Hearing Aid Brands
How many hearing aid brands are out there? Twenty? Fifty? A Hundred?
There are actually less than ten MAJOR leading manufacturers of hearing aids.
If this is true, how is it that you see dozens of ads online for the newest hearing instrument? How is it that you can go into big box stores, national retailers, and local audiology clinics and receive different product names, wildly different price points, and different levels of care?
The level of care is it. Seeking a hearing care professional that you trust with your hearing health is paramount to having a successful fit. If you are fit in one of the major manufacturers, it is likely that a provider network is already out there for your hearing instrument.
Speaking of "Provider Networks"...
There are many national retailers of hearing aids in the USA. They all have a tendency to have higher pricing and often attribute the higher pricing to their "network" of providers. They claim have the most reputable specialists, require continuing training, etc...
Not only do these brands have a smaller network than the leading manufacturers, but it is often more exclusionary. Many national brands "lock" their hearing aids so that other hearing care professionals cannot adjust your prescription without being a part of their brand. Often this "locking" is the ONLY difference between their brand's hearing instrument and the instruments direct from the company that manufactures the aids. If there is a physical different between a branded hearing aid and a international manufacturer, it's almost always the exterior only.
As far as extra credentialing and training, in most states, the only extra credentialing a hearing aid specialist can go through is receiving a National Board Certification (NBC-HIS), which is the recognition of the provider on a national, as opposed to a state level. Continuing training is required for ALL hearing aid specialists every time the license is renewed. While a brand can require extra training, continuing education is not specific to any company, manufacturer or national brand.
What is this $100 hearing aid at the drug store?
You are more than likely looking at a Personal Sound Amplifier, or PSAP. These are not hearing aids but are often packaged and marketed similarly to hearing aids. These are available over-the-counter because they can only amplify to a certain level. They are never meant to fit anyone with a severe or profound hearing loss. PSAPs are not medical devices and are not regulated by any state or federal board.
Nova Hearing Center carries Signia and Oticon, two of the largest international manufacturers in the world. We have contracted with these manufacturers directly-- we are not hiding behind a name. We don't lock providers out of your hearing instruments. We are here to help YOU with your hearing journey!