Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Audiologist Office: The Best Place for Hearing Health

Couple on beach consider buying hearing aids from audiologist.

Today there are many options for purchasing hearing aids, including online and in shopping stores. This is causing a lot of confusion and unhappy customers. Here are some facts to consider before purchasing hearing aids from an audiologist office, online, or someplace else.

Reasons to See an Audiologist for Hearing Health

Health: Hearing loss is a medical condition that can have more than one cause and may actually be a symptom of another health issue. People who treat their hearing loss without seeing an audiologist to determine the underlying causes could harm their long-term health. The government openly advices in one of their pamphlets on buying hearing aids, "Don’t patronize a business that dismisses the need for a medical examination prior to the purchase of a hearing aid." In addition to eight years or more of schooling for their specialized degree, a professional audiologist office uses advanced technology best suited to determine the nuanced ranges of hearing loss.

Treatment: There is no one size fits all solution for hearing loss. There are some types of hearing loss that may be helped with medications, steroids, surgery, or antibiotics. There are also specific types of hearing loss that cannot be aided by using a hearing aid and some for which a Cochlear implant is the best option. Determining treatment when buying online or at a store bent on selling hearing aids could cost patients money and grief when a professional audiologist might have recommended other treatment options.

Fittings: Hearing aids are complicated and technical instruments and should be fitted and adjusted to each individual. Though there are similar types of hearing loss, each person hears in specific ways. Hearing aids typically require several professional adjustments before they are aligned for an individual’s precise needs. An audiologist not only has specialized training, but has sophisticated equipment to make precise adjustments needed for comfort and optimal hearing.

Time: Frustration with ill fitting hearing aids, inadequate testing, returns, damaged equipment, counterfeit hearing aids, and foreign internet sites can cause frustrations for patients. This common sense warning comes from the FDA’s website about online purchases, “The Internet offers many opportunities for consumers to receive new information and new offers of legitimate medical products. Unfortunately, it is difficult to examine an Internet business in the same way as you would a local store. It is easy for a dishonest merchant to set up a professional-looking Web site.”

Selection: Consumers are losing out when purchasing online or at retail stores, because they have limited choices in hearing aids or their hearing aid warranties are not covered by manufacturers. Leading manufacturers, including Oticon, refuse to sell their products to certain retailers, including internet sites. Leading manufacturer, “Sonic, insist that for the health of their consumer their products need to be dispensed and fitted through a hearing health professional. In fact, Sonic will not honor warranty claims for any of our products purchased online, nor will we accept returns for any such product.”

People who correct their hearing loss are shown to feel and act younger, become more engaged, and even make more money. They have less problem understanding conversations and are more relaxed in social settings. All of these life changing advantages are worth making sure your hearing device is fit properly, is under warranty, and comes with the service and support of a certified audiologist. Commit to hearing health and make an appointment to see an audiologist today.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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