July 29th, 2016 | Ask an Audiologist | by Andreas Seelisch

Ask an Audiologist – Concerns Around Hearing Aid Costs

It’s no secret that hearing aid cost is a concern to many. One such inquiry about hearing aid prices came to us via our website from a woman who’s father needed hearing aids despite having surgery to help correct his hearing loss. Hearing Solutions Audiology Manager, Andreas Seelisch, tackled the issue.

According to Andreas, an affordable hearing solution should be attainable with the help and expertise of your hearing health professional.

Ask an Audiologist

Hello,

Concerning hearing aids and prices…my dad has needed a hearing aid for a few years now, but he’s reluctant to get one. His latest reason is that it’s going to cost him $11,000.  From my research, I haven’t been able to find any information to state that this is within the price range of a hearing aid. In your experience are you aware of hearing aids costing this much? My dad had an operation a few years back where his ear drum was pulled out to help with his hearing, but it didn’t provide any improvement at all. If you could provide any information it would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

Audiologist Response

Hi,

Thanks for reaching out! Far too often the reason for doing nothing is based on a misunderstanding. The idea of getting a hearing aid is not exciting to everyone and so it can be easy to find the reasons not to do anything. Unfortunately, in this field, inaction typically leaves us with a certain outcome of no improvement, while doing something at least gives us an opportunity. Our first job as clinicians is to equip people with the right information so that they’re in a position to make a good decision. So thank you for starting down that path for your father!

 

In answer to your questions:

Hearing aids are not cheap. I wish I could tell you otherwise. I believe that rarely, if ever, should this be a reason not to pursue them if they are medically recommended. While some people may not initially see the value in hearing aids, most often I hear people saying in hindsight that they wish things like cost had not prevented them from getting the treatment they needed sooner. The value of hearing instruments is in more than just the immediate benefit as well. There’s lots of research linking hearing loss with brain level concerns like dementia and cognitive decline, conditions which hearing aids have even been documented as offsetting.

While options above $10,000 certainly exist, it’s the upper limit and an unlikely outcome if hearing aids are purchased through our organization. We take considerable time and expertise in looking for promotions, funding options or specific solutions tailored to the individual so that purchasing hearing aids can be as accessible as possible. This process should consider your father’s budget, as well as his testing results and his needs. In many cases we would be able to offer some of the very best hearing aids in the world for half of that cost out-of-pocket, less again if his case or needs warrant them. Not seeing your father’s case I can’t make a specific quote or recommendation. But I can say that he should book an appointment because I’m confident we can find a solution that can accommodate his budget and needs.

Based on the surgery you mentioned, I can guess a few things. First, his hearing loss is probably a significant one, meaning there’s a lot of room for him to benefit. Part of his hearing loss is likely to be ‘conductive,’ and if so, it’s one of the most successfully treated types of hearing loss. I find both of these things exciting as I would predict his prognosis for success to be very high based on those assumptions.

There are a few other details of which you should be aware. We don’t charge for an initial assessment or consultation, so there’s no reason he should be afraid to get answers specific to his case. Based on what you’ve told me, hearing aids will almost certainly be recommended. However, there is minimal risk in trying them. We offer 90-day trial periods in most cases and so even if he remains skeptical or concerned about the cost, he will have a lengthy period to decide if he’s satisfied with the decision. My professional advice, or that of the clinician seeing him, will only take him so far. Let him experience it first hand and decide the value for himself.

Please reach out if you have questions or concerns. Better yet, please a book an appointment and consider joining your father!

I hope this helps.

Andreas Seelisch, MSc, BHSc (Hons), Reg. CASLPO

Andreas Seelisch is a registered Audiologist with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario. Andreas is currently working as the Audiology Manager at Hearing Solutions.

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