Can I buy any size hearing aid I want?

Hearing aids come in a variety of styles, technology levels, and prices, so finding a solution to hearing loss has never been easier. Choosing the best hearing aids requires consideration of your lifestyle, communication needs, hearing test results, and manual dexterity. Hearing aids that are custom-made to fit your ear include Invisible-In-the-Canal (IIC), Completely-In-the-Canal (CIC), In-The-Canal (ITC), In-The-Ear (ITE), Behind-The-Ear (BTE), and Receiver-In-the-Canal (RIC) style hearing aids can all have the same level of technology and circuitry. Receiver-In-the-Canal (RIC) style hearing aids are smaller and lighter weight than Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids. RICs have a sleek design and are barely visible when worn. At The Place for Better Hearing, the style and size of the hearing aid does not determine its price. It’s the level of technology and electronics inside the hearing aid that determines its price. In general, hearing aids with more automatic background noise-filtering capability are more expensive. We mostly sell hearing aids made by Starkey Hearing Aid Technologies and Phonak.

What can you do for my tinnitus?

We ask our patients who are bothered by tinnitus to complete a Tinnitus Handicap Inventory which helps to identify difficulties they may be experiencing because of tinnitus. In the test booth, we offer tinnitus matching which involves trying to match a sound generated by the audiometer to match the pitch, type of sound, and loudness level. Many hearing aids have tinnitus maskers built into them. A particular memory can be designated for the masking sound to be initiated to help mask or suppress the tinnitus.

Will I get normal hearing from hearing aids?

Although the technology has improved significantly in recent years, hearing aids will not restore normal hearing. They AID in hearing. That said, most hearing aid users report a noticeable improvement in hearing with their hearing aids.

Is hearing loss just a sign of aging?

Hearing loss can be the result of noise exposure from loud music, from hunting with a fire arm, operating power tools and other machinery, scuba diving, or drug side effects. An acquired hearing loss usually starts affecting communication and socialization skills in mid-life, about the same time you need reading glasses or bifocals.

Is wearing a hearing aid a sign of old age?

Actually, more people will notice your hearing loss than will notice your hearing aids. Avoiding conversations, turning up the volume on your TV, and asking people to repeat themselves are all more apparent signs than a small device in your ears. Many people with untreated hearing loss appear to have dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Could my particular type of hearing loss be untreatable?

This is unlikely. In almost all cases, nerve damage in the ears can be helped through amplification with hearing aids. Other types of hearing impairments are medically treatable. Sometimes, the problem can be as simple as excess ear wax.

What is the price of your hearing aids?

Hearing aids at The Place for Better Hearing, hearing aids rage from $750 to $3400 per hearing aid, depending on the technology required to meet your needs and your lifestyle. Averaged over the lifetime of the instruments (about 5 years), the cost per day of a pair of high quality hearing aids is about $3.50 per day.

Will insurance help pay for hearing aids?

Many insurance companies do not pay for hearing aids, including Medicare. However, some Medicare supplements offer hearing aid discount programs that help to reduce the price of hearing aids. Some of those programs are called TruHearing, Hear In America, Hear USA, American Hearing Aid Benefits, and Amplifon. Federal Blue Cross/ Blue Shield (for retired Federal Employees) have substantial hearing aid benefits. Employees who have unions associated with their jobs also may have hearing aid benefits. If you have hearing aid benefits and we are in network with your provider, we will be happy to file a claim with insurance. The staff at The Place for Better Hearing is happy to check with your insurance for hearing aid benefits and discount programs.

What are your payment policies?

A 20% deposit is requested at the time hearing aids are ordered. Payment is due in full at the time of the hearing aid fitting. A minimum 30-day “adjustment period” is allowed for all new hearing instrument purchases. A small return fee is assessed for hearing aids that are returned for credit. The Place for Better Hearing accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. We offer a payment program through CareCredit (12 months with zero percent deferred interest) for those who qualify.

Why is the price of hearing aids so much?

There are several factors. There are only six major manufacturers of hearing aids, there are millions of dollars spent each year in research and development (Starkey Hearing Technologies spent $82 million in 2015 and has budgeted $82 million for 2016), they have to customize and personalize the in-the-ear hearing aids, there are manufacturing costs, the Audiologist’s fitting fees, plus a manufacturer’s warranty that covers the hearing aids for loss, damage, and repair. (Most hearing aids come with a 3 year loss, damage, and repair warranty. ) The biggest factor affecting the price of the hearing aids you buy is whether or not you need the premium technology or more basic technology. If you need lots of automatic noise reduction, you’ll pay for it. If you have a less active life style and are in less noisy listening environments, the price of the hearing aids goes down. At The Place for Better Hearing, the style or size of the hearing aid does not factor into its price, it is the technology inside the instrument that determines its price.

Why is background noise such a concern?

Hearing comfortably in noise is the biggest problem for people who wear hearing aids. Both Phonak and Starkey have noise reduction systems designed to solve that problem by helping to preserve speech in noisy situation. They are engineered to reduce your listening effort and mental fatigue so you hear more of what you want, like conversations, and less of what you don’t, like wind and noise.