You’ve bought books, clothing, airline tickets—even eyeglasses—online, so why not a hearing aid, too? As tempting as it sounds, wait just a minute! Buying hearing aids online is not as straightforward as it is with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Sure, buying a hearing aid online sounds tempting. After all, they’ll likely come with a lower sticker price than what your hearing doctor is offering, and you can shop in your pajamas from a wide selection, but going this route is likely to end up causing you a big, expensive headache.
You Won’t Get a Custom Fit
If you buy a hearing aid online, you will miss out on getting something that is custom fit to your needs. This means you run the risk of owning an uncomfortable, ineffective product you are unlikely to wear, which could lead to further frustrations.
As with glasses, hearing aids must fit properly, but hearing aids are trickier to adjust once they arrive in your mailbox. If your online purchase doesn’t feel comfortable right out of the box, you’ll be required to send it back for adjustments, but without a physical meeting with a licensed hearing care practitioner, these adjustments are going to get costly and require a lot of waiting around.
Being fitted by a hearing care practitioner for your hearing loss needs from the get-go, even if it means paying more upfront, is going to save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
You Won’t Get a Lifetime Service Option
Online vendors are out for profit, not necessarily to help patients. In other words, they are good at taking your money, and then ignoring your cries for help. There is no support going forward. However, when your purchase a hearing aid through a hearing loss professional, you have the option of signing up for ongoing maintenance and reprogramming.
Programs like BelCare™ provide comprehensive, ongoing care and protection that covers you for the life of your hearing aids. This means adjustments and servicing are done as your hearing health changes, which will prolong the life of your devices, and quite possibly your hearing.
When you go to a clinic for your hearing health needs, you’ll have the convenience of getting problems corrected within hours, and with Beltone’s many locations across North America, you’ll never be stranded with a broken hearing aid.
You Won’t Get an Efficient Product
Hearing aids are intricate, technical devices that can lead to hearing damage if not used properly. To be the most effective, they have to be adjusted appropriately so that their acoustics suit the shape of your ear. This goes beyond just having something fit well, and without having seen your ears, an online vendor will not be able to make these sorts of adjustments.
To make sure your hearing aid is working the best it can for you, without hurting you, an audiologist has to make adjustments while you’re wearing the device, and of course this is not possible by mail—there’s not even an app for that yet!
You Won’t Get Enough Instructions
Adjusting to life with eyeglasses is relatively simple. You find a stylish frame after a few tries, and you’re good to go. Hearing aids are different. There is a learning curve, and it’s not something an online vendor can show you.
Buying from a reputable clinic is a better choice because they will be able to show you how to use your hearing aid, and how to maximize all of its features, which there are a lot of these days!
Bottom line, you need someone who can help you sort through the variety and find the right hearing aid for you. This requires a hearing care professional and a visit to your local hearing loss clinic.
Although many people are turning to online shopping for hearing aids to save a buck or two, we warn against it for the reasons above. You won’t be saving much in the long run.
If it’s too late, and you’ve already purchased a hearing aid online, book a Beltone office visit. We can help by taking a look at what you have selected and making some recommendations.
At the end of the day, when it comes to online shopping for hearing aids, we suggest you stick with using the web strictly for research purposes. Compare the different products out there, read the reviews, take a look at the different features and options, and then book an appointment with your hearing specialist to ask any remaining questions you might have.
A good place to start is with the Beltone Legend™, which offers several personalized options thanks its Personal Sound ID™ and Crosslink Directionality features, and pairs perfectly with your smartphone.
Buying a hearing aid is a huge investment in your future health and well-being. Make sure you go about it wisely, and limit your online purchases to the simpler things, like airline tickets and hotel rooms.