Los Angeles, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 26, 2014 / Online shopping has become increasingly common, with consumers turning to the Internet for everything from clothing, to furniture, to medication. Even hearing aids can be purchased online, but a new patient advocacy group is cautioning people against the practice.
"You're almost guaranteed to wind up with a hearing aid that doesn't provide the optimum level of hearing improvement," said Mike Daniels, Community Outreach Director at Exposing Hearing Aids. "There are so many variables that go into finding the best hearing aid for an individual. Trying to choose the right one without having a hearing professional involved is really like finding a needle in a haystack. The fit, the amplification, the individual adjustments--you can't get any of that from the one-size-fits-all approach that you get with online hearing aids."
Daniels explained that hearing professionals rely on well-researched, and scientifically validated, questionnaires for an initial determination of the kind and extent of hearing loss. This is followed up with clinical tests. Then, the patient and doctor discuss specific goals, and determine the best type of hearing aid to address the patient's needs.
"Two patients with the same audiogram [hearing test] can have dramatically different auditory processing abilities, communication requirements, and, consequently, treatment goals," said Daniels.
He said there are tens of thousands of possible combinations of manufacturers, styles, features, and levels of technology. The cost of devices vary considerably, as well. "You may wind up spending a little or a lot on a pair of hearing aids online, and either way, you're likely to incur a number of hidden costs. Probably the largest cost is finding out you've purchased hearing aids that aren't right for you, spending time and additional dollars trying to make them work, only to have to buy new ones in the end."
Daniels also said that once the correct hearing aids have been purchased, it's important for a hearing professional to check the fit and make adjustments to the settings. "They'll usually use probe microphones to determine whether you can hear the sounds that are most important for understanding speech while making sure other sounds are not uncomfortably loud."
In addition, some people find that hearing aids alone are not enough for them to meet their hearing and communication goals. "Those individuals may need assistive technology or rehabilitation services to get the most out of their hearing aids," Daniels said.
About Exposing Hearing Aids
Representing a collective 70 years of experience in the industry, ExposingHearingAids.org was created with the mission of helping patients across the country understand the ins and outs of purchasing a hearing aid device, as well as the importance of locating trustworthy clinicians. With a wealth of content, from manufacturer comparison charts to local provider ratings, their goal is to educate patients on what to look for when purchasing a hearing aid device, and arm them with the truth and the necessary questions to ask before purchasing hearing aids.
The folks behind ExposingHearingAids.org know a hearing aid isn't a one-time purchase. It's a life-changing investment that should be made with all the facts, and the help of a trustworthy clinician. The same as choosing a medical doctor, selecting a caring and honest clinician who has your best interest at heart is arguably the most important step on the path to better hearing. That is why part of the mission of ExposingHearingAids.org is to help visitors find a professional in their area who will properly test their hearing and recommend a custom hearing aid solution that meets their 3 primary needs: budget, lifestyle, and level of hearing loss.
Exposing Hearing Aids provides a free service that helps connect consumers with local providers to help patients achieve a positive outcome. If you would like a free no-obligation consultation with a trustworthy clinician visit http://exposinghearingaids.org/choosing-hearing-professionals/ or call (888) 445-9748.
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SOURCE: Exposing Hearing Aids