If you've recently discovered that you're suffering from a degree of hearing loss and are in need of a hearing aid, you may be in the process of trying to decide whether you should buy one from a store or make your purchase online. As it turns out, although there are many off-putting misconceptions about buying hearing aids online, there are some extremely significant reasons why you should choose to buy hearing aids online.
1) Lower prices
When you opt to purchase hearing aids online your guaranteed to save 50-80% off what you’d pay for the same, or comparable hearing aids inside of your local hearing clinic. With the average price of a pair of hearing aids exceeding $4000 per pair, that’s a savings of thousands of dollars. How is this possible? It turns out, that hearing aids enjoy the same huge retail mark-ups as prescription medications.
2) Modern hearing aids don’t require ear impressions
Most people have high frequency hearing loss and will find the sound from new Micro-Behind the Ear (or BTE), RIC, Open-Fit or Open-Ear hearing aids provide the best, most natural sound quality. These hearing aids don’t require ear impressions, which is part of the reason they sound so natural. They come with tiny tubes and buds that deliver amplified sound to the ear without plugging the ear canal like traditional hearing aids. Without the need for ear impressions, these hearing aids don’t require the same professional fitting expertise as moulded hearing aids.
3) Hearing Aids can be custom programmed to match your Audiogram
If you’ve ever had your hearing tested, your likely familiar with the term Audiogram. Audiologists record the results of your hearing test on an Audiogram. If you purchase hearing aids from them they program your hearing aids to match the hearing loss recorded on your audiogram. If you start by consulting with a local audiologist, try and leave their office with a copy of your audiogram and understanding of the hearing aids they are recommending.
You can submit your audiogram to most reputable online hearing companies and they will custom program your new hearing aids to match your audiogram before shipping them to you. You might not find the exact same hearing aids that your local audiologist is recommending but you’ll likely be able to find very comparable products.
4) Some online retailers employ Hearing Health Professionals
Purchasing hearing aids online doesn’t need to mean your not working with hearing health professionals. Some online hearing stores, like Clearly Hearing, only employ Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers to field questions from their clients, interpret audiograms and program hearing aids.
5) Quick delivery
In many cases, a hearing aid that you buy online can be on your doorstep in a week or less.
6) Availability of reviews
It's entirely straightforward to find useful reviews of online sellers, so you can easily make sure that you are buying your hearing aid from a reputable source. In addition, plenty of sites will provide a list of testimonials and allow customers to post reviews right onto the company webpage. This is a good indicator that the company is committed to keeping it’s customers happy.
7) Possibility of repairs
Hearing aids have to work in a pretty challenging environment. The ear canal is very humid, that combined with earwax can damage hearing aids over time. Many online companies are happy to repair your hearing aid in the event that it begins to malfunction. If the repair policy isn't clear, contact the vendor and ask for more information. Some sellers will offer free repairs while others may charge a fee (though, once again, this fee is likely to be lower than the standard price charged if you ask for a repair in person).
8) No pressure
Choosing the best hearing aid for your hearing loss is tough enough without a high pressured sales person telling you why the $6000 hearing aids are better than the $5000 hearing aids. Often the people who buy hearing aids inside of hearing clinics know less about the product their buying than the people buying hearing aids online. When your able to shop for such a personalized product from the comfort of your living room people tend to dig a little deeper into what they're purchasing. As people take the time to analyze the technology inside of a hearing aid sold for $499 online they are pleasantly surprised at just how comparable it is to the technology their be quoted $2000 for at their local hearing clinic.
9) You can still get advice
Most online hearing aid vendors are happy to receive your questions and provide answers if you're struggling with a particular aspect of choosing a product. In many cases, you may be able to talk with a hearing healthcare provider faster online than waiting to see someone in your local community. Look for an online hearing company that gives you several options of communication, my favorite is Live Chat, but make sure they have a phone number posted on their website as well.