Four years ago, Congress passed a new bill creating a brand-new category of hearing aids which were meant to serve the many people suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss. However, no regulations have been set regarding this bill passage as yet, and that has opened the door to a number of manufacturers to make inaccurate claims about the devices they offer for sale. These cheap, and often inadequate, hearing devices have flooded pharmacies and are being sold over-the-counter (OTC) to needy individuals who often end up disappointed with their purchase.
There are approximately 48 million Americans currently suffering from hearing loss, and the claims issued by some manufacturers is that their devices are capable of helping everyone in this category. This is absolutely not true. First of all, hearing loss is a very personal issue, and it is usually very different for everyone who experiences it. Even high-quality devices are not guaranteed to help everyone who has this problem, because their experience could be totally different. Then too, this new category of devices was intended to serve the group of individuals who have mild to moderate hearing loss – those with severe hearing loss have virtually no chance of benefiting from the cheap OTC devices.
This is also categorically untrue. Most quality hearing aids cost between $900 and $1,600, and this includes lifelong maintenance, clinical evaluations, fittings, and warranty coverage. Given the fact that all necessary services are bundled into the total cost, this is actually a pretty decent bargain, and it can be very cost-effective for most people who require hearing aid service. In addition to that, all 50 states require at least partial insurance coverage to pay for devices when a patient has a legitimate need for one.
The actual biggest barrier to providing hearing aids to all those who need them is the same as it has always been – the stigma attached to wearing a hearing aid. Many hearing aids are plainly visible as they rest in someone’s ear, and they instantly identify the wearer as someone who is somehow inadequate, damaged, or incapable. This is of course old-school thinking, but it has yet to be expunged from the American consciousness, and people who wear hearing aids are still thought to be less than whole.
As mentioned below, there are currently at least 90 manufacturers of hearing aid devices who market their products in this country. Any claims by makers of cheap OTC devices that there are few choices and theirs is the best, are just plain false. There will be a wide variety of high-quality hearing devices available for needy users for the foreseeable future. The only problem with that is trying to make the right choice for your circumstances.
There are more than 90 FDA-approved manufacturers of hearing aids in this country, and that can make it difficult to choose a hearing device that will be appropriate for you. Contact us at Sage Hearing Solutions, so we can diagnose exactly what your hearing issue is, and work with you on selecting a hearing aid that will enrich your life, and provide as much high-quality sound as possible.