.com. I am sure that there are more, but I haven’t found them yet. They will sell you a hearing aid at a ridiculously low price compared to your local provider. How can they do this? They work in bulk with little services provided, if any. When a company buys 50 hearing aids at one time, they can usually get price discounts. The truth is hearing aids are expensive. They are expensive directly from the manufacturer. Why? We will discuss that in later post.

These companies are not licensed to sell hearing devices in your state. Some of the manufacturers will not even honor their warranties and some will refuse to sell to them if they know about them. When they ship your aid, they will program it to your audiogram if you gave them one. Hopefully you didn’t take advantage of a FREE test and purchase online, because that test cost the professional at the very least one or two woman/man-hours. Some companies will give you a test online. Professionals are required to get their equipment calibrated yearly. Has the speaker system on your computer been calibrated? It is not legal to use this as a test for fitting hearing aids in most states.

Once they have a test, the software for that manufacturer will set the aids for you. This setting is an average and usually needs tweaking for comfort. It does not take into consideration any speech tests that you have done. (Hopefully you did some speech testing.) Most people, especially new users are not satisfied with a factory first fit. They need time to adjust and gradually get to their prescription. If you need more adjustments, you have to send the aid back to that company. This will take several days. They will not give you a loaner while yours are gone, remember, there is very little service.

Highest Quality Hearing Aids-Hearontheshore.comHopefully, you are one of the 5% that instantly takes to your new hearing style with no service visits and no counseling. If that is the case, you got a bargain. If not, hopefully your 45 days are not up and you can get a refund. Make sure they don’t have a restocking fee. Some states allow up to 15% for restocking. If your time is up and you feel stuck, all is not lost. Your local hearing care professional may be able to reprogram and take care of your service visits. This will usually cost you anywhere from a few hundred to one or two thousand, depending on the service package. Remember that their time and expertise has a value.

If you only take away one point from this article, know whether your professional has a goal to help you hear better or sell you a hearing aid. All online companies have the goal of selling you a hearing aid. If they pair you with a service professional, that will sweeten the deal. Better hearing is a process, not a onetime purchase.



How Did They Get My Name?

We all get things in the mail that are no interest to us. I for one am sick of getting AARP advertisements. I just throw them in the recycle bin or use them to start a fire. Sometimes we may even get so sick of it that we want to call and get these mailings to stop, after all, this is a waste of natural resources, right? Then, we must ask ourselves, whom do I call?

That answer may seem to be easy. We will call the business that is advertised. If they sent you something directly, that would be the best choice, but most likely, they hired a marketing company to do that for them. When a business does their own mailing, they have to be good at marketing and have access to a targeted consumer list. Not everyone knows how to create a piece that will draw people in the door, after all, that is the purpose for the mailing. Also, those marketing lists are pricey. Marketing companies own those lists and they will mail flyers (with proven success) that they create to those addresses. Believe me; it is more cost effective to do this. One downside is that the list is not always accurate.

With all that in mind, who are you going to call? You could call the marketing company, but don’t even have their number. And really, they do not care if you don’t want more of the same, because they are paid about $1.00 for ever mailer they send. A low percentage of failures is not the end of the world for the business and it really doesn’t affect the marketing company.

The best thing to do is call the company and kindly ask to be put on a “do not mail” list. If they use the same marketing company next time, they will usually honor the list. If it is a new company, they may not. It is not the company’s fault and it most definitely is not the receptionists fault. Take it from me, a former receptionist. Those angry customers can cause tears to fall.

The next time you receive an unwanted mailer, the best thing to do is file it in the recycle bin and go on with your happy life. That’s what keeps me smiling.


Lewes, Delaware

If you live in or near Lewes, Delaware, call me for a free hearing test.




Go to H&H Pharmacy on Chincoteague, VA to sign up for a free hearing test!

I can do a clean and check on your hearing aids, no matter where you purchased them.


Why Do Hearing Aids Cost So Much?

When a patient purchases a set of hearing aids, they are not only getting a product, they are getting a well trained specialist to help with these new devices. Many people feel that they can go on line and purchase the same produchearing-deteriotaion-in-elderlyt for less, sometimes even thousands of dollars less. The truth is, you CAN find hearing aids for less than what you were quoted at your local audiologist’s or hearing aid specialist’s office. Are you getting the same “product” for that lower price?

When we buy other products, shopping for the best price makes sense. Why shouldn’t we do the same with hearing instruments? First of all, we need to compare apples to apples. When we buy cars, do we get the service for free? Do we get the supplies for free? Does a technician ask us to come back a few times each month for the first few months and then twice a year after that, for free? Does someone clean our car for free when it is not performing well? NO, they don’t. We pay tens of thousands of dollars for a car that we drive about two hours a day and we don’t expect anything from the dealership, unless there is a warranty problem. We pay thousands for a computer and don’t expect someone to program it for us, past the initial set up, or replace the battery and clean it for free. Why do we expect someone to set up our hearing devices and then check on us regularly for months and even years for free? Because this is a medical device.

