How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost?
Please read the entire page, as unfortunately YOU WILL see many unscrupulous hearing care offices advertising the tricks described further down, and you need to be aware of them if you decide to answer to those types of ads.
What is the cost of hearing aids and professional fees?
At the Herkimer Hearing Aid Center the price includes the evaluation and testing to help create the correct hearing aids for you, ear impressions, and office visits. Remember that we only offer high quality hearing aids with state of the art components to enhance your remaining hearing ability and to bring it back to as close to normal hearing as possible. Generally, you will find larger hearing aids starting at around $1000 and go up to over $3000 for a self-adjusting miniaturized digital hearing aid (like a contact lens for the ear). There are many styles of aids and contless prescriptions which can be made between these two price ranges. The actual cost will vary from person to person because it depends on the individual's particular type and degree of hearing loss in specific frequencies. It is much like fitting together unique puzzle pieces. Two hearing aids that "look" the same most likely have different circuitry components creating different prescriptions to compensate for a different hearing loss, and thus one will be more expensive than the other. Only a thorough hearing evaluation will determine exactly what you will need and what it will cost. But as a general rule, the smaller the hearing aids are, the more expensive they will be. The same is true for the internal electronic components - the better sound quality the hearing aids produce, the more expensive they will be. Again, the actual price depends partly on a combination of your particular needs, the type of components that will be in the hearing aids, and the actual style & size you select. A deposit is required when ordering your hearing aids. We do accept all major credit cards, and also offer interest-free payment plans.
You may see cheaper hearing aids advertised in your local newspaper, but the sound quality is not as clear (learn more about the problems associated with cheaper hearing aids below). REMEMBER: Don't be fooled when "shopping around" for hearing aid prices. Read the paragraphs below. You truly do get what you pay for.
Why shouldn't I get those cheap hearing aids offered by some providers, or those "bargain" mail order hearing aids? What about those "advertised specials" I see in the newspaper or in a mailer? How will I know exactly how much my hearing aids will cost and what I really need?
People like to shop around. When it comes to hearing aids, many people "get taken" by some providers who tell people what they want to hear in order to do business with them, rather than telling people what they should really be looking for in hearing aids and risk losing the "prospect" because the price may be more than what they anticipated. The same is true with those "deep-discounted specials" you sometimes see advertised in your local newspaper or mailers featuring cheap, low quality hearing aids just to lure you into the offices of these unscrupulous dispensers. These unethical marketing tactics are even used by many larger hearing aid centers and national franchises, which unfortunately work with quotas and commissions. Their goal is to get as many people as possible through the door, and the "advertised special" does just that. People who answer to these ads will only be disappointed when, after an hour of testing, they are told that this "special" is 'not right for their particular hearing loss'. They will then be pushed and pressured to purchase hearing aids costing several thousand dollars. This unfortunate "sales tactic" has been plaguing the hearing healthcare field for decades. Be aware of these deceitful advertising practices when you see them.
The truth is that less expensive hearing aids can make you hear louder, but they do not produce the clarity that better hearing aids produce. Cheaper hearing aids will not work well in certain environments such as group functions or when among family and friends. In fact, they may become so annoying and unbearable that you really will not want to wear them much at all. Usually when people get the cheaper hearing aids they either end up unhappy and frustrated, or the hearing aids will just sit in the drawer instead of in the ears. Thus, even though at first you may feel as if you got a good deal, the money that was paid for the hearing aids was in reality just wasted.
This does not mean that a hearing aid costing $3500 is necessarily better for you than a $2000 hearing aid. Your hearing loss may not be complicated enough to require more expensive hearing aids, or there may be a point where your remaining hearing ability may not be sensitive enough for you to be able to distinguish the difference between a good hearing aid and a better grade hearing aid. Or perhaps your personal needs simply don't require the features that a $3000 hearing aid can provide. On the other hand, because of your required prescription and your particular personal needs you may benefit from the more sensative circuits and components, and added features that a more expensive hearing aid provides. It really is impossible to give "an exact price" to someone who is shopping around. Your best bet is to go to a hearing healthcare provider who you can trust -- much like going to your dentist or your doctor.
At the Herkimer Hearing Aid Center we truly care about your hearing. A thorough hearing evaluation and speech reception test will tell us exactly what you are having trouble hearing and to what extent. After the evaluation, and once we know what your personal needs are, we will know what prescription you need and will tell you exactly what hearing aids you should be thinking about -- nothing more and nothing less. It is because of this philosophy of honesty and integrity that the Herkimer Hearing Aid Center has proudly grown to be recognized as one of the finest and most reputable Hearing Care Providers in the Mohawk Valley.
Keep in mind that high quality components are necessary for the hearing aids to process sounds with clarity. This enables you to not only hear louder, but also clearer, because only those frequencies you need amplified will be amplified clearly to your particular needs. Only through this method can a hearing healthcare provider determine what hearing aids you need, and how much they will cost. Nobody can tell you, either on the phone or in an advertisement, how much the hearing aids that you need will cost.
