Hearing loss can cause a host of problems for a person. Perhaps the most challenging thing is that it’s harder to communicate with others. It’s easy to misinterpret what someone has said or to miss it altogether, which can lead to misunderstandings and confusion. Someone with severe hearing loss may also be unable to hear sounds like sirens, alarms, and beeps that are meant to warn of a dangerous situation. Thankfully, hearing aids can help restore a person’s ability to hear so they can effectively communicate and stay safe. If you or someone you love is suffering from hearing loss, you may be wondering how much hearing aids cost and why they’re so pricey.
Average Cost of Hearing Aids
Someone who’s shopping for hearing aids may get a bit of sticker shock when they realize the cost of these tiny devices. According to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), the average price of a single hearing aid is $2,300 and many times the price is nearly double. If a person needs one for each ear, that’s $4,600 or more. These prices don’t include examinations, fittings, and follow-up visits, which can add a substantial amount to the price.
Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive?
Being that hearing aids are so small, it’s hard to understand what makes them so expensive. Rest assured that the price isn’t about making money; there’s a lot of research and development that goes into creating a hearing aid. The results of all that R&D are high-tech hearing aids that don’t just amplify sounds so people can hear. There are several unseen technologies built into modern hearing aids.
- Noise Blocking – In the past, hearing aids amplified sounds so that a person could detect them. The problem with that is there was no distinction between sounds that someone wanted to hear, like a conversation, and background noises. Today’s hearing aids not only amplify sounds, but they also block out unwanted background noise like the wind, which makes it easier to pick up on essential things like someone’s voice.
- Focused Sound Detection – A noisy, busy room full of people used to be a frustrating experience for a hearing aid wearer. It was difficult, if not impossible, to focus on a single source of a sound, but that’s all changed. The newest generation of hearing aids allows a person to focus on different points in a room to pick up conversations and other sounds they would otherwise miss.
- Small Size – Hearing aids used to be bulky and difficult to hide, but technological advances have changed all that. These days, they’re becoming smaller and smaller so that they’re virtually invisible. As with many other advances in technology, the smaller size warrants a higher price. Often, the only clue that a person is wearing a hearing aid is a transparent tube on the outside. This is a massive advantage for wearers who prefer to keep their hearing loss private.
- Connectivity – Just about every gadget we use can connect to other devices, and the same holds for hearing aids. The latest advances in hearing aid technology allow hearing aids to connect to a smartphone and other wireless devices through a Bluetooth connection. That means it’s easier to talk on the phone and get auditory cues, such as a notice that the doorbell is ringing.
- Testing and Tuning – Hearing aids aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution for hearing problems. Every person has their own unique needs, and the only way to truly get the most out of a hearing aid is with extensive testing. Each hearing aid has to be calibrated explicitly so that the wearer gets the most benefit from it. Often, the cost of testing and tuning the hearing aid is apart of the initial cost.
Are Hearing Aids Right for Me?
The short answer is, maybe. If you’re experiencing a loss, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with me at Selective Hearing. We’ll perform testing to determine the level of hearing loss that you have and determine whether a hearing aid would be beneficial. We’ll also recommend an appropriate device to help you regain your hearing and make sure that it’s fitted properly. We will show you how to care for your hearing aids so they last longer.
We’re Acadiana’s Leading Audiologists
If you have questions or concerns about your hearing, don’t put off getting the answers you need. Contact us online by completing our form, and we will call you back within 24 hours, or call us at 337-291-9939. As Acadiana’s leading Audiologists and hearing experts, we’re committed to providing our patients with the best quality care. You can rest assured you’re in good hands.
An Abbeville, Louisiana native, Dr. Thom realized her love for speech, language, and hearing while taking a speech pathology class her junior year at LSU. After completing a bachelor of arts in communications disorders, that love persisted, and Dr. Thom graduated in 2011 with a clinical doctorate in audiology from Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Thom continues to make sounds and language more accessible to her patients and likes to learn about their unique hearing and communication needs. An active member of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology, she has been serving as a board member for two years, and was the 2016-17 President of LAA.