If you’re new to hearing aids, you’ve probably received marketing about all types of hearing devices.

You may have visited your local store and seen available hearing devices or spoken with a friend who recommended them to you and loves how cheap they are.

Hearing aid products are on the rise, and many companies, such as Costco, are recognizing their importance.

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 West Coast Hearing & Balance and Costco.

Just like any first-time buyer, they come to us confused about their options and wondering what the next steps are.

While Costco works as a hearing aid provider, we feel it’s important to highlight the differences between a big-box store like them and an independent clinic like West Coast Hearing & Balance so that you understand the options available to you.

At West Coast Hearing & Balance, we believe that hearing healthcare is a journey, not a one-time purchase. We emphasize the importance of regular checkups, continuous support, and cutting-edge technology to provide a comprehensive solution for your hearing needs.

This article will explain everything you need to know to make your decision, including the key differences between Costco and an independent audiology clinic such as West Coast Hearing & Balance.

Costco and West Coast Hearing & Balance Are Two Separate Types of Companies

In case you haven’t noticed already, Costco is a retail business, and West Coast Hearing & Balance is a hearing and balance healthcare clinic—they are incomparable.

West Coast Hearing & Balance is a clinic staffed by doctors of audiology trained 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 is hearing aids.

Our comprehensive evaluation identifies treatable and/or serious medical conditions. Costco, on the other hand, conducts hearing tests, with their focus mainly being on fitting hearing aids.

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, our main goal is helping others.

Our philosophy at West Coast Hearing & Balance is patient-centric. We believe in an individualized approach to each patient’s hearing health, considering your lifestyle, specific needs, and preferences. We are dedicated to creating a supportive, empathetic environment where our patients feel heard and respected.

At West Coast Hearing & Balance, our doctors chose their profession to improve your quality of life.

Your hearing health is much more than just the technology you wear; it’s about the relationship you have with your audiologist and the care you receive. That’s why we are dedicated to cultivating long-lasting relationships with our patients, built on trust, mutual respect, and exceptional service.

We Provide a Thorough, Comprehensive Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation

Ask any doctor of audiology—the first step to better hearing is a comprehensive hearing evaluation

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 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.

Comprehensive Hearing Assessment

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 unlikely to be as comprehensive as one performed by doctors of audiology, who have access to all the latest equipment and technology.

Furthermore, Costco hearing aid specialists are not licensed to conduct and bill for hearing and balance evaluations.

At West Coast Hearing & Balance, we also take the time to explain the results of the hearing test to you in an understandable way, ensuring you fully grasp your hearing condition and the proposed treatment options.

There Is No One More Experienced Than an Audiologist

Our doctors have been university trained for 8+ years 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.

West Coast Hearing & Balance has been recognized as a leading provider in Ventura and Los Angeles, and we are known by many as a “National Center of Excellence for Audiology.”

Moreover, our team at West Coast Hearing & Balance continuously pursues advanced training and stays up-to-date with the latest research in the audiology field, ensuring that you receive the most current and effective treatment.

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.

Costco vs. West Coast Hearing & Balance – What’s The Difference

We’re Here for You Whenever You Need Us

When you partner with us, we promise to support you throughout your journey, offering guidance wherever we can.

With regular hearing aid checkups and service visits, we can upgrade your technology whenever we believe it would be beneficial, ensuring you stay as up-to-date as possible.

Whenever you have those moments of crisis, such as when your hearing aid stops working, we are here five days of the week and are only a phone call away.

In addition, we provide out-of-office support. If you’re unable to visit our clinic, our team is ready to assist you over the phone or through a virtual consultation. Our commitment to you goes beyond office hours and physical boundaries.

Limited Number of Hearing Aid Brands Available

Generally, Costco only offers three main hearing aid brands:

  • Rexton
  • Jabra
  • Phillips

West Coast Hearing & Balance Is Here to Support You

 Our Motto:

We are not here to do hearing and balance tests.

We are not here to sell hearing aids.

(Rather) we…

  1. Change the course of cognitive decline and dementia
  2. Improve thinking and memory
  3. Reduce the risk of patients falling
  4. Start a chain of events for a child with a hearing challenge that will promote reading, and education
  5. Prevent social isolation
  6. In fact… we ensure social participation, which increases life expectancy

With properly fitted hearing aids, we (also)…

  1. Decrease depression and anxiety
  2. Decrease the likelihood of adverse events caused by an inability to hear warning signals
  3. Decrease hospitalization and readmissions
  4. And… we can save the healthcare system over $3.3 billion per year

We invite you to experience the difference of individualized, compassionate, and expert care at West Coast Hearing & Balance. Our team is committed to making a positive impact on your life and well-being, one hearing solution at a time.

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 or guidance or simply want to chat with one of our doctors of audiology, do not hesitate to contact us at one of our six locations.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Gregory PhD, AuD, CCC-A, ABA, NBC-HIS

Dr. Gregory Frazer entered private practice Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing in 1982. For 14 years he owned and operated Hearing Care Associates, which had 23 offices and was one of the largest audiology private practices in the U.S. Dr. Frazer is a well-known clinician and teacher, and was the first audiologist to obtain dual doctorates in Audiology, both a PhD. in Audiology as well as the new Clinical Doctorate of Audiology, the AuD.