Whatever you do don't fall for the "advertised special" trap. You should always be weary about a practice that uses ads featuring cheap hearing aids or deep perceived discounts. When seeing such an ad, you should ALWAYS ask yourself: "Is this someone who is looking out for my best hearing-care interest or are they just trying to lure me into their offices by advertising low priced (and low-quality) hearing aids or unrealistic discounts?" The same is true with the old "We need 30 people to test..." trick. The truth is they need to get some people in there to 'buy'. Or the ad featuring "Two for the price of one" on a certain model, sometimes the cheapest version of that model (they may try to hide that fact by using a made-up model number to give themselves a way out) just to have an excuse later that it's not for your type of hearing loss and they can't give you that advertised special. Notice they don't say 'Two for the price of one on anything we offer'. And if they ARE giving a percentage off ALL hearing aids, it's usually a percentage off suggested retail price, not a percentage of their everyday lower price. So you are really not saving much at all, if anything. But the perceived discount sure looks enticing, and is a marketing method that they use to get people through their doors. If you see an ad with a percentage off suggested retail price, call and ask what the suggested retail price is, and just based on their answer you'll see that they are just playing games with you. Again, nobody can tell you without a thorough test what types of circuits and what combination of components you need in your hearing aids for them to work well for you, and thus how much they will cost. And once you get tested and are expecting that percentage off offer, they will of course give you the overpriced suggested retail price as opposed to their everyday lower price, much like a pharmacy may have different prices for prescription drugs if you are self-pay as opposed to if your insurance pays. Different tiers for the same thing, so don't fall for it. Another ad you may see features a coupon for a few hundred dollars off hearing aid model "x". Notice they don't tell you that model "x" costs thousands of dollars each. Or you may see an ad touting a three day event with "up to 50% off", only to find out after your hearing is tested that surprisingly the one hearing aid that is 50% off will not work for your particular hearing loss. There are many other slick advertising methods, so you need to be aware. Don't fall for any of these tricks. If they are already playing games with you and you haven't even contacted them yet, just imagine what you will hear when you answer to these ads. Whatever you decide to do, go to someone reputable. Yes, unfortunately hearing loss is very complex and hearing aids are seemingly expensive medical devices, and unfortunately people are always looking for a deal (it's human nature). And there will always be companies willing to lure people by taking advantage of this human nature. So as someone looking for hearing aids, you truly have to use your head. If after reading all this you still fall for their marketing gimmicks, and you spend your hard-earned money on something that will not work well for you, then you really don't have anyone to blame but yourself. Yes, it sounds harsh, but like with anything else, if the deal is too good to be true, IT IS!!!
As the famous writer John Ruskin wrote: "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey."
This holds especially true for hearing aids. There is more to hearing aids than just the model and manufacturer. Your hearing aid experience depends on many factors: The thoroughness of the hearing test, the type of hearing aids ordered, the quality of circuits and components ordered for the hearing aids by the hearing care provider, the hearing aid lab creating the hearing aids exactly as prescribed and requested by the hearing care provider, the fine-tuning adjustment process, the expertise of the hearing care provider, etc. Even with the best hearing aids and the correct prescription, your hearing aids will need to be professionally fine-tuned for your personal listening comfort after the fitting based on your perception of the sounds around you while in your everyday environment. And even the best and most expensive hearing aids will not work for you if every single step was not followed properly or done correctly.
What if I can only afford to buy one hearing aid?
That is up to you, but you should know that your hearing balance will be affected if you need two hearing aids and only choose to wear one. Also, when only one ear gets fitted with a hearing aid, the unaided ear will no longer be getting the benefit of "being talked to loudly". Thus, the unaided ear will be used less often, and in time begin to show the affects of Phonemic Regression and Permanent Distortion more prevalently. This is referred to as "Late-Onset Auditory Deprivation". It's also important to keep in mind that if you decide to get the second hearing aid after that ear's Phonemic Regression and Permanent Distortion has increased, even with the correct prescription, this previously unaided ear may fail to recognize even more speech sounds than it did when the first ear was fitted. So if you have hearing loss in both ears, you should really think about investing in a set of two hearing aids. If money really is a problem, please ask about our convenient interest-free payment plans.
Are there other benefits in getting two hearing aids instead of just one? Why do some people only wear one hearing aid?
A single-sided (unilateral) hearing loss requires only one hearing aid (monaural fitting). Sometimes only a monaural fitting is done because only one ear has a hearing loss. Other times the hearing loss of one ear is so great that it can no longer be helped with a hearing aid, and only one ear can be helped. Unfortunately, there are also times when people, for whatever reason (money, pride, denial), insist on only one hearing aid, and the hearing healthcare provider goes along with it in fear of not "selling" anything at all (the "selling" one is better than "selling" nothing mentality), or perhaps the patient is just unwilling to pay for a second hearing aid no matter what. In such cases the hearing aid wearer will have a hard time hearing and understanding things in their daily lives, even though they are wearing a hearing aid (actually, it's BECAUSE they are wearing only one hearing aid). Nationally, over 75 percent of all new hearing aid fittings are binaural (two hearing aids). Binaural hearing provides a much more natural sound. Clinical studies have shown that binaural hearing
aids enhance satisfaction and provide better overall hearing in more difficult
listening situations when background noise is involved, such as in groups and gatherings, outdoor environments,
and in cars. Binaural hearing also enables the brain to locate where sounds are coming from, and tell approximately how far away they are. One ear alone is unable to provide the brain with the information necessary to do this. Another benefit of binaural hearing is that the hearing aids can be set at a lower volume setting. This will help keep sudden loud sounds from becoming too uncomfortable. Many of those people who try to get away with wearing only one hearing aid end up getting the second one at a later time because of these factors, sometimes many years later, and then comment on how much better they can hear and how they wished they could have heard this way from the beginning and not have wasted those years in frustration. Unfortunately, some people do stay in denial all their lives, and live the rest of their lives in frustration unnecessarily. It makes no more sense to wear only one hearing aid when two are needed, than it does to wear glasses with only a one-lens correction.
Herkimer Hearing Aid Center