The value of good hearing: Hearing aid prices
People with hearing loss who are looking for a solution to their hearing problem are often quite surprised by the prices of hearing technology. And that’s completely understandable. Indeed, a good quality, recent hearing aid runs between $1,500 and $3,700, and sometimes more. The price varies based on the model and the level of technology. When looking for a hearing aid, you should ask yourself: Is this a worthwhile investment?
When assessing the “value” of hearing aids, it is important to consider the different parameters that influence the sales price.
Research and development costs for hearing aids
First, consider that the three largest hearing aid manufacturers spend an average of $20 to $30 million in R&D per product, which is an enormous amount. Manufacturers are continuously striving to create a product that amplifies sound in a more natural way and is more ergonomic and aesthetic. Researchers and computer engineers use medical research to develop better products. It may take many years of development and redesigns to finalize a new product.
The hearing aids sold today are completely different than the ones your grandparents had! Today’s technology is much more sophisticated. Hearing aids run on mini computers that can perform nearly 440 million operations per second. They are also customizable. Some of the different types of technology available include:
- Noise reducers
- Multidirectional microphones
- Water-resistant hearing aids
- Tinnitus masking programs
Difficulty for hearing aids reaching their audience
Another point to consider is that the market penetration rate of hearing aids is quite low. In Quebec, approximately 20% of those with hearing loss use hearing aids, whereas more than 40% do in the United Kingdom or Denmark. Other technological products like televisions and computers are found in almost every household, so their prices drop regularly. Without sufficient market penetration, the price of hearing aids will stay high. A lack of information among those with hearing loss is the main reason behind this situation.
An appointment for peace of mind
The last point to consider, but definitely not the least important, is the services provided by hearing professionals. Services include synchronizing your appointments with the various hearing professionals (ENT, audiologist, audioprosthetist), taking imprints, doing fittings, repair costs, the satisfaction guarantee and providing guidance. Regular check-ups are recommended to make sure your hearing aids are working as well as possible.
We’ve all seen those infomercials for “hearing aid device, just $14.99” and the like in department stores. Although these offers might be attractive at first glance, they could be a danger to your hearing. Sound amplifiers without digital controls can worsen hearing loss. Most of these cheap products are of very poor quality and can’t be customized or modified for particular needs. Most people who buy these kinds of hearing aids end up regretting it.
Other things to consider
Impact on quality of life
Communication is an essential part of being human. According to a study by the National Council on Aging, “untreated hearing loss has serious emotional and social consequences for older persons.” Hearing aid users confirm that their quality of life has improved significantly. If you wear hearing aids that allow you to do your favourite activities, improve your relationships with family and friends and stay independent, then the cost is entirely justifiable. It’s important to realize that for most people with hearing loss, hearing aids are not a luxury but a necessity.
Take your time making an informed decision about treating your hearing loss and choosing hearing aids. Discuss the best hearing solution for your situation with your audioprosthetist.