Should I buy hearing aids online?

From groceries to fashion to home appliances, the internet has fast become a retail treasure trove, and more and more of us are reaping the benefits of moving online to shop.

But when it comes to an important investment in your health such as a hearing aid, it pays to be cautious before buying online.

There are many factors to consider before you buy a hearing aid:

Professional fitting

A hearing aid isn’t just an amplifier, it’s a very complex piece of modern technology capable of adapting to a range of different hearing needs and environments. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to hearing aids and it takes an audiologist to find the right device for you from the confusing array on the market, and to help you understand what to expect from your purchase.

Just as off the shelf reading glasses you find at the chemist are less effective than those fitted by an optometrist, you’re unlikely to feel the same benefit from hearing aids purchased online as you would if you went to an audiologist.

On-going personal care

You’ll often need some time to get used to your hearing aids and an audiologist can make any tweaks necessary during this period. They understand the complexities of the technology in the device so can make it work best for you and explain to you its features and any limitations. Hearing aids usually last around 5 years so further down the track, if your hearing changes - as it’s likely it will - they can adjust the hearing aids to suit your new level of hearing and save you having to make another purchase.

Value for money

While your initial purchase may be cheaper online, it’s a false economy if you’re not getting what you could out of your hearing aid. The real value is in having a device that caters to your specific needs in the environments where you need support, now and into the future, and this can only be achieved with expert advice and care. An audiologist is able to find the right device to suit your budget, level of hearing and any specific situations you’d like support with, then adjust its settings so you get the most out of your investment. They can also work with you to develop communication skills and tactics to get the most out of your hearing aid.

Hearing aids can change your life, but using them involves more than just the device itself, which is where you can come undone if you buy online. With fitting and on-going personal care from audiologists, however, the complex technology packed into today’s hearing aids has the capacity to make you feel safer, calmer and able to enjoy the sounds and experiences you love once again.