Comparing How & Where to Buy Hearing Aids
You are in need of some hearing aids. This can be a very difficult and concerning time for anyone experiencing hearing loss. However, you first should know that you are not alone. In fact, according to the Center for Hearing and Communication, “Nearly 48 million Americans have a significant hearing loss.” The question now is, where do you start? How does one go about getting the best and most affordable hearing aids on the market today?
With so many options out there, it can be hard deciding where to take your first step in your hearing aid journey. The following is intended to help you do just that – compare the options out there according to time and price in order for you to make the best, most informed decision.

Face-to-Face Doctor’s Appointment
This is the most traditional way of obtaining hearing aids. This journey requires you to schedule a doctor’s appointment with a hearing specialist, more commonly known as an ENT or Otologist. If you do not know one or are unable to be referred to one, your best bet would be to look in the Yellow Pages or do a simple Google search for nearby Otologists.
After making an appointment with your hearing specialist, you should have to wait no longer than two weeks to be seen (Better Hearing Institute). Once there, you will fill out a short form and give your signature before getting your ears checked by the ENT doctor. They will go through your medical history, perform a communication assessment and may possibly provide you with some counseling that’s primary purpose is to focus on the underlying emotions of your hearing loss before scheduling your next appointment.
Although this is the most traditional and common way of obtaining hearing aids, for some it may not be the most practical. For those needing hearing aids in a timelier manner as well as those hoping to keep costs low, a face-to-face doctor’s appointment is most likely not the best option. After all, hearing aids can be expensive, as can multiple visits to an ENT doctor. Here’s a snapshot of this option…

Price Range: $1500 - $8000 (per hearing aid)
Pros: One-on-one help from specialists / possible counseling / comfort for first timers
Cons: Expensive / long wait time / multiple appointments needed / doctors choose the brand

Researching & Purchasing Online
In this day and age, you shouldn’t be too surprised to find out you can purchase hearing aids completely online. There are dozens of great companies out there selling not only high-quality hearing aids but hearing aids at a significant discount. So instead of spending upwards of $6000-$8000 per hearing aid, you can find them for as little as $500. You may be asking yourself how they can possibly offer such a great discount? The simple answer is that they do not have to pay the middle men, including the doctors you would see in option one above. So right now, the only thing stopping you from buying a hearing aid by the end of today is researching which company and device is best suited for you personally.
You should note that if you do feel you need a customized experience because of your medical history, you may want to forego this option of buying hearing aids online. However, if you are either in the market for new hearing aids to replace your old ones or feel you do not need a face-to-face doctor’s appointment with an Otologist, this may just be your ticket for an awesome, affordable hearing aid device.
When looking to buy an affordable yet high-quality hearing aid online, you need to be certain you are buying from a reputable company. When conducting research, make sure that the company offers things such as a “90-Day Money Back Guarantee” like that of Century Hearing Aids and so many others. With this type of offer, it allows you to try out the hearing aid and return it if for some reason, it doesn’t properly fit you or your daily lifestyle. Not only that, Century Hearing Aids and several other companies have hearing aid guides so that you are able to choose the right hearing aid from the start; reducing the chances of having to return it and try another one.
The biggest things to note when deciding which online hearing aid company you want to buy from are the return policies, the history of the company, the price and also the manufacturer’s warranty.

Price Range: $500 - $2000 (per hearing aid)
Pros: Much more affordable / money-back guarantee / less time required
Cons: No one-on-one care

Third-Party Financing
Unfortunately, not all insurances cover the cost of hearing aids. If devices can range anywhere from mid $100’s to $5,000 it can really create a financial burden on those in need of a device or two. This option of going through a third-party is an additional affordable option outside of the online alternative mentioned just above.
The first third-party to consider when your insurance doesn’t cover the cost and you are not able to pay cash for your hearing aid is to buy from a provider that offers financing. There are several providers that realize the cost of hearing aid devices can be quite steep and as a result, many are now offering financing, which is a fantastic option for those who want a very high-quality device but can’t pay cash on the spot for it.
Secondly, consider looking into your state’s Vocational Rehabilitation program where many offer great resources and affordable options for those who are unable to pay top dollar. More information on this third-party option and a directory of each state’s offerings can be found at Deaf and HOH.
Thirdly, if you are a member of American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) you may be eligible for their hearing aid program that includes a consultation, devices and batteries at a discount (Healthy Hearing).
Lastly, if you are a veteran, you are absolutely eligible for a zero-cost consultation, device and follow-up appointment from the Veterans Administration.

Price Range: $0 - $3000 (per hearing aid)
Pros: financing available / government funded available / less time required
Cons: Less chance of one-on-one

Whether you decide to book a one-on-one appointment with your local Otologist, research and purchase online or take up an offer from a third-party resource to obtain your new hearing aids, always remember there isn’t one option fits all in the hearing aid world. Always be sure to do what is best for you and your lifestyle. After all, purchasing a hearing aid is a big decision and one that can ultimately affect your quality of life.