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How do I Choose Hearing Aids Online?

By Rachel Burkot
Updated May 17, 2024
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Buying hearing aids online can be a good strategy since the Internet can provide a forum to research the different types of aids, browse for the lowest prices and read reviews that other buyers have written and posted. Making this purchase online can also save time because all research can be done in front of a computer instead of driving to different stores and locating the correct departments. Buying hearing aids online can also be easier than buying from a store because when it comes time to purchase, a simple click of the mouse will usually take care of it.

Before buying hearing aids online, patients should be sure they need these devices by having a thorough hearing test performed by an audiologist. After receiving the results and confirming that a hearing aid is necessary, patients should begin by making a list of features they would like in their hearing aids. It is important to define the level of clarity the hearing aid should possess. Some patients are hesitant to buy a hearing aid that will be too clear because they don't necessarily want to overhear strangers' conversations in public places. As part of the research that goes into buying hearing aids online, patients should ask family members and friends for suggestions of what to look for in a hearing aid.

Defining the qualities important in a hearing aid will make the research process easier because patients will know exactly what to look for, and they will be able to narrow down their search with ease. It is recommended that a patient should e-mail the manufacturer of a few hearing aids that he or she is impressed with from initial research. The response can indicate whether this device is reliable and how cooperative the manufacturer is. It's also a good idea to find out the hearing aid's warranty and return policy. If the device does not live up to the patient's expectations or needs, he or she must be able to exchange it for an aid that works.

While there are free hearing aids available, patients should not automatically turn to these. Free or cheap hearing aids will often prove to be unreliable and may eventually quit working entirely. They may short out, or the patient may hear static from the device that interferes with hearing sounds he or she wants to hear. Digital hearing aids are also a tempting buy, but a more expensive one. With these, computer chips are embedded in the aids, and distinctive sounds are mimicked as vividly as possible.

Buying hearing aids online is common, and patients enjoy the convenience of this method of purchase. Since manufacturers can sell directly to customers, store salesmen are eliminated from the process, making for a smoother business system. Some patients are hesitant when it comes to buying hearing aids online because they are afraid they won't receive the level of support that they would if they were able to interact directly with a salesperson. Most websites, however, have a thorough support system, and patients can usually make a phone call or otherwise contact the manufacturer with any questions about the hearing aids.

It's important to remember that, no matter where a patient buys a hearing aid, it will take time for him to adjust to it and learn to use it correctly. Follow-ups with an audiologist are usually required to make sure that the device fits correctly and is working for the patient the way it should. Adjustments are often required to make sure the patient is getting the best results possible.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon286972 — On Aug 23, 2012

I have been extremely happy with my HearSource Personal Programmable Hearing Aids. They came pre-programmed (they required a hearing test less than six months old) and initially helped me remotely. After a few "coaching" sessions, I do the fine tuning/tweaking myself now. Who can do it better than me? My answer is no one.

By anon69109 — On Mar 06, 2010

A hearing aid is one part of a larger support system designed to allow the patient to not just hear, but understand and communicate and interact with the world around them.

It is true that they will not get the support they need from online purchases - did you know it can take a person up to six months to acclimate to hearing aids and over that time period adjustments and changes are needed for the hearing aid to make sure that the patient receives the best possible experience. Did you know that the ability to hear and understand is noise is not related to hearing loss but to the brain's ability to discern and separate out sounds?

An online service cannot provide the testing, recommendations and follow up needed to assist patients to hear better in noise.

Many people think that buying hearing aids online is like buying glasses from the drug store. This is not so - it would be more like buying a prosthetic arm or hand online, with follow up of a physical therapist to make sure you learn to use it right.

By frankmiller — On Mar 03, 2010

I bought a pair of hearing aids online and have been very pleased. They gave me the software to program the hearing aids on my computer.

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