When a patient is fit with a prosthetic limb, they want to be seen regularly for fit and therapy so that they can get used to that device. When fit with contact lenses for the first time, the patient has to be seen regularly for training on how to care for them, to make sure the fit is correct and they are correcting the vision deficit. It is the same with hearing aids. Although they are tiny computers that are worn on or in the ears, they are medical devices. We need trained and licensed professionals to program them to our prescription, make sure the fit is comfortable and at a level that we can accept while they adjust to help us hear better. This service is not really free. It is included in the price the hearing professional quotes for hearing devices.

When we buy hearing aids from a professional, we are not only paying for a product, the hearing aids, we are paying for a service package. Professionals feel that this package is essential to a patient’s adaptation to their new medical devices. There is a quandary among hearing professionals about whether to bundle or un-bundle services with the actual cost of hearing instruments. Un- bundling will expose the lower cost of aids that can be competitive with online pricing, yet there is a fear that patients will not come back for follow-up visits and eventually, the aids will end up in a drawer helping no one’s hearing.

Whether we find lower priced hearing aids with no service package or ones that include all the service required, when devices are uncomfortable physically or audibly, we need to seek out a licensed expert. After all, we would never have paid, even a lower on line price, if we didn’t need hearing help.


What to Expect During Your Appointment

Happy 3 generation family in grandparents' backyard

Being prepared for your evaluation will help you get the most out of it. Ask yourself, “How does hearing affect my life?” Have you noticed any challenges in your ability to hear and understand what is going on around you? If you could overcome these challenges, how would it improve your life?

Now that you are preparing yourself mentally for your visit, why don’t you take some time to jot down the answers to a few questions.

  1. In which situations have you experienced challenges with your hearing?
  2. Has your hearing been frustrating you?
  3. Have your family members or friends said anything about your hearing?

When you have finished those three questions, write down any questions you have about your hearing. You can add any questions or comments from your friends or family members.

Having a companion accompany you to your appointment is very helpful. They can help you remember some of your concerns and questions, they can also help you be more objective when finding a solution. It is always helpful to have someone to support you.



Preparing for your Appointment

hearing-examination-hearonthshore.com-delmarvaWhen you have booked your appointment for your hearing test, remember that two ears matter, sound is an individual experience and living with a hearing loss can be tiring. Those points will help you decipher what you will learn at your first appointment.

Your hearing is like an advanced system. There are two ears to input the information and one brain to process that information into sound. With two ears you can process a variety of sounds and locate their origin. They work together to improve speech understanding by providing important details from the sounds of your environment. Having two ears allows you to focus on the sounds you want to hear and disregard those background noises we all find hard to deal with.

Many do not realize that we all decipher sound differently. Even if two people have the exact same test results, they may experience sound very differently. Of course we have different preferences, but the difference in our hearing experience goes well beyond that. Really, the best listening experiences will be those that allow for customization to the listener.MP900422344

When a person experiences hearing loss, it is very tiring. It is hard work deciphering information that is only partially available. Imagine hearing only 70% of a conversation. How will you know what is being said? Reading facial and context clues can tire a listener. Remember that a hearing solution can make listening more comfortable.

When you attend your appointment, both of your ears will be tested, because they work together with your brain for the best audio system. Your individual results will give your hearing healthcare professional a clear picture to understanding how your advanced audio system works. With that information, she will tailor a plan that is customized to your needs, your comfort and most beneficial to you.


Your hearing ability is as unique as your fingerprint.

In order to assess that ability, a qualified hearing care professional is needed. She will help you take a look at your hearing capabilities. If you are struggling to hear, it is time to take control of the situation. Your hearing should help you enjoy your life.

29000008303Visiting a hearing care professional can invoke fear in many. If you are like the majority, knowing what to expect will help you relax. There is no need to fear, you are in for a pleasant and informative experience that will start you on your path to better hearing. This visit will give you the opportunity to better understand your hearing needs and explore possible solutions.

Hearing contributes to personal safety, emotional well-being and independence. Through your hearing you are able to communicate directly with others and experience the sounds in your environment. Your sense of hearing is precious. It is no wonder that hearing loss can be tiring and a challenge. Studies have linked the effects of untreated hearing loss to many problems including stress, depression, isolation, reduced earning power and even health issues. Thanks to major strides in the field of hearing care, there are solutions that can improve your life.



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