What to Consider Before Buying Used Hearing Aids
When looking to get hearing aids at the best price point possible, you may find yourself considering a used device. While they may offer a lower cost, used hearing aids will have had a previous owner, be customized to fit their specific needs and may not be equipped with modern technology or features you could benefit from. Your hearing instrument specialist will be your partner when selecting the right hearing aid, and when it comes to used devices, there are several considerations you should make rather than evaluating only the price tag.
The style of the device
Hearing aid styles can be important to consider if you think a used device is right for you. There are three main styles of hearing aid, including behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE) and in the canal (ITC). Behind-the-ear devices are worn with the unit and technology behind the ear, while a small tube or wire connects to the receiver sitting inside of your ear. These are typically the most flexible option when selecting a used hearing aid because the earmold can be replaced to fit your ear. However, there are several facets of BTE hearing aids that are tailored to a specific individual, from the color of the device to the features and settings. While a used BTE device may seem like a good idea because it can more readily fit your personal ear anatomy, it still may not be the right option for you in terms of technology.
In-the-ear devices come in half and full shell varieties and sit in the ear bowl. These devices are generally more tailored to an individual’s ear, making them less suitable to be reused. This is also true with in-the-canal devices, which are made to be worn in the canal and can be incredibly uncomfortable if they are not made to fit your specific anatomy.
The fit of the device
It’s important that you get hearing aids that fit your ears the right way. All ears are different and you won’t find that the shape of your ear is the same as that of your friend. This means that a used hearing aid was designed for another person’s ear anatomy and may not fit you. A hearing aid that does not properly fit your ear will not only be uncomfortable to wear, but won’t treat your hearing loss in the way that you need. The right fit for your hearing aid is essential to getting the best listening experience, and used devices can be difficult to refit to another person’s anatomy and hearing loss needs.
It’s crucial that you speak to a hearing instrument specialist when considering your hearing aid options to ensure you aren’t investing in a pair that you will not benefit from or even use.
The right tech
You also need to think about whether the used hearing aids that you are thinking about purchasing will provide the right support for you. Modern hearing aids are set-up with a wide range of different technology and features, from feedback reduction to Bluetooth connectivity. The programming and settings of a used device was tailored to the original owner’s needs, so in addition to finding the right style and fit of hearing aid, you will still need to have your hearing instrument specialist customize it to your needs.
Of course, you will also need to judge whether the hearing aids are still working effectively. Technology that hearing aids use will not last forever and eventually need to be updated to get the best experience. When that happens, it will mean that the tech no longer be beneficial to you and a new pair of devices will be required. When you speak to a HIS they may determine that the used hearing aids will need to be both reconditioned and repaired before they can be used by you effectively.
Will you save money?
While used hearing aids may seem like they will offer you savings, the reconditioning needed to tailor them to your specific needs can be extensive. If you are not completely happy with your devices, you will be less likely to wear them. This means that while saving costs upfront, you won’t be getting the benefits you should if you’re not wearing them all the time. Your hearing instrument specialist will be able to work with you to find the right style and fit to hearing aids, as well as the features you would most need.
Before investing in your future hearing aids, talk with a hearing instrument specialist at Life Hearing & Tinnitus Health Centers by calling (800) 964-6215 for expert advice and support.