The internet has made it possible to buy just about anything you could ever want without leaving your home. When it comes to buying hearing aids online, it is not the best idea.
Buying hearing aids online or by mail order without consulting a hearing healthcare professional can be harmful to your ears.
All 50 states require that consumers use a credentialed hearing care professional to purchase hearing aids. Illinois is actually the only state where it is legal to buy and sell hearing aids online and by mail without seeing a hearing professional. Other states require you to see a professional first, so you can rule out earwax and other medical issues that can affect your hearing.
Hearing aids are not One-Size-Fits-All
Buying hearing aids that are not accurately customized to your specific hearing needs can damage your hearing further. When they amplify the sounds too loudly they can easily harm the delicate structures in your ear.
The FDA regulates hearing aids because they are medical devices that require a specific education to select, adjust and fit. In order to determine the type of device that is best for you the specialist will take several steps. First they will administer a hearing assessment in a sound booth. Then they will provide appropriate counseling about your hearing loss. Finally, they will discuss your lifestyle and particular needs, so that you can decide on the best hearing aid.
Buying hearing aids online or by mail may seems like it will save you money initially. However, it is important to remember when you buy from your local hearing specialist you get more than just a hearing aid. They will be available nearby whenever you have an issue. Local hearing specialists generally offer follow-up visits for adjustments, warranties and cleaning services at no extra charge if you purchased the hearing aid from them. You have the peace of mind and convenience. Anytime you have trouble you can drop by to have your device adjusted on the spot without sending it away and hoping it comes back working the way you wanted.
Research has shown that being able to communicate with a person and visit for adjustments and follow ups is better for your hearing and quality of life in the long run.