Top 3 What Do I Need to Know About Hearing Aids Managing First Time Shopper Expectations Lets say you are taking your first steps to looking at hearing aids. This article is helping you manage expectations.
1. Hearing Aids are going to expensive. Relative to other technology and whether you buy online of face to face. Lets start with "relative to other technology" ....like a smart tablet or laptop. Which by the way have much more sophisticated technology inside than a hearing aid. Take a tablet today...Price is $150 to $200 A tablet can do 1000s more things than a hearing aid, for instance: play Movies, use it as Phone (it receives digital signals process and amplifies sounds), text, camera, record movies, games, remote for TV, its a personal computer, you can create excel, word, powerpoints, chat..there are over 100,000 applications for tablets. But why is a tablet so much more affordable? Economies of scale is one reason. More demand pushes the price down. Do you remember when ink jet cartridges were $30-$100 a piece...now there are printers in every home and ink cartridges are $7 at Cartridge World. In a free market where the customer decides---and there are many choices---customers ultimately push the price down.
But back to price. Hearing Aids are going to be expensive whether you buy online of face to face - buying hearing aids face to face might be in the price range of $2000 to $6000 per pair range (and I have heard higher), or even online you are going to spend $800 to $1600 per pair. Still a 50% to 75% savings over face to face but still high compared to other technology like a tablet.
2. Hearing Aids are not going to restore your hearing to when you are 18 years old. In contrast, eyeglasses can restore 20/20 vision. Eyeglasses are so much different than hearing aids maybe we suggest that you refrain from never comparing them side by side. With eyeglasses, once your vision prescription for lenses has been formulated, anyone with the prescription can produce a pair of glasses that will work. Eyeglasses can get you back to 20/20. You can pass a DOT test with eyeglasses. Hearing Aids are more like walking cains. Walking Cains can assist in walking but they are not going to help you run a sprint.
Why is that you ask?
Its all about your hearing being so subjective. (its one of the reasons why most insurance companies do not cover hearing aids) In the hearing aid business there is a measurement called Real Ear Measurement - this is a fundamental part of a hearing aid fitting, Due to individual differences in ear canal size and resonance (as well as many other factors - age, hearing loss, how you lost your hearing, level of hearing loss, low or high or mid range hearing loss, most comfortable level of hearing etc, etc) and hearing aid technology essentially still in its infancy stage, there is no EXACT or perfect way to pre-fit a hearing aid based on someone's diagnostic results or hearing prescription. Its not going to be perfect. Its a best approximation - its a best effort fit to give you the most benefit. Hearing companies can run a sample test. Lets say you have take 10 people with same exact hearing loss. Exact Same. Every one of the 10 would use the same exact hearing aid. You can program the hearing aid exactly to the audiogram. What are the results: Three people will like it. Two or three will say its too loud or too soft or too tinny or too bassy. Two or three will just hate them. Its the reality. Hearing Aids are not going to get to the eyeglass comparison until hearing aids become sophisticated enough to measure the sound in the ear canal on their own, and check that against the hearing prescription- they are not there.
3. Hearing Aids are going to break, die or you are going to loose them. Hearing Aids are a little computers. There is a little microprocessor chip inside the hearing aid. Its a little tiny sensitive silicon computer. And what do you do with them every day? You beat them up. Think about the conditions they are put through. You put them on or take the off at least a couple times a day. You probably drop them more than a couple of times. You take them out in the cold, heat, humidity, wind, rain. Now think about all the foreign substances they are exposed to: Ear Wax, Debris (smoke) and Body oils. After that...you are probably going to lose them at some point. How can you not - Hearing Aid manufacturers are making the smaller and smaller, Harder and harder to see if you drop them on bed, couch, in the chair, etc. Or they get knocked off taking a hat off or brushing your hair or scratching your head or getting out of the car and your seat belt grabs them or you fall asleep with them on. Or your dog eats them or you take them for a shower. We are all human - stuff like this will happen.
These are the Top 3: "What Do I Need to Know About Hearing Aids" that first time customers have asked me over and over again. Thinking about these, I hope, will help you ask the right questions, and help you Manage Your Expectations