Nearly 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, yet only one in five individuals who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one,according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, you might be curious about hearing aid affordability. Read on for more information about the average cost of hearing aids whether there are any cheap hearing aids that work.
Hearing Aid Cost
According to the Hearing Industries Association, the total cost of hearing aids varies depending on the type and features of the device, as well as the services provided by your hearing healthcare team.
“The average cost of an individual digital hearing aid in the USA ranges from $1,000 to $4,000. Since most people need bilateral devices, we can double the cost to $2,000 to $8,000 [respectively], and since most don’t last more than five years, this is a recurring expense,” Darius Kohan, MD, director of otology and neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, tells WebMD Connect to Care. "The price depends on how sophisticated a device is and the type of device," Kohan adds.
According to the Hearing Industries Association, one-third of the total cost of a hearing aid accounts for the technology used in the hearing aid. The remaining sum may cover:
- Consultation charges
- Fitting and molding
- Testing appointment with the hearing aid
- Adjustments and check-ups
“The worse the hearing loss, the more power or gain a device needs to amplify sound," Kohan says. According to Kohan, here are a number of additional elements that contribute to the final cost of hearing aids, including:
- The user's ear shape
- The specific type of hearing loss being addressed
- The varying sound clarity of different devices
- The user's dexterity with miniaturized devices
- The user's comfort with controlling high tech devices
- Cosmetic considerations
"Most providers include programming cost and audiology support bundled into the cost of the device,” Kohan adds.
How to Find Affordable Hearing Aids
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, the hearing aid which will work best for you depends on the type and severity of your hearing loss. If both ears are affected, you may need two hearing aids, because two devices provide more natural signals to the brain. Although the cost of hearing aids is an important factor to consider, since there are variables that can increase it by several thousand dollars, it is best not to use cost alone to find the best hearing aid for you.
“The focus should be on finding a good provider, someone who can provide a comprehensive assessment and can be trusted to offer an appropriate solution to the person's needs. This approach often saves the most money too,” Stelios Dokianakis, AuD, audiologist and owner of Holland Audiology in Michigan, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
There are a number of cheaper over-the-counter personal sound amplification products designed for mild to moderate hearing loss currently available, but these devices are not actual hearing aids, and they aren't regulated in the same way that hearing aids are. While these devices have been documented to help some, you won't get the personalized care and tailoring that comes with buying actual hearing aids.
Hearing Loss can be Managed and Treated.
The earlier you address the symptoms of hearing loss, the more likely you are to avoid irreversible damage. Get the answers you need to start treatment today.