There are heaps of cool products you can buy on-line, in the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas, but listen to me when I tell you, hearing aids should not be one of them. I have attached a public service announcement created by The Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario that highlights the health risks associated with buying your hearing aids on-line. I would like to add some very practical reasons why this is just a bad idea.
First of all you are selecting your own medical device without any instruction from a qualified medical professional. Would you pick out your own pacemaker? Would you order dentures from a lab on the other side of the world? I, for one, would want to rely on someone with some experience to help me with this kind of choice and to provide follow up care. Hearing aids are a big investment and there are many to choose from. There are several factors that need to be considered when selecting a hearing aid in order to ensure it was designed with your particular ear, hearing loss and lifestyle in mind.
Hearing aids need to be programmed to your specific hearing loss, perception and lifestyle requirements. This takes more than one fine-tuning appointment to perfect as well as some complicated and expensive equipment to verify. Hearing aids are not plug and play and one size does not fit all. Having your aids programmed correctly for your loss will make or break the success of your fitting.
Hearing aids require constant care and maintenance. They hang out all day, every day (assuming they have been programmed correctly so you are actually wearing them) in a moist, waxy environment that is totally inhospitable to electronics. Components have to be cleaned and replaced regularly to keep your aids performing within manufactures specifications. I encourage my patients to drop in for service at least once every 3 months. This continuous care and maintenance prolongs the life of your aids and maximizes your benefit.
And the last reason and of course the most important reason is me. Yes, the hearing health care professional. I am the reason why you should not buy hearing aids on-line. I know my stuff. I love to help people. I am a good listener. Ask any one of my patients and they will tell you I am fun and nice and a great dancer. OK. Not all of them can confirm that last statement but we do have a lot of fun here at New Hope Hearing. I test your hearing and tell the same jokes every time I do. I explain the results and ask you all about your needs and your lifestyle and we have a gay old time picking out the style, colour and level of technology that is right for you and your budget. We work on programming your aid together until you are comfortable. You bring me Timmies every few months or so (I take it black) and we have a nice chat while I give your aids some much needed attention. After a couple years I test your hearing again and if it has changed we fine-tune again. It is simply impossible to buy this support and dedicated service on-line. Nor will one find the peace of mind and confidence that my patients get from knowing that their investment is backed by my several years of experience and witty (yet humble) personality.
Book a free hearing screening and hear all my jokes for the first time today!