Internet Hearing Aids-To Buy or Not to Buy?

The short answer: we don’t recommend you purchase hearing aids over the internet.

More and more, people are shopping online. While Amazon is a great option for buying your paper towels and books, we don’t recommend buying a hearing aid online. Hearing loss is personal.

The Minnesota Department of Health released a report urging consumers to be cautious about buying hearing aids over the Internet. Behind the consumer protection message from the Health Department is an apparent argument with one of the nation’s largest health insurers – UnitedHealth Group – over whether hearing aids can be sold online. UnitedHealth Group announced they plan on selling direct to consumers.

Because of this, the Health Department is stressing the importance of people seeing a hearing health professional if they are concerned about possible hearing loss. When purchasing a hearing aid through an online vendor, there is no way to conduct a true hearing screening for an accurate review of one’s hearing loss, even though UnitedHealth Group is planning on offering an online hearing test.

Everyone’s hearing loss is unique. When you begin to lose your hearing, often, it’s just in certain frequencies. Which frequencies you are missing varies from person to person. When we administer a hearing test, we will know exactly what frequencies you are missing and will be able to determine the best solution. Just like every hearing loss is different, so are hearing aids. Not every hearing aid will work for every type of hearing loss. It’s best to make an appointment with us to determine your needs.

When you buy a hearing aid online, you may be swapping price for warranty and service. When you buy a hearing aid from Audiology and Hearing Aid Center, your instrument will come with a warranty and we offer repair services in the office. It also means that we will be able to make programming adjustments if your hearing changes.

When you buy online, you might not be purchasing an actual hearing aid. Personal sound amplification devices are also sold online and may look very similar to hearing aids. These devices may cost only $19.99, but are not classified as hearing aids. They typically amplify all sounds, including background noise, which you may not need amplified.

If you still decide to purchase a hearing aid online, please call us first. You could be making a very expensive error if you don’t have all the facts about your hearing loss and what is best for you. Choosing an incorrect hearing aid is even worse than not purchasing one at all if you have a hearing loss.