If you've been shopping for hearing aids lately, you've probably seen advertisements for "free" hearing tests performed by retail hearing aid stores or audiologists' offices. It sounds great! Call a number and make an appointment for your complimentary hearing evaluation. However, unlike with an online hearing aid test, the hearing aids you are offered in-store after getting your results are often outrageously expensive.
Let's take a look at the problem with free hearing screenings, why they're offered, and what you should do instead.
The Problem with Free Hearing Tests
Companies offer free hearing tests because they hope to sell you a hearing aid. That in itself is not bad. However, most of these providers charge a huge markup on their hearing aids. Prices often range from somewhere between $2000 and $5000, and sometimes more! Paying that much, even for a top of the line hearing aid, is highway robbery. Don't fall for it.
Why Companies Started Offering Free Hearing Tests
The hearing aid industry follows a 50-year-old sales model. It expects the patient to go to an audiologist to get a hearing test, and once the test is completed, purchase a hearing aid from that provider at a substantial profit. The industry has not changed, even though the shopping habits of people have.
Think of it this way. One used to go to a specific optometrist or ophthalmologist to have an eye exam. Once the exam was finished, you would order your glasses or contacts from them and pay whatever price was given. No longer is that the case. There is competition in the vision business. You can shop around locally, call 1-800-CONTACTS or companies like it, and receive your eye-ware at a major discount. The consumer dictates what they pay, not the optometrist.
Where You Should Get a Hearing Test
If you believe you may have hearing loss, our suggestion is to go to an actual Ear, Nose, Throat doctor to have your hearing test done. Often, if your doctor refers you, Medicare will cover a portion of the exam. Once you have your hearing test (audiogram), do some research online to find the best hearing aid options for your specific situation.
At Advanced Affordable Hearing, you can even email us a copy of your hearing test, and we can advise you on which aids will work best for you. Most companies (including ours) have a money-back guarantee if a hearing aid does not work out, so your risk is minimal as well. You will be shocked by how much money you can save by doing so.
If seeing an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor isn't an option for you, you also have the option of evaluating your hearing using a free online hearing test, like the one we provide: Online Hearing Check.
So, next time you see that advertisement in the paper for a free hearing test (or television, etc.), take a pause. There is a reason they are offering it for free, and most of the time, it will come at the expense of your pocketbook.
As always, if you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us.
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