Hearing aids have a wide range of costs depending primarily on the sophistication of the technology within the device. When deciding which price point is right for you, it’s important to match your lifestyle and needs with the technology level. For example in the auto world, someone who pulls a trailer behind his truck to go camping every weekend of the summer is not likely to have his needs met if he buys a low end Kia with a weak engine and no trailer hitch. Matching your needs to your technology is the cornerstone of what makes someone happy with their purchase.
Here is a breakdown of pricing:
Standard Technology: $850 - $1850 per ear.
- There are options in this range from most hearing aid manufacturers. There are some hearing aid companies like Siemens and Unitron that specialize in the low end market. There are several great options in the $1100 - $1300 price range from Siemens that are available. This technology comes in the tiny in the canal size as well as larger more powerful options. This technology is adequate to amplify most sounds in the speech spectrum and will be good for quiet or non variable listening situations.
Advanced Technology: $2150 - $2450 per ear.
- This technology is available from every manufacturer and is a very popular option. This is because most aids in this range have some form of noise management that will help the hearing aid automatically manage noisier environments. This is not to say that it gets rid of noise, but it will make a noisy room much more comfortable. There are generally more adjustments available to the audiologist in this range so the fine tuning can be more specific to each individuals listening preferences. Some good options in this range are from Oticon, Resound and Phonak. These hearing aids also come with a three year supply of batteries.
Premium Technology: $2850 - $2950 per ear.
- The main difference here is binaural synchronization. Wow, that is a confusing term isn’t it. It means that the right aid and the left aid work together as a unit, or a complete hearing system. The automatic features in the left aid are coordinated with those in the right side for better localization and a more natural listening experience. There are many more variables within the software to improve on the fine tuning and make noisy environments more natural. This is suitable for people who have a lot of dynamic listening situations like dining rooms or large group environments, or for those people who just want the best most natural sound quality available to them. This is NOT a good option if you are only getting a hearing aid in one ear, because you would be paying for features you don’t need. Also included is a three year supply of batteries.
The bottom line is that price should not be an obstacle in getting your hearing needs met. If even the low cost option is too high, there are organizations which will often donate hearing aids to those in need.
There is also a perception that big chains, or big box stores would be less expensive. This is also NOT THE CASE. We get the same pricing as everyone else and can offer pricing in any budget range. What you will sacrifice is the skill and experience and education in the fitting part of the process by going to a big box store for the perception that you will get a better price when this is not the case. You can get a low cost aid PLUS the skill of an Audiologist who has a doctorate in the field to make that low cost option sound as good as possible. In fact, it is even more important to get the skill of an experienced and highly educated clinician if you are purchasing lower cost hearing aids so that we can make sure the fine tuning is exact as well you will receive counseling as part of the services.
Local organizations that pay for hearing aids
Lion’s club – http://www.lionsclubs.org Local: http://www.lionsdistrict19-i.org/zone2/imperial.htm
Starkey Foundation: Starkey Hearing Foundation Mission: "Our mission is to bring understanding among people through hearing care by focusing on awareness, education, protection and treatment, so the world may hear". Please contact a Broadmead Audiologist for more information.
Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing: For people who are actively seeking employment and need hearing aids, this local organization will accept applications to fund hearing aids in certain situations. See IDHCC Employment Councellors if this applies to you.
Veteran’s Affairs Canada: Did you spend any time at all in the service? Even if it was not over seas, you may be eligible for a hearing loss claim and pension. See http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/disability-benefits/benefits-determined/entitlement-eligibility-guidelines/hearing_loss for details on the application process. If you have tinnitus you may also be eligible for a tinnitus pension.
WorkSafe BC: If you had any occupational noise exposure, you might be eligible for this program. Even if it was only for a few years in your twenties. See http://www.worksafebc.com/forms/assets/PDF/4.pdf to download an application form.
The bottom line is that price should not be a barrier. If you are concerned about this, we are happily able to accommodate your specific needs and budget in this area.