Hearing aid companies are popping up everywhere. We’re sure you’ve been targeted with their ads on social media and in the mail.
There are some good and negative aspects to this.
On the one hand, we’re delighted that more and more attention is being given to people with a hearing loss.
In a 2019 study, 69% to 93% of hearing aid wearers have reported that wearing one means they have no difficulty hearing clearly anymore.
But on the other hand, we’re sad to see the real need for quality hearing care turning hearing patients into expendable dollar signs.
We studied for many years purely so we could help people hear and communicate with their loved ones, and this breaks our hearts.
Choosing To Buy Hearing Aids Online
Admitting that you have difficulty hearing is a hard thing to do, so if you’ve taken that first step, congratulations.
But then figuring out what to do about it can feel overwhelming and impossible. The process usually involves some online searches, which leads to all kinds of different information.
Between reading about the cost and brands of hearing aids, reviews of different offices, and information about online ordering of hearing aids, it’s easy to make a decision that doesn’t introduce an interaction with another person with opinions and recommendations.
Online hearing aid companies such as Jabra and other over-the-counter devices have glowing reviews all over their websites, and they make it seem as if hearing healthcare professionals are simply an obstacle on the journey to better hearing and communication.
Buying a hearing aid is presented as a simple click, and the person feels like they can take care of everything themselves.
But the order is just a small part of the hearing process!
The Benefits Of Buying Hearing Aids Online
Admittedly, it seems that buying hearing aids online might save a little money.
But that’s the only plus we can think of.
The Risks Of Buying Hearing Aids Online
There are a lot of risks to buying hearing aids online.
The purchase is made and the buyer feels great, but when the user needs personalized attention, counseling, and adjustments, they may find that the cost is much greater than if they had a professional to consult to help them with those issues.
First of all, no one ever looks into the user’s ear canal! The person may have a wax problem that can easily be managed in an office setting, or they might have a condition that requires medical attention.
Second, a formal hearing evaluation is always necessary to fit hearing aids appropriately. No matter how advanced an online hearing test may seem, it doesn’t compare to the diagnostic evaluation provided in a hearing healthcare office.
- The evaluation will first diagnose a hearing aid appropriately.
- The evaluation is also designed to uncover any abnormalities, such as asymmetry between ears, or if a person has more difficulty understanding speech than hearing
These are important steps to assure that a more significant underlying condition isn’t leading to the hearing loss.
My Opinion On Listen Lively
Listen Lively has spent a great deal of money to make consumers aware of their presence. The company claims to provide very personal service with an extended warranty to assure that the user is comfortable buying hearing aids online.
What Listen Lively does not say is that it is actually illegal for an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser to fit hearing aids in Texas unless the professional and the patient are face to face.
That’s right – while professionals employed by Listen Lively are licensed in the state of Texas, they are actually breaking laws requiring face-to-face interaction, visual inspection of the ear canals, and appropriate hearing evaluations.
One of our peers, Dr. Mangrem, did an excellent job describing the patient experience with Listen Lively – on the surface, the process seems very clean and seamless. You can watch it here.
Once the purchase is made, however, the lack of service and professionalism is clearly evident to the hearing aid users.
I feel that having two very experienced hearing aid users evaluate the devices was very smart, and I especially appreciated the fact that the video highlighted a difference between results of the Listen Lively hearing evaluation and the results recorded in an actual hearing healthcare clinic.
If You Are Considering Buying Hearing Aids Online
I feel that the claims made by most of these online hearing aid dealers seem too good to be true, which probably means that they are!
I would absolutely advise a person considering this purchase to visit a hearing healthcare office for a full diagnostic evaluation to begin this process.
Talk to the audiologist or hearing aid dispenser about the implications of a hearing loss and what their recommendations for a hearing aid fitting would be.
Explain to them that you are considering purchasing hearing aids online. Chances are, the professional has a product to offer at a very similar price point that includes excellent, professional, in-person care!
We are here to help you hear and communicate better! Call us at 210-820-0525 if you have any questions at all about hearing treatments for you or your child or about anything else related to your hearing. Or contact us through the website form.
And book a hearing test for optimal hearing care.
We guarantee that you won’t have to wait months for an appointment. We are looking forward to seeing you or your child soon!