If you or a loved one has hearing loss, you may be wondering if hearing aids are the right solution. You might also wonder (or worry) about the cost. Hearing aids might seem like a big investment to many considering the technology. In fact, the price is one of the biggest factors in most people’s purchase decision.
You shouldn’t view a hearing aid as a “huge expense,” however. These devices should be considered more like investments—and you can get a great return on them.
Quality of Life
The first thing you must consider if you or a loved one has hearing loss is quality of life. Hearing loss has been proven to impact everything from job performance to health, so if someone has a need for a hearing aid, weigh the potential cost against the improvements to quality of life. If quality of life will improve dramatically, then hearing aids are a wise investment.
Depending on the type and extent of hearing loss, a person might find that they no longer enjoy listening to music or dining out with a large group of friends, simply because they cannot hear. They may miss important conversations at work or at home. Hearing loss can also impact other aspects of health, such as depression and dementia.
Putting Priorities in Order
Many people feel that they can’t afford hearing aids, and many who need one simply don’t invest because of the price tag. In fact, the National Institutes of Health indicates that less than 25% of people who need a hearing aid actually use one. That means more than 75% of people who need support for their hearing loss go without.
On the other hand, a Pew Research poll indicated that more than half—64%—of Americans own a smartphone. Smartphones are a big investment for many. Like other consumer electronics, they come with a considerable price tag and high chances of needing repair. So why do Americans choose to invest in smartphones, but not hearing aids?
How Much Does It Actually Cost?
One of the reasons Americans purchase smartphones is because they think they can’t live without them. Smartphones allow people to connect across enormous distances. But hearing aids also keep people connected; you can’t be part of the conversation if you can’t hear what is being said. Think about how often you hear static on a cellphone call or distorted sound on a video-messaging call. If you have hearing loss, it’s even more difficult to hear the people at the other end of the line.
Most people do not realize the true expense of a smartphone purchase, as the cost is paid out over time. The phone itself can cost anywhere from $600 to $850 to buy, although few people purchase outright. Most buy on a contract, where the phone is slowly paid for over the term of the contract. On top of that, you pay for the service package. Many plans cost $100 a month or more. If the phone is purchased on contract, you are locked in for the length of the contract. From there, most Americans upgrade their phones, starting the cycle over again.
Hearing Aids Are Better Investments
Why? Overall, the cost of a hearing aid might be equivalent to two years of phone ownership or even more. A recent Hearing Institute study suggested the average cost of a mid-level pair of hearing aids was around $5,000, but it can also be less.
Further, hearing aids are usually updated once every five years, meaning your investment will yield long-term benefits. And there is financial aid available for many people. Some providers will also offer payment plans that allow you to pay in instalments. All of this can make investing in a hearing aid seem like a much simpler proposition than many would think.
As for the return? Think about all the great conversations you’ll have—even the ones conducted on your smartphone! Now that you understand the great benefits of investing in hearing aids, contact us today to book an appointment with a doctoral-level audiologist to get started.