This Article is About
hearing aids
deaf ear
grandchildren
medicare
A Hearing Aid Saga
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Background

Over the past 18 months I have become aware that my hearing is not 100%. My wife, who is

very hard of hearing and wears 2 'top of the line' hearing aids has been telling me that I needed to go and see her audiologist at Clinic A to have my hearing tested and get advice for a hearing aid.

My children and grandchildren also complained that I did not always hear everything that was going on.

I thus decided that I needed to do something about it. I had in mind that I wanted to try one hearing aid in my perceived deaf ear to see what improvement that would make and what other issues were associated with the wearing of a hearing aid.

Phase 1 - Frustration

At about this time I received a letter addressed to me personally from Clinic A informing me that they were going to have a 'Special Event' at which their hearing aids would be available for demonstration. Also they were offering a free hearing test, a free Otoscopic Visual Assessment and a free discount Medicare Rx card.

As well as all that they had been authorized by some manufacturers to offer up to 50% off the price of their hearing aids.

So I called Clinic A and made an appointment to visit them at their 'Special Event'. I arrived on time and after a 10 minute wait I was shown into a small office where an audiologist carried out a visual ear inspection and a hearing test. As a result he told me that I had some hearing loss in both ears.

He then equipped me with a hearing aid in each ear and after he had programmed them.

I experienced a considerable hearing improvement. I then asked him how much these hearing aids were and was told $7,000.

At this stage I removed the hearing aids and departed. We did not talk about discounts and I was not even offered my discount Medicare Rx card.

When I got home my wife was anxious to know how I got on. When I told her what happened she told me that I really need to go and see her audiologist and explain to him that I only want to start with one hearing aid.

Phase 2 – Severe Frustration

Some two days later I received another letter this time from Clinic B highlighting that they were offering a behind the ear hearing aid for $489. Included in the contents was also details about how you can carry out your own hearing test through an on- line web site.

This I did and identified that I do have some hearing loss but nothing drastic.

Meanwhile my wife continued to press me to go and see her audiologist(at Clinic A) and talk to him and get his input.

So I made an appointment to go and see him. The first thing he did was to carry out yet another hearing test, despite the fact that the results of my original hearing were in

my file. Surprise, surprise it showed that a hearing aid would help my hearing but he insisted that needed two hearing aids. He then gave me a chart showing a range of 4 types of hearing aids ranging from $7,000 to $4,400 per pair all carrying a $500 discount. It was up to me to decide which one I wanted to buy.

This time I left to 'think about it'.

Phase 3 Utter Frustration

Now I was extremely frustrated. I then called Clinic B and enquired about their $489 special offer. I was able to find out that it was a 'Rexton Arena basic amplifier'.

I decided that I needed to find out what this particular hearing aid would do for me so I visited their office to see in could try one. I was told that I would have to make an appointment for a hearing test before I could try one out. I told them I had already had 3 hearing tests but they insisted that I couldn't try it without having another one.

Phase 4 – The Solution

Now I was utterly frustrated. So I decided to look at hearing aids in Consumer Reports.

Unfortunately there weren't any as the manufacturers had not provided any information for evaluation.

So I looked further on the Internet. The first thing I found out was that I could get a Reston Arena hearing aid from Amazon for $320.

Then I came across Century Hearing Aids and there to my amazement was a complete evaluation of their range of hearing aids with a comparison table of hearing aids sold by the clinics I had already visited. I decided to move ahead and try one which was equivalent in specification to one on the list of Clinic A selling at $2,800(basic model).

The hearing aid I chose was the Audition Basic Open Fit selling at $599. I called Century Hearing Aids and found out that if I had my hearing profile which I had they

could program it and have it to me the next day.

I placed the order there and then and sure enough it arrived the next day.

Phase 5 – Salvation

First of all I can hear clearly most of what is going on around me. Many things now make a noise which I did not hear before, e.g. I now hear the keys on my computer keyboard when I press them and I can clearly hear my car direction indicator warning sound.

I have now had a chance to try it out in a very crowded room and also in a teaching environment and it has performed well above expectations.

.

A good lesson - I could have ended up paying $7,000 for the same results as I achieved by spending $59.


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