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Hearing Aids

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
4,563
Hi - So what's the deal with hearing aids? My mother needs one (or possibly two, if the miracle ear place wasn't just setting us up for an up-sell.)

Her primary care referred her to one of those stores (this one happened to be Miracle Ear) where you can get a hearing test, and then they tell you what they recommend. As far as I can tell, there is not an independent doctor (audiologist) where you can just get a hearing test, but I haven't looked too far into this. Is that what we should be seeking?

So, we meet with the guy at Miracle Ear yesterday. We have to come back for the test, but he talked to us about hearing loss, explained why she would need two hearing aids (for balance, just because you have loss in one ear, doesn't mean you shouldn't optimize hearing in both ears, just like when you go to get glasses and you may have trouble with just one eye.) He kept pulling out flyers to promote his future sale, so I asked him, somewhat jokingly, where's the pricing? He told us he wouldn't give us pricing that day, wouldn't talk #s until her hearing was assessed. Uhm, what?

So, is this the type of place where people get their hearing aids? If we go to another similar place, I'm sure we'll get more salesmanship. How much do these things cost anyway? I'm guessing a lot since I noticed they offer financing. Any what's with hearing aids you can get through Amazon, etc?

Thanks so much!
 

momhappy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
4,660
I would suggest you shop around. I'm not sure of the exact cost, but they can run in the thousands. A relative of mine has them and they always joke about how it's another $6000 down the drain because he's accidentally ruined them. He takes them out & loses them, or he sets them on the coffee table and the dog chews on them (I think because he forgets to turn them off & they can emit a high pitch sound that attracts the dog?), or he forgets to take them out when he showers, etc. I've seen hearing centers at Sams Club and maybe their pricing is better? I think it's definitely worth shopping around.
 

diamondringlover

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
3,796
Huuby has them...they cost $5500, they are the digital kind...he has had all kinds of issues getting them adjusted correctly...he is a machinist in a factory type environment and it gets loud, they can't seem to get them to adjust to both at work and at home...he goes back to the every 3 months or so to try and get them adjusted..if your Mom works in a quiet place or doesn't work at all it may not be an issue for her. I know there are different styles and price ranges and it depends on her lifestyle as to which one's will work best for her. good luck
 

ponder

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
743
My dad has had them for several years. A good portion of his cost is still covered by his insurance so the insurance requires a "prescription" from an ENT. He has his appt with the audiologist at the ENT, briefly sees the ENT, then is able to get his hearing aids through a hearing aid place. $5K is an average price without insurance.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,186
My husband has them and we went to an audiologist. They are not cheap so I would recommend going to a specialist that knows about different types of hearing aids to best address her hearing issues. I don't think I would choose Miracle Ear for them.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,083
Miracle Ear carries a variety of kinds, but instead of a "franchise" operation, I would go to an independent audiologist who offers hearing aids from more than 1 company.

Fortunately, Consumer Reports has not stashed their Hearing Aid Buying Guide behind their paywall:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/hearing-aids/buying-guide.htm

And here are two more, from the National Institute of Health & the Mayo Clinic, that seem worthwhile:
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-aids
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/in-depth/hearing-aids/art-20044116

Best wishes to your mother! I'm sure she really appreciates you helping her navigate this!
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
4,563
Thanks, guys. This is very helpful info.

I do have to figure out whether the place that her doctor initially referred her to was an independent sort of place. I thought it too was MiracleEar, but I think my mother just preferred MiracleEar, so that's why we went there to start. All in all, I guess it was a good intro to the business of hearing aids!

Thanks for the price points, ladies. That's helpful to know a range at least.

diamondrnglover - I feel bad for your DH. I hope there's a way they can adjust out the background noise given his work environment.

Ponder - My mother has only medicare, so no hearing aid coverage, at least that's my understanding thus far.

Momhappy - That's an expensive dog! Yikes! I could totally see misplacing them, or forgetting about them, if they are really small.

Molly - Thanks so much for the links. The Consumer Reports will be especially helpful, I think. I did come across the MayoClinic link earlier this morning and found it to be a good overview. Would never have thought to ask about a trial period, for example. We will definitely be abandoning the MiracleEar option now that I've gotten a better understanding of the options out there.
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
6,059
Costco has the best prices - about half, if I remember correctly, of what the audiologists were charging.
We had testing done at two audiologists, then a free test at the doctor's office, then a free test at Costco if I remember correctly. All the test results were exactly the same. The only difference was we paid beaucoup for the first two and the aids were more expensive with the "experts".
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
6,731
Second vote for Costco! :wavey: :wavey:

Even if you are not a member, it is well worth the money to become one for this situation, because the savings will be so great. If you decide not to buy them there, you can get a full refund of the membership price at ANY time, no questions asked. Even if you do buy them, you can drop your membership 10 minutes later, if you want (but then you'd miss out on their panko breaded shrimp! :D )

I like Costco because they are low on the BS scale. I've purchased a lot of jewelry from them, and a car through their new car program ($4000+ under sticker price). Also, a TV, a dishwasher, bathroom vanities, washing machine, a couch, several chairs, glasses, contacts, prescriptions, the list goes on and on. I got there FIRST for everything.

It's worth going with your mother to check out the options there, appointments are easy to get, and they will tell you the prices right away. :appl: :appl:
 

Moises_Wahnon_Maman

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
2
It's likely he didn't want to talk about money because some hearing loss requires different aids, and the price can be affected. I had a friend who needed them, but that was from a young age so needed very few adjustments over the years.
No idea how good is Costco's audiology test and products, but you should check if your insurance accepts it or not. Otherwise you might be losing what you're saving.
All the best to your mother and her hearing.
 

kindred

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2008
Messages
945
I have also heard really good things about Costco hearing aids.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
Costco? Wow! Who would've thunk! My dad needs a hearing aid but insists he hears everything he wants to hear because he can turn the TV up at load as he wants! :rolleyes:

Good luck, LV. I'm glad your mom is receptive.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,226
My father has a severe hearing loss. His newest hearing aids cost in the $5,000 range (two years ago). One of the things that was appealing about these hearing aids is the ability to directly tie some electronic signals into the aids - i.e., from the AV equipment used at his church, but either he tried this feature and didn't like it, or it turned out to be too much trouble. :roll:

A question for those who have used Costco - how's the follow-up care? My father tried two or three different sets of hearing aids before settling on the pair he now uses, and also had to swap out aids a year or so after he first got them because they were starting to irritate his ears. Would Costco cover that level of follow-up care?

pupmom: I know I'm probably preaching to the choir, but do your best to persuade your father to give hearing aids a try. They've come such a long way with this technology that the newest HA's are barely perceptible, visually, in the ear.

Many people don't realize that hearing is a function of both the mechanics of sound, and noise recognition, particularly where speech is concerned. Once your ear hears a sound, your brain has to make sense of it... or where speech is concerned, it has to take all of the various sounds that make up a word and figure out which word was spoken. That speech perception component is sort of a use it or lose it feature - your brain gets rusty when less sounds are coming in due to deafness. Getting hearing aids sooner rather than later can help prevent some of this loss of speech perception. http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/why-wont-they-get-hearing-aids/?_r=0
 
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