For those that are the victims of a hearing disorder, the current prices charged for some of the auditory aids available in South Africa can often prove to be a severe obstacle. Depending upon the terms that are offered by a given patient’s medical aid society, while most of them are prepared to cover the cost of a hearing test, the extent of their support towards the recommended can actually vary considerably and may amount to anything from a full or a partial refund to absolutely no assistance at all. However, some of the better insurers may be prepared to provide cover for up to R25000. It is therefore strongly advisable to check on the extent of the insurer’s cover before actually proceeding with this type of purchase.
In the selection of the instruments that the Ear Institute has elected to supply, their build quality and the reliability of their performance have been the company’s sole considerations. To meet these stringent requirements, it is now an accredited supplier of the well-known and highly-regarded range of products offered under the Phonak banner.
At the end of the day, most patients are likely to agree that the performance of their hearing aids is far more important than their price. In South Africa, there are units available from Phonak that may sell for anything from around R5000 to as much as R65000 although, clearly, those in the latter range employ extremely sophisticated technology and are intended for specialised purposes rather than for routine daily use.
While even at the lower end, some may still consider that 5 grand is a substantial sum to invest, the units are designed to last for between 4 to 7 years depending upon their use and, with a little care and some regular, routine servicing, it is quite possible that their useful life can be extended to more than 10 years which then represents an investment of just R500 per years or a tad over R1.36 per day – not a lot in exchange for the immense value that is inherent in the ability to hear clearly.
Clearly, the requirements of one patient can be quite different from those of another and are sometimes likely to be as much about personal taste as about the state of their hearing or, indeed, about the prevailing hearing aid prices in South Africa today.
Take the Phonak Audeo range for instance. It includes a wide selection of colours and designs all of them perfectly discreet when in use. In addition to providing a crystal clear hearing solution, these units are also designed to interact remotely with various audio devices such as telephones, television sets and MP3 players and thus to allow a matched pair to provide the wearer with the option of stereo entertainment at a volume sufficient for his or her needs without any inconvenience to any other listeners that may be present and whose hearing is not impaired.
The universal range includes model in both behind-the-ear and in-the-ear formats and in authentic skin tones that serve to make them completely unobtrusive. Irrespective of cost, the characteristic of all these hearing aids is crystal clear sound, even against background noise, making their price far less important to the hearing impaired of South Africa.