RICHMOND Today’s hearing aids are precision instruments, utilizing advanced digital technology that can and should be customized to fit specific hearing loss and unique lifestyle needs.
The Better Hearing Institute, a nonprofit center for hearing advocacy, published a consumer warning against “do-it-yourself hearing care,” stating: “The process requires a complete in-person hearing assessment in a sound booth; the training and skills of a credentialed hearing healthcare professional to prescriptively fit the hearing aids using sophisticated computer programs; and appropriate in-person follow-up and counseling. This is not possible when consumers purchase one-size-fits-all hearing aids over the internet or elsewhere.”
While the internet is an increasingly convenient place to purchase many items, consumers should be cautious about purchasing their hearing aids online. Any upfront cost savings will likely be used towards after-purchase costs like maintenance, cleaning, or reprogramming an aid. Services such as those are included when purchased through a hearing healthcare professional.
A hearing professional will ensure that a patient receives a proper evaluation and prescribe the proper treatment for hearing loss. Their ears will be visually examined and tested with state-of-the-art equipment to determine the type of hearing loss they have.
If it’s determined that hearing aids can help, a hearing professional will show them the best solutions to fit their unique needs and lifestyle, as well as provide maintenance, programming, and insurance to protect their investment.
Deanna Frazier, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA, is the owner of Bluegrass Hearing Clinic. She can be reached at 1.800.470.4757.