Online deals? Maybe not like what you had hoped. Many patients have asked in our clinic about hearing aid sales online. The low price becomes very enticing for online searchers. The problem is that these online seller what it means to purchase a hearing aid online. They offer a nice price tag and warranty, but where does the long term service and ethical tailoring of hearing aids come into play.
Hearing aids are not just a one time, one size fits all purchase. A hearing test needs to be performed by an Audiologist. After the hearing test, the patient needs to be counseled by this professional on the best treatment option and candidacy for hearing aids. Sometimes the Audiologist needs to refer the patient to an Ear Nose and Throat or Otologist for further medical treatment. After the Audiologist guides the patient to the appropriate hearing aid, he or she will program the hearing aid with the appropriate prescription for that person’s hearing loss. In an internet sale the seller is telling the patient to turn in a hearing test and they will send them a hearing aid. Where is the Audiologist in this situation? Where is the ethical counseling and appropriate discussions between the professional and patient on which hearing aid is best for them? The patient deserves the right to have this information given to them.
Since the brain is being “trained” to hear certain sounds again with hearing aids, it may take a few adjustments and counseling sessions between the Audiologist and patient to get the patient comfortable with hearing sounds again. If you purchase online, you are essentially buying JUST THE PRODUCT. Where are you going to go for follow-up care? You didn’t purchase the hearing aids from Audiologist in your city so you will be prompted for “tailoring sessions” with professionals that can end up costing you a pretty penny if you need to come in several times a year for adjustments on the aids. Here the patient thought they saved money in the beginning only to find themselves paying what they would have paid if they had just started out going to the professional in the first place.
It is up to you as the patient to give yourself the best care possible. You have the choice to “shop” around for hearing aids, but there are many factors you need to make sure you are looking into. Do you like the professional? Do they have a Doctoral degree? Do they offer extended warranties with the hearing aids? Do you have follow up care? Is it easy to get appointments and convenient? Do yourself a favor as the patient and really educate yourself on the quality of care with hearing aids. Price should not be why you are getting a hearing aid, rehabilitation of your hearing should be. Happy Hearing!