Buying hearing aids online can be risky business

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A large number of mature adults are online today, engaged in activities related to their health care needs, from searching for medical advice to finding a doctor. Today you can buy nearly anything on the internet, including hearing aids.

 

However, consumers should be cautious about buying hearing aids via mail order or online. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association warns individuals that they are bypassing crucial parts of the diagnostic and hearing aid selection process when purchasing online. Plus, they are missing the important in-person counseling needed to correctly identify the specific degree and nature of hearing loss. These personalized steps help to maximize the benefit received from hearing aid use.

Research indicates that the top reason most people buy hearing aids online is price. Even though individuals know that hearing aids will help them hear better and improve their lives, they often look for the best deal to save money. Buying hearing aids on the Internet may save money upfront, but it can result in buyers being dissatisfied with their resulting ability to hear.

 

A critical factor in hearing aid success is proper programming of the unit to an individual’s specific degree of hearing loss. Buyers often report the inability to hear well, confusion on how and when to wear the hearing aid and worrying about whether the aid is set correctly for them. The money saved by buying online is often spent later on hearing aid adjustments, follow-up care and instruction, or the purchase of new hearing aids more appropriate for the exact hearing loss.

 

The internet is a great source of information about hearing loss and types of hearing aids. But when it comes to the actual diagnosis and purchase of hearing aids, meeting with a certified, licensed audiologist is the best approach.

 

If you or someone you know has a hearing problem, schedule a comprehensive hearing evaluation from an audiologist and receive that one-on-one care. At the JFK Center for Audiology, individuals are evaluated by a doctor of audiology, who can discuss treatment options and prescriptively fit hearing aids using advanced technology.

 

For an online self-assessment test, visit JFKAudiology.org. For more information, call 732-321-7063.

 

 

Virginia Toth, AuD, CCC/A, NJ Audiology License No. 176, NJ Hearing Aid Dispenser No. 542, is a supervising licensee for The Center for Audiology, Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, 65 James St., Edison. For more information, call 732-321-7063 or visit www.JFKAudiology.org.

Content adapted with permission from HealthyHearing.com.