CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Today s hearing aids are little computers sitting on a person s ears, says Novant Health Audiologist Michelle Podboreski.

There really is a little computer chip in the each aid, she said.

One hearing aid may be passed onto another person, or loved one. Then, with the help of a computer, the hearing aid can be used just like a new one out-of-the-box. With the advancements in technology comes increased costs. For the average person, a brand new hearing aid may be too large of an expense.

When asked how much hearing aids cost, Hearing Aid User Mary Heddens shared her personal experience.

$3000 each, Heddens said.

She went on to say she is satisfied with the result, I can't live without them. I just think they're a God send.

Only over-the-ear hearing aids can be reprogrammed because they can fit any ear. Molded, in-ear hearing aids are as unique as the user. That makes it impossible to pass on molded hearing aids from one person to another. The other factor for a person to consider is just how different each person s hearing really is. For example, today s hearing aids can be finely tuned to take in higher or lower frequency tones.

Michael Sisskind is a Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist for Miracle-Ear Center in Pineville. He has worked with seniors like Mary for years. For him, sitting down and getting the hearing aid just right is critical.

Service is the most important part of the hearing aid. You can buy the best, but without service it won't do you much good.

Not every manufacturer sells refurbished hearing aids, so check with your doctor or hearing aid provider.

Hearing aids were first introduced in America after World War II because of veterans hearing loss.

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