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  • Writer's pictureAryan Nagesh

The Price to Hear by ohm kumblekere

Hearing impairments affect three-quarters of a million Americans. Many do not discern how hearing improves our listening and speaking comprehension skills, and without payable costs, those who are deaf or hard of hearing are unable to receive any aid surrounding their hearing issues: this includes physician consultations, hearing aids, and more.

Depending on the diagnosis, the necessary equipment differs from person to person. So how much does one need to pay? Specifically, hearing aids range from $1,500 to $4,900. Behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE), which are used for any age with mild to profound hearing issues, can cost up to $3,247 for a single hearing aid. In-the-ear hearing aids (ITE) --used for those with mild to intense hearing loss, can be valued at $3,167. There are two types of canal hearing aids: in the canal (ITC) and completely in the canal (CIC). These are both used for mild to moderately severe hearing losses: ITC can cost $2,500 to $4,900 and CIC can cost from 1,500 to 4000 per hearing aid. Although these prices help their auditory impairments, a hearing aid is only durable for about three to seven years. With the average human life in America being 77 years, hearing aids can cost $52,360 in one person’s lifetime ($104,720 for those who need two hearing aids). Because of this, many cannot afford this technology even with health or medicare treatments. This can create problems when trying to find specific jobs or simply living a day-to-day lifestyle and not being able to have one of our human senses. Many companies that create the treatments know this, but to them the profit that comes from these incredibly high costs is more important than the millions of people who suffer every day.

In October 2022, the FDA made a new ruling allowing over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids to be bought. No medical procedures, appointments, and diagnoses are needed by doctors anymore. The rule issued allows for better access to hearing aids and lowers the total money paid used by Americans. With this, Americans who previously could not afford expensive hearing treatments and hearing aids are now able to gain some kind of help at a substantially lower price point. Due to this, Americans’ standard of living has greatly increased and benefitted by knowing that even if you do have some kind of hearing issue or hearing loss, money and finance come less into a rule for what people can do to find help.

Overall, the price of hearing impairments in America has negatively many who need these aids are placed under strict costs that the majority of people can not afford. With the price of making hearing aids and help to be relatively cheap and the industry marking up these prices to absurd amounts, people can face more than just the hearing issues they would have. Thankfully, the new treatments and services being provided have lowered this cost for the many who could either not afford the aid or were struggling to find any viable services. This has given people hope about the problems they are dealing, and that it can be made to fit anybody in any condition.






Citations

Commissioner, Office of the. “FDA Finalizes Historic Rule Enabling Access to over-the-Counter Hearing Aids for Millions of Americans.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, 16 Aug. 2022, https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-finalizes-historic-rule-enabling-access-over-counter-hearing-aids-millions-americans.

Hearing aids (2013) National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-aids#:~:text=Hearing%20aids%20are%20primarily%20useful,inner%20ear%2C%20called%20hair%20cells. (Accessed: December 4, 2022).

Gordon, S. (2022, November 28). The actual cost of hearing aids in 2022. Forbes. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/health/hearing-aids/actual-cost-of-hearing-aids/

Mroz, M. (2022, June 28). Hearing aid prices. Healthy Hearing. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from https://www.healthyhearing.com/help/hearing-aids/prices

Mohr PE;Feldman JJ;Dunbar JL;McConkey-Robbins A;Niparko JK;Rittenhouse RK;Skinner MW; “The Societal Costs of Severe to Profound Hearing Loss in the United States.” International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11155832/.

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