Are you having trouble hearing speech when there is noise around you? Do you wish people would stop mumbling? Do you find yourself avoiding conversation because it is too hard to hear? You may be one of the 28 million Americans with hearing loss.

Did you know that only about 20% of Americans with hearing loss have hearing aids? Why so few? The reasons given by consumers include the stigma of hearing aid use, the expense, and concerns about lack of benefit. With the combination of current hearing aid technology and the expertise of our audiology staff, you may find hearing aids that are cosmetically comfortable, affordable, and provide benefit over unaided listening.

The University of Maryland Audiology staff provides comprehensive hearing aid services. These services include, but are not limited to, the routine use of measurements to verify hearing aid output (real-ear measurements), orientation to hearing aid use, and tests and questionnaires to confirm that the hearing aids are providing better hearing.

Routine follow-up visits are encouraged to ensure your satisfaction with the hearing aids. The follow-up visits are included in the cost of the hearing aids. The audiologists do not receive commissions or bonuses for hearing aid sales, so you can be assured that the hearing aids recommended for you are based on your listening needs, cosmetic preferences, and budget.

Why do hearing aids cost so much?

Unlike other kinds of electronic technology, such as computers and televisions, the volume of hearing aid sales is quite small. The research to develop new hearing aid technology is expensive. One company reportedly spent $21 million to develop one of their advanced hearing aid circuits. The research costs are recouped by a smaller number of users of the technology, hence the price of the technology is higher.

Another reason for the relatively high cost is the service component. In many audiology practices, part of the mark-up on the hearing aid covers the time spent with you over a period of time (usually one to two years, depending on the hearing aid warranty).

The Hearing and Balance Center is a participating provider with many insurance plans who have benefits for hearing aids.

For More Information

To learn more about hearing aids, see the consumer section of the American Academy of Audiology or the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. You can also review the following pages within the Center for Auditory Solutions Web site: