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From the Manufacturer:

Technology

Manufacturing Costs are high. Hearing aids are not a high volume product. High volume of orders  involve customization. Research and development costs must be spread over a relatively small number of units.

Loss and Damage Period

All manufacturers offer a period of time where the hearing aid will be replaced at a relatively low price to the client.

Warranty Costs.

Marketing costs

Free Trial Period.

Customization Costs - Most orders require manufacturing an aid to the client’s unique specifications.

Local Clinic

Professional Costs-College Training and on-going training to keep up with new technology

Yearly professional association fees

Testing time.

Personal Fitting ,consultation time, and follow-up care-Some fittings require 3 to 4 sessions to set the aids to the client’s loss.

Impressions-High percentage of orders require custom earmolds.

Servicing of aids-Most service (clean & check) is done free of charge during the warranty period.  Wear out parts i.e. tubes and tips are complimentary at the first change and are chargeable thereafter.

Staff costs.

Equipment costs-Testing booth, audiometers, computers, specialized equipment to fit hearing aids

Rental and maintenance  of facilities.

Vehicle and mileage costs to Service Centres and In-Home requests.

Liability Insurance and Vehicle Insurance

Shipping costs.

Advertising and marketing

Office Supplies

Telephone and Fax charges.

Utility costs.

Etc...

It all adds up, but be assured at A & E Hearing we strive to offer good value for your money.

 

 

 

This edition of my blog with explain  the different types and styles of hearing instruments/hearing aids, their applications and the pros and cons of each one.  First I will explain a bit about the hearing aid circuitry. Hearing aids originally had circuits that would amplify sound on a slope to try to match the hearing loss being treated. The problem with this linear (straight line) type of amplification was that, loud sounds were too loud, soft sounds were too soft and normal sounds were just right. Thus the user was forever adjusting the volume trying to achieve a comfortable level to match the volume of the surroundings that he/she was in at any given time. So the volume control was usually the first part to fail, as it was used quite a bit. Then came various loudness suppression circuits both manually and digitally controlled. These circuits were an improvement over the linear hearing aids but were still limited by an analogue (non-digital) circuit that was easily overwhelmed by the large amounts of information that needed to be processed to understand speech, particularly in the presence of background noise. This would require a new type of circuit to be developed and computerization has allowed that to happen. Over the past ten to fifteen years, there has been an integration of digital technology to control the function of shaping the sound processed by the hearing aids. This type of amplification control, allows the hearing professional the ability to program the hearing aids very finitely with the use of a computer. Now soft sounds are amplified to comfortably audible level, while loud sounds are suppressed to a loud but comfortable level and normal sounds as well as the loud and soft sounds are shaped for the best clarity possible.
Along with the digital circuitry, we have seen a switch in how hearing aids are being attached to the body. Generally speaking for a long time you either had an “In The Ear” (ITE) or a “Behind The Ear” (BTE) hearing aid.
The ITE hearing aid is made by taking a silicone impression of the outer ear and ear canal. This is shipped to the laboratory and a hard shell casting is made of the ear impression. The electronics are housed inside this casting. The size of the hearing aid is determined by the hearing professional and the client using the hearing loss and impression as a guideline to decide. Those sizes are as follows:   
CIC – a “completely in the canal” hearing aid that can barely be seen and fits the deepest in the ear canal of any style hearing aid. It is very discrete, but is limited by the degree of hearing loss and the shape of the canal of the perspective user. No controls are available on this style of hearing aid. New high power CIC hearing aids are now available, so this type of hearing aid is becoming more flexible than previously. Do to the depth of the fitting this type of hearing aid is more susceptible to moisture related break downs. 
ITC- the “in the canal” aid is slightly larger than the CIC and depending on the ear canal size can now start to accommodate both inner and outer controls, such as an external volume control or an internal remote control interface.
HS/ITE –“half shell and in the ear” aids fill either the bowl of the ear in the case of the HS or the entire outer ear cavity in the case of the ITE. These hearing aids are very common and can accommodate more internal and external controls, such as telecoils and Bluetooth interfaces.

BTE- “behind the ear” hearing aids are the most versatile hearing aids. The electronics are housed in a hard casing that is placed on top of and behind the ear, hooking where the top of the ear meets the cheek bone. The aid is then coupled to an ear mold via silicone tubing or plastic thin tube. Sound travels from the BTE through the tube into the ear mold and into the ear canal. The ear molds can be custom made in the same sizes as the ITE hearing aids, as well as pre-molded silicone molds for instant in office fittings. BTE hearing aids come in a variety of sizes and colours. These aids can accommodate the widest variety of ear canal sizes as well as the different degrees of hearing loss from mild to profound.
Hybrids- these are the newest aids and can be ITE’s with a remote microphone or a BTE with an in the canal receiver/speaker system. This last hearing aid style is known as; a “RIC” (receiver in the canal), a “CRT” (canal receiver technology” or a “RITE” (receiver in the ear). They all have the hearing aid housed in a casing like a BTE and a speaker system attached via a plastic coated wire. These hearing aids are widely used because of their comfort and flexibility for fitting a wide variety of hearing losses and ear shapes very effectively.
These are the main hearing aid styles and types. If you have any questions about whether a style or type of hearing aid is right for you contact  A & E Hearing Care and book a hearing evaluation and consultation.

My name is Andrew Clark-Marlow and along with my wife Petra, we have owned and operated A&E Hearing Care since February 2004.  Including Petra and myself, when you come into our clinic you will meet Susan van der Hoek our full-time Bookkeeper.  The clinic is located between George’s Steak House and Wei’s II at the NE corner of 67th Street and Gaetz Avenue in the Venture Plaza.
I have been fitting hearing aids since 1999. I hold the Diploma of a Hearing Aid Practitioner from Grant MacEwan University, a designation of Hearing Instrument Specialist from the National Board Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. I am a Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner and a member in good standing with the College of Hearing Aid Practitioners of Alberta, working under the Alberta Health Regulations Act.  Along the way I have fit somewhere  in the neighborhood of 5000 hearing aids and conducted about twice that many hearing tests. So… does all this make me an “Expert”? Maybe, but I would be fine with “The Hearing Aid Guy”, which is what most of my rural clients call me.
In this blog I will give some advice to hearing aid wearers and their families, on how to make their hearing aids work better for everyone concerned. We will also try to educate those people who may need hearing aids but have been told all the negative stories about how “hearing aids are so expensive and don’t do what they’re supposed to do”. The new breed of hearing aids are nothing like the devices used in the past. If you want to learn a bit about hearing and hearing aids keep tuned in to this blog.  I will keep you up to date on the latest innovations in the hearing industry as well as some good old fashioned common sense of how to improve your hearing.  

 

 

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