When it comes to investing in your hearing healthcare, there are many options available, and it can be confusing to know where to go, who to trust, and who is the best solution for you.
With a HearUSA being just a few minutes’ walk from our office, I wanted to write an article to share some of the distinct differences between us and them.
From service to repair warranty, levels of service, and different technology options – this article will share the key differences to help you make an informed decision on the right option for you.
The objective is to be as transparent, fair and non-biased as possible, as both options differ greatly and as you’ll soon understand, some people may naturally prefer one option and others will prefer the other option.
But before we jump into the comparison, there is one key thing to understand:
Hearing Aids vs. Hearing Care?
There unfortunately remains a narrative that the solution to a hearing loss is a hearing aid, yet that’s simply not true. Many people need a combination of great hearing technology and a great hearing care professional to receive long-term results.
Whereas there’s no shortage of places to buy a set of hearing aids, the key thing that you should be looking for, especially if you’ve never worn hearing aids before, is a trusted team of experts that can help you on your journey to get the best performance from your hearing aids.
This is where there is a significant difference between purchasing devices from stores such as Costco, or companies such as HearUSA, and partnering with a long-standing independent team like Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center.
To help you understand the key differences, we have developed a comparison chart to outline the benefits of choosing both HearUSA and Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center:
The above is a comprehensive side-by-side comparison that shares a transparent overview of your options. As you can see, the differences are vast.
Let’s explore them in more detail.
The first thing that stands out is the difference in hearing assessments.
We offer a comprehensive hearing assessment that reviews all areas of your hearing health to allow us to pinpoint the exact cause of your hearing loss. This helps us spot any potential red flags.
This involves a non-invasive process where we take an in-depth look into both of your eardrums via video otoscopy and tympanometry and an array of advanced hearing tests to assess your overall hearing health.
On the other hand, HearUSA offers “hearing screening is complimentary with no strings attached” that are available at any of their 350+ locations across the country.
This is something that we warn many patients against, as hearing screenings often are very simplistic tests that solely determine if you would benefit from a hearing aid.
According to HearUSA’s website, it appears that these screenings do not include looking into your ears using an otoscope. The problem is, without physically looking into your ears, it runs the risk that your hearing challenges may be because of something other than a hearing loss.
For example, we have had situations in the past where a build-up of earwax has resulted in people struggling to hear, which we promptly remove. Yet if they would have had a hearing screenings, then it’s likely that they would have failed the hearing test and been recommended hearing aids.
A second big difference is the warranty and support that you receive.
Your warranty gives you peace of mind that if your devices are lost, broken or damaged, you will be covered by the manufacturer to deliver a replacement or repair.
At Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center, we offer up to 4 years of warranty, and in the situation that you do end up losing or breaking your devices, you are quickly fitted with what we call a ‘loaner’, similar to rental car.
On the other hand, with HearUSA, you’re typically covered for three years for Repair Warranty and Loss & Damage Replacement Insurance.
A third big difference is the ongoing service.
Having helped thousands of people to achieve better hearing, we understand that this is a journey, not a destination.
This means that regular appointments, visits, adjustments and support are key to achieving better hearing. This is why we like to see you at least every 4 months to continually help you to care for your hearing devices, and regularly re-assess your hearing to make any required adjustments.
According to sources online, HearUSA includes a 1 year supply of batteries and three follow-up visits during the first year.
The fourth big difference is the company structure.
Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center is a proudly independent and community-focused business.
Giving back is core to our DNA, and this clinic is my career and life’s work – I know that we’ll only win if our patients win, and this philosophy is carried through every patient encounter, and every person that we have helped, since 1977.
With 45 years of experience rooted in the community, we have become the most reviewed hearing care experts in Sarasota.
HearUSA is a company with 350+ locations that is owned by a hearing aid manufacturer. Naturally, it’s a very different business model, and like working with any national company, it has its benefits and its negatives. One of their biggest benefits is that you can visit any of their locations if you are frequently travelling or visit other parts of the country regularly.
To conclude, whether you decide to start your journey with Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center or HearUSA, taking the first step toward getting help is the most important part of addressing your hearing challenges.
Hearing loss is complicated and there is a range of factors that contribute toward its severity dependent on person to person. Your individual challenges and requirements are unique to you and only you can know what to do next.
We strongly believe that our track-record of helping people to achieve better hearing proves that the most effective approach to a hearing challenge is working with a team of hearing care experts, not just buying a set of hearing aids.
Our hope is this article has helped you to understand the key differences and make the best decision for you or a loved one.
Thank you for your time.