Posted on: January 24, 2012
In this day and age it is not unusual to find vendors selling hearing devices online. These devices are advertised as hearing aids, but, what is it that you are really getting? Most of these devices are simple amplifiers. That is, they do not have the advanced features of true hearing aids that can make listening in difficult situations much easier.
When purchasing a hearing aid it is important to have a full audiological exam to diagnose the degree and frequency of the hearing loss and determine whether medical intervention is necessary. A qualified hearing health professional then uses this information to find the most appropriate hearing aids for your needs. After you are fit with hearing aids the professional will work with you so that you get the most out of your hearing aids.
With internet purchases most of these steps are skipped. You may or may not be getting a hearing aid that is suitable for your unique hearing loss and lifestyle. There is also typically no follow-up care. If you have a problem you will either have to pay to have your aids shipped back to the vendor or take them to a local professional and pay to have them looked at and adjusted. When you purchase aids from a qualified professional, follow-up care and adjustments are usually included.
The take home message: buyers beware! Even though you may pay more initially, the quality of the hearing aids and service you will receive is far better when you purchase from a qualified professional.