Archive: August, 2011

The Hidden Dangers of Purchasing Hearing Aids Off the Internet

At first glance, the idea of buying hearing aids online off the Internet may seem like a good one, whether its from a website like eBay or an online retailer, especially when they appear to be low cost or budget hearing aids. But unfortunately it’s based on a number of important misunderstandings that the online retailer will conveniently neglect to tell you about.

So read this first, to you understand how to avoid falling into the same trap others have.

1. Hearing Aids are not a ‘white good’…

People often mistakenly think that a hearing aid is much like a television, or a computer, or a HiFi, and so they expose it to the normal ways they would expect to go about purchasing these types of goods: shop around, compare features and prices etc. But hearing aids are not white goods. They’re MEDICAL devices.

Hearing aids therefore need to be correctly PRESCRIBED and FITTED by someone who is trained and qualified to do so. If you are not fitted with the correct one for your hearing and hearing requirements – at best, it will be ineffective; at worse, it could actually damage your hearing.

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Hearing Healthcare Professionals listen when GPs fail to hear you.

Nearly 40% of people who think they have an issue with their hearing do not receive any help as family doctors fail to refer them to a professional. General Practitioners (GPS) do not carry out hearing tests, they refer people to their local audiology clinic or private hearing aid dispenser but 4 in 10 people are not being given that referral.

It can take some people ten years or more to approach their GP from when they first realise they can no longer hear all the sounds of life. And yet, having taken this step, 39% of people will be turned away by the GP.[1]

“I think the explanation is that doctors do not have a particular insight into hearing loss and they can lack information as to how much enjoyment the hearing impaired can get from a modern, digital hearing aid,” says Secretary General Soren Hougaard, EHIMA who commissioned this study in England, Germany and France.

No one is turned away by a member of the Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals (AIHHP). Anybody who thinks they maybe missing out on the sounds of everyday life will be listened to, treated with respect and offered a full audiological examination to see if their hearing has changed and if necessary what improvements can be offered.

[1] EuroTrak UK 2010.