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Buying online: Know the risks ahead of time

The Internet has a bevy of items that you can purchase at a low or discounted price, but that doesn't mean you should. Hearing aids are one of those products that are best purchased at an hearing healthcare professional because they are made specifically for your degree of hearing loss and your ear. In the past, hearing aids have gotten a bad rap for not working to some people's expectations, but that is why it's so important to purchase one in a hearing healthcare professional's office. Without proper fitting and adjustments, you may not experience the benefits of the devices.

Evaluation of your hearing

buying hearing aids online, hearing loss, hearing testWhile you might be able to take a wild guess as to whether you have moderate, mild or severe hearing loss, but hearing practitioner go much more in depth with your impairment. Hearing healthcare practitioners test your pitch threshold in both ears to determine what frequencies your ears are most unable to pick up. Referred to as an audiogram, this test gives a professional a detailed look inside how your ears work, which makes it easy for them to find the best possible solution.

Trial periods and adjustments

Ask any audiologist and they will tell you that a lot of people aren't 100 percent happy with their hearing aids the moment they leave the office. Not only does it take some time to get used to the new sounds you're not familiar with, you may need to bring your hearing aids in for adjustments. Although your hearing healthcare professional will work with you to adjust the hearing device properly in the office, you're in a controlled setting without a lot of background noise. Similarly, many professionals will offer patients a trial period - which is actually a requirement in some states - to make sure it is the right fit, quality of sound and has the right features.

Warranties and repair

Purchasing hearing aids online may save you money, but it might end up costing you more in the long run. Most individuals still need to visit a hearing healthcare facility to have the degree of hearing loss assessed. Typically, hearing aids come with a 1-year warranty that covers repairs, damage and sometimes loss. This cushion is very nice to have because hearing aids are a costly investment, and they can be fragile. A hearing center will often also offer a cleaning service where you can bring your devices in within a certain time period.

Technology and features

You may want the newest technology in hearing aids or the most features, but if you don't go to an hearing healthcare professional, you might not be aware of which features will actually be helpful for your hearing loss. Online retailers may advertise a hearing aid to be the newest and best, but it could be for a different type of hearing loss. Your hearing healthcare professional can go over all of the available features, like Bluetooth technology, directional microphones and a t-coil, so you can determine if it is worth it to you. 

Before getting pulled into an online deal, head to your hearing healthcare practitioner to get your hearing examined. Although it may seem like a cheaper alternative, repair and replacement costs can even out expenses and make it much more difficult for you to be happy with your hearing again.

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