Buying Hearing Aids On Your Own

Buying a hearing aid on your own may seem like an easy way to save time and money. But, there are things you should know before you buy.

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Buying A Hearing Aid

Are you having trouble hearing? Do you think a hearing aid might help? You can go to the store and find a few different styles. Or, you can go online to see what other options you have. Just like for glasses, you will find different styles and types of hearing aids. You may also find that you can save money with sales or discounts. However, before you buy hearing aids on your own, there are some things you should know:

  • A hearing aid is not just a tool to make sounds louder. It is a complex medical device.
  • It is important to know why you are having trouble hearing. Knowing that will help you know what type of hearing aid will help you the most.
  • You should have hearing aids set to meet your unique hearing needs. Not everyone can use the same hearing aids.
  • Hearing aids bought online without a complete hearing test and other services may not meet your needs. You may end up buying hearing aids that do not help.
  • You need special computer software to set your hearing aids. Not every audiologist will have every type of software. So, you may need to send your aids back if you have problems. This means you may have to go without your hearing aid until you get it back.
  • It is not always easy to get used to your hearing aids. Audiologists often set up follow-up visits to help you. They will reset your hearing aid when you buy your hearing aid from them (vs. online or in a retail store). They can also give you support to help make your hearing aids work for you. You can’t be sure that you will get this help if you buy your hearing aid online.

See Your Doctor

You should see your doctor about your hearing. Your doctor can treat some types of hearing loss. Your doctor may suggest that you see an audiologist to find out if hearing aids will help you.

Do you have Medicare? If so, your doctor can send you to an audiologist for a complete hearing test at no cost. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, says that it is important that you see a doctor before buying hearing aids. Children up to 18 years old must see a doctor before getting hearing aids.

Can you buy a hearing aid online without seeing a doctor? Yes, you can. The seller may offer an online hearing screening to help figure out which hearing aid is best for you. The problem is that online hearing screens cannot tell you the cause of your hearing loss. What if you have too much wax in your ears? You may have a hard time hearing, and the online screening will show a hearing loss. But hearing aids will not help this type of hearing loss. Online hearing screens can only tell you that your hearing is not normal and that you need further testing.

See an Audiologist for a Hearing Test

It is important that you have a complete hearing test. Audiologists will test your hearing in sound-treated rooms that keep other sounds out. They use special earphones and equipment that meet national standards. Online hearing screens do not have to meet these standards and may lead to test results that are not correct.

Learn more about getting your hearing tested.

If Hearing Aids Are for You

Your audiologist will keep working with you after you get your hearing aids. The goal is to make sure that your hearing aids work for you. The benefits of working with an audiologist include the following:

  • Using special technology called "Real Ear" equipment. Your audiologist can make sure that the sounds you hear are just right for you.
  • Knowing that you are seeing a qualified audiologist. The audiologist will have a state license. This means that he or she has the education and training to work in your state.
  • Learning how to care for and use your hearing aids before you leave the audiologist’s office.
  • Learning more about hearing loss and what you can do to hear best in different situations.
  • Bringing family members or friends to your appointments. This lets others know about how to use and help take care of your hearing aids.

Looking Beyond Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are not for everyone. And hearing aids do not always help all the time.

The audiologist can suggest other devices that may help you hear better at home or in public. For example, there are devices that make the telephone sound louder and

help you hear in noisy places. These are devices are called hearing assistive technology, and you can use them alone or with hearing aids.

Get the Most Out of Your Hearing Aids

It may take a little bit of time to get used to your hearing aids. And you may need to have your aids adjusted a few times until you are happy with them. Remember, hearing aids are medical devices. They will work only when they fit to how you hear. An audiologist can help make sure that you get hearing aids that work for you.

To find a professional near you, visit ProFind.

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