Shopping for hearing aids: Is it safe to buy online?
If you’ve clicked on this article, it’s probably because you’re in the market for some hearing aids. Whether this is your very first pair, or a replacement, doing some online research is the right place to start. Learning everything you can about your health can help you feel empowered and in control of your condition… rather than letting it control you!
It’s second nature for us to read up on things we want to buy first, whether it be a car, a television, or even a new brand of coffee beans. We like to know what others are saying, and also, maybe get a bargain at the same time.
Like, most products these days, medical devices are now available to purchase online. Including hearing aids. But, is it really safe to put your trust in the pair of hearing aids you’ll receive in your mailbox?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of buying hearing aids online versus seeking help from a hearing professional.
Why might someone buy hearing aids online?
Like any form of shopping online, the convenience factor is what it’s all about. You can shop from the comfort of home or work, and the product is on its way to your door. But this must be weighed up against the fact that often, the product just isn’t right, and the returns process can be quite a pain point! If you’ve ever tried shopping for clothes online, this probably resonates with you!
Potential to spot a bargain
One great thing about online shopping is that you can compare prices and other features and benefits of a product with a few clicks. We’re told that cost is the biggest reason many people attempt to shop online for their hearing aid devices. And, we know that there are plenty of ‘cheap and cheerful’ hearing aid options out there online.
That all sounds quite good, so, why should I reconsider?
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. The convenience and low cost of sourcing hearing aids online is offset by the fact that it can be potential dangerous for your hearing!
With many medical devices, hearing aids included, there is no substitute for getting professional advice. After all, having the experts on your team can only be a good thing. Due to hearing loss and lifestyle being so unique to the individual, hearing aids need to be programmed for your personal characteristics. You wouldn’t guess the medication and dosage for a health condition - the same goes for a medical device.
When you opt for professional assessment, an audiologist will begin by completing a physical consultation of your hearing, to determine the specific nature of your hearing loss.
He or she will also talk to you about what type of work you do, your lifestyle, the activities you like, and your preference in how your hearing aids look. This helps uncover more about your unique hearing needs. They’ll look at the specific hearing challenges you face, to consider how to best maximise your ease of communication as well as just your ability to hear.
It’s then on to discussing and selecting the right devices to meet your needs. But, that’s not where the personal service ends. You and your audiologist will work as a team to ensure that over the adjustment period with your new hearing aids, the settings are fine-tuned to maximise both comfort and performance. Your hearing specialist will show you how to properly care for the devices to keep them in good shape and prolong their life, saving you money in the long-term. Some audiology providers offer the ability to ‘test drive’ products, meaning that you can wear them home and see how they fare in your everyday environment.
One of the best parts about the consultation process is that you’re able to ask all those burning questions you might have about the products and their functionality. And get the answers in real-time!
A partnership that will continue to serve you
Just like having a family GP, your audiology clinic will become a valuable health partner to you. Even once you’re happy with and have adjusted to your hearing aids, your clinic will always be there for maintenance or to iron out any future issues. Your hearing aids will sometimes require a service or new batteries. And, it’s nice to have that peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, you’re not on your own.
Also, because your hearing needs will change over time, you’ve got a relationship in place to track any changes so you can keep on top of your hearing health. Hearing well is proven to positively impact many different areas of your health and wellbeing. Don’t let your health become collateral damage just to save a few dollars. Your hearing system and its incredibly delicate and complex systems and processes deserve the attention, care and customised solution that only a hearing professional is trained and experienced to provide.
Find your closest hearing professional on our website to receive the personalised care you deserve.