Many people wonder, “how in the world can tiny modern hearing aids be worth $5000 a set”? (Yes, this is the ballpark that many pay although there are options above and below this cost). The bottom line is that it has a lot to do with what you can’t see, versus what you can see. This is why I’m calling it the hidden cost.Think about a fake leg. You would not go to Walmart to get a prosthetic. What you would get there would be crutches. And the reason is because a team of professionals is required to fit a prosthetic and then to support you through the rehabilitation of your mobility with it.The situation is very similar with hearing aids. The fitting and follow up process is a critical component in one’s hearing improvement.So, let me briefly describe what is done in that process, and more importantly, why you might find it valuable.
- Hearing Test: We need to know what sounds you're not hearing, your unique listening needs, and what your overall goals are. We also need to know if there's any underlying medical conditions that your doctor needs to know about.
- Hearing Aid Selection: Why is this important? Because most people do not know what the options are. Hearing aid brand names are NOT Bose and Panasonic. There are far too many options, potentially hundreds of different models available when you factor in the brands, styles, and performance levels.
- Fitting: Each ear is like a fingerprint, not only what you can see, but the way your brain listens to sound. A good fitting is one of the big keys that leads to people getting the most from their hearing devices. Also, a good fitting saves you money because the most expensive hearing aids are the ones that end up in the drawer.
- Coaching: As you begin hearing more sounds there is a learning curve in how to hear and listen differently. Furthermore, you need to learn how to use and care for your new devices properly.
- Long Term Monitoring: Finally, why is this important? Because stuff changes. Hearing aids show their age over time which means they need re-tuning and repair. Your hearing sensitivity also changes. I often have people come back a year or two down the road, and say, "I'm not hearing as well as I did in the beginning." This leads to a re-evaluation of the hearing, hearing aid function, hearing aid adjustment or repair, etc.
This process of fitting and follow up care, which constitutes the “hidden cost” of hearing aids, is equally valuable to the actual devices and is critical to your overall hearing improvement success. At Nanaimo Hearing Clinic our focus is always on this process. We will always look for ways to help you save money on your hearing investment, but never at the expense of a good fitting and follow up care process!