Sunday, July 7, 2013

Internet Hearing Aid Purchase a Bad Idea

Internet Hearing Aids

Familiar with the phrase "You get what you pay for"?  Internet hearing aids are certainly no exception.

With the widespread use of the internet and the ability to find just about anything online, many people are looking for solutions to their hearing loss without consulting a trained hearing professional.

This trend is more than just a bad idea.  Serious medical conditions, such as a brain tumor, might be missed, without an appropriate, professional audio-logic evaluation.

Hearing aids bought on the internet often provide little improvement in hearing.  Face-to-face verification of proper hearing aid settings and counseling about additional options is vital for patient satisfaction with their purchase and compliance with proper hearing aid/device use.  What's more, the warranty of internet hearing aids may be only one year, while most major hearing aid/device manufacturers offer a 2-3 year warranty.

Those who pursue internet sales for their hearing solutions will be spending money, hundreds or even thousands of dollars, for no real benefit, while still suffering the wide ranging negative social and health impacts of hearing loss.  Untreated hearing loss can lead to psychological conditions such as feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety and frustration.

Hearing aids/devices should be programmed to the individual’s specific hearing loss requirements in order to provide proper benefit and satisfaction, which requires a complete in-person hearing assessment in a sound booth.  Instruction in proper use of the hearing devices and hearing aid maintenance is an essential part of hearing aid/device education and care.

In order to fit hearing aids using sophisticated computer programs, appropriate in-person follow-up and counseling is paramount.  This is not possible when consumers purchase one-size-fits-all hearing aids over the Internet.