With convenience an important priority for many people, it’s no surprise that we often receive calls from patients asking us about the difference between Pacific Hearing, Inc. and Costco. Just like any first-time buyer, they come to us confused about their options and wondering what the next steps are.
While we love and praise Costco for the products they offer, when it comes to hearing technology, this isn’t something you should take shortcuts on. This article will explain everything you need to know to make your decision, aiming to be transparent, fair, and non-biased, as both options vary greatly.
We will cover the key differences between Costco and an independent audiology clinic such as Pacific Hearing, Inc., including aspects like service, repair warranty, and different technology options.
Before we delve into the comparison, let’s clarify an important distinction:
Hearing Aids vs. Hearing Care?
It’s essential to understand that there’s a major difference between hearing aids and hearing care. Many people believe that the solution to hearing loss is a hearing aid, but that’s not the whole truth.
A combination of top-notch hearing technology and a dedicated hearing care professional is often required for optimal, long-term results.
Whether you’re buying your first hearing aids or replacing old ones, what you should seek is a trusted expert to guide you on your journey to get the best performance from your hearing aids.
This is where Pacific Hearing & Balance, Inc. differs greatly from big-box retailers like Costco.
Costco and Pacific Hearing, Inc. Are Two Separate Types of Companies
In case you haven’t noticed already, Costco is a retail business, and Pacific Hearing, Inc. is a hearing and balance healthcare clinic—they are incomparable. Pacific Hearing, Inc. is a clinic staffed by doctors of audiology with 10+ years of university training to diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders.
As doctors of audiology, we conduct a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine appropriate medical and/or surgical treatment; one type of treatment can be hearing aids.
Our comprehensive evaluation identifies treatable and/or life-threatening medical conditions. Costco, on the other hand, conducts hearing tests for the purpose of fitting hearing aids only. As a clinic, our main goal is to help people with hearing loss to hear better through improved technology and ongoing care. So while we do sell hearing aids, we are driven by helping others.
When Costco opened in 1994, it started as a wholesale corporation driven by getting customers to spend money. At Pacific Hearing & Balance, Inc., our doctors chose their profession to improve your quality of life.
We Provide a Thorough, Comprehensive Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation vs. Costco’s Basic Hearing Test
A thorough diagnostic hearing evaluation helps us understand your type and degree of hearing loss, your listening preferences, and your hearing wants and needs, and it can possibly uncover any medical conditions that may not currently present symptoms.
We evaluate your individual requirements and rule out any medical issues that require further evaluation before discussing the different technologies available to make suggestions based on your lifestyle and occupation.
While it may seem complex, it is important for you to understand which hearing technology will be the most beneficial for your hearing loss concerns.
According to Costco’s website, they offer a “free hearing test” to anyone who requires one. Although this is a great first step, it is nowhere near as accurate as the comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluation performed by doctors of audiology, especially since Costco doesn’t have the additional equipment needed to perform all parts of a comprehensive hearing evaluation.
Furthermore, Costco hearing aid specialists are not licensed to conduct and bill for hearing and balance evaluations.
There Is No One More Experienced Than an Audiologist
Our doctors have been university trained for eight years or more to acquire the level of expertise and knowledge to serve our patients best. Each day, we monitor new technology updates for hearing care and apply our skills to ensure optimal hearing results.
Pacific Hearing, Inc. has been recognized as a leading provider in Los Angeles, and we are known by many as a “National Center of Excellence for Audiology.” While Costco may employ some “audiologists,” around nine times out of ten, you will be seen by a hearing aid specialist.
If you’re new to hearing technology, do you want to risk obtaining a small improvement in hearing instead of an optimal improvement in hearing? Hearing loss is not like vision. Most people with poor eyesight can obtain 100% normal vision by using a corrective lens or eyeglasses.
However, although most people with hearing loss can obtain substantial improvement with properly fitted hearing aids, it will not be 100% normal.
Your outcome or degree of improvement will be based on the expertise of the doctor of audiology who fits you with hearing aids. It is the same with hip or knee surgery. You can have the best hip or knee in the world, but you won’t walk properly if the doctor doesn’t surgically attach it properly.
If you don’t see a doctor of audiology for your hearing aid fitting and programming, you can have the best hearing aid in the world, but you’re not going to hear optimally.
Limited Number of Hearing Aid Brands Available vs. Our Complete Collection
Generally, Costco offers three main hearing aid brands:
Costco offers a cheap price for a pair of hearing aids for someone who is on a budget. However, when you purchase cheap, you pay the price later.
Pacific Hearing, Inc. Is Here to Support You
We are not here to do hearing tests.
We are not here to sell hearing aids.
- Change the course of cognitive decline and dementia
- Improve thinking and memory
- Reduce the risk of patients falling
- Start a chain of events for a child with a hearing challenge that will promote reading, and education.
- Prevent social isolation
With properly fitted hearing aids, we (also)…
- Decrease depression and anxiety
- Decrease hospitalization and readmissions
- Decrease the likelihood of adverse events caused by an inability to hear warning signals
- And… we can save the healthcare system over $3.3 billion per year.
Whether you decide to purchase from Costco or elsewhere, it is of utmost importance that you achieve the best possible outcome for your individual requirements.
If you or a loved one is having difficulty hearing, you may be considering all the options available.
Whether you’d like some further clarity, guidance, or simply want to chat with one of our doctors of audiology, please contact us at (310) 909-0180. We look forward to hearing from you.
Remember, no matter where you decide to take your journey to better hearing, the most important thing is that you’re taking that journey. If you ever have questions or need assistance, we’re here for you.