This is a great question regarding used hearing aids. There are two things to consider when determining if used hearing aids can be re-used for another person: the physical fit of the hearing aids, and the prescription or sound settings of the hearing aids.
Let’s start with the fit. There are two basic styles of hearing aids: custom and behind-the-ear hearing aids. Custom hearing aids are made specifically to fit a person’s outer ear. Because of the custom fit; this style of hearing aid unfortunately cannot be worn by another person as it would likely either fall out or cause discomfort.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are more of a universal fit. When coupled to a new custom earmold, or ear tip for open-fit-hearing aids, they can be worn by others if the hearing aids are appropriate for the hearing loss. That’s where the prescription comes in.
Buying or Wearing Used Hearing Aids
The first step is to determine if the behind-the-ear hearing aid is appropriate for your hearing loss. To determine this you will need to contact your hearing professional. The professional will then examine the prescription of the hearing aids, that is the amount of amplification and adjustment possible, and compare it to your hearing test results to determine if the hearing aids are appropriate for your hearing loss.
Second you will want to have the hearing aids inspected and tested by an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser to ensure they are still in good working order. If necessary they may need to be sent to the manufacturer for a thorough cleaning and/or repair. This may require a professional fee or manufacturer charge.
Lastly once the used hearing aids have been determined to be working and are appropriate for you, the audiologist or hearing aid dispenser will need to program them specifically for your hearing loss. This fine tuning may take more than one session in order to best meet your hearing and lifestyle needs. Although you may have received the used hearing aids for free or purchased them for a low-cost, you will be required to pay a fitting fee(s) to the hearing aid professional.