Hearables

Why​ ​You​ ​Should​ ​Think​ ​Twice​ ​About​ ​Buying​ ​a​ ​Hearing​ ​Device​ ​Online

Why​ ​You​ ​Should​ ​Think​ ​Twice​ ​About​ ​Buying​ ​a​ ​Hearing​ ​Device​ ​Online

A​ ​new​ ​type​ ​of​ ​hearing​ ​device​ ​has​ ​come​ ​on​ ​the​ ​market​ ​recently​ ​that​ ​isn’t​ ​regulated​ ​by​ ​the​ ​FDA and​ ​is​ ​available​ ​over-the-counter.​ ​To​ ​find​ ​out​ ​more​ ​about​ ​this​ ​type​ ​of​ ​device,​ ​read​ ​our​ ​article​ ​on the​ ​difference​ ​between​ ​hearing​ ​aids​ ​and​ ​hearables​.
These​ ​devices​ ​are​ ​often​ ​billed​ ​as​ ​cheaper​ ​and​ ​hassle-free​ ​alternatives​ ​to​ ​traditional​ ​hearing aids.​ ​They​ ​also​ ​have​ ​one​ ​other​ ​“advantage”​ ​over​ ​traditional​ ​hearing​ ​devices:​ ​they​ ​can​ ​be purchased​ ​easily​ ​online.
There​ ​are​ ​federal​ ​regulations​ ​stating​ ​that​ ​one​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​have​ ​had​ ​a​ ​recent​ ​hearing​ ​exam​ ​in​ ​order to​ ​purchase​ ​a​ ​hearing​ ​aid,​ ​similar​ ​to​ ​having​ ​to​ ​undergo​ ​an​ ​eye​ ​exam​ ​to​ ​purchase​ ​prescription glasses.​ ​According​ ​to​ ​Title​ ​21,​ ​Section​ ​801.420​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Code​ ​of​ ​Federal​ ​Regulations,​ ​hearing aids​ ​can​ ​only​ ​be​ ​sold​ ​to​ ​those​ ​individuals​ ​who​ ​have​ ​first​ ​obtained​ ​a​ ​medical​ ​evaluation​ ​from​ ​a licensed​ ​physician​ ​within​ ​the​ ​six​ ​months​ ​prior​ ​to​ ​the​ ​sale.​ ​There​ ​rules​ ​are​ ​there​ ​for​ ​the​ ​protection of​ ​consumers,​ ​who​ ​may​ ​not​ ​understand​ ​the​ ​complexity​ ​behind​ ​purchasing.
But​ ​ultimately,​ ​even​ ​if​ ​eventually​ ​the​ ​government​ ​does​ ​allow​ ​over-the-counter​ ​sales​ ​of​ ​hearing aids​ ​(there​ ​is​ ​current​ ​legislation​ ​in​ ​Congress​ ​to​ ​do​ ​just​ ​that),​ ​the​ ​real​ ​issue​ ​isn’t​ ​the​ ​legality​ ​of​ ​the matter.​ ​It’s​ ​about​ ​correctly​ ​diagnosing​ ​hearing​ ​loss​ ​and​ ​finding​ ​the​ ​best​ ​hearing​ ​device​ ​for​ ​each patient,​ ​complete​ ​with​ ​correct​ ​setup,​ ​fitting,​ ​and​ ​ongoing​ ​adjustment​ ​for​ ​an​ ​optimal​ ​hearing experience.
Better​ ​hearing​ ​isn’t​ ​just​ ​about​ ​the​ ​device.​ ​It’s​ ​also​ ​about​ ​the​ ​expertise​ ​of​ ​programming​ ​and adjustments,​ ​and​ ​those​ ​are​ ​exactly​ ​the​ ​things​ ​a​ ​trained​ ​audiologist​ ​can​ ​help​ ​you​ ​with.
Getting​ ​any​ ​hearing​ ​device​ ​to​ ​function​ ​optimally​ ​requires​ ​testing,​ ​fitting,​ ​and​ ​an​ ​ongoing conversation​ ​with​ ​your​ ​audiologist.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​just​ ​as​ ​true​ ​about​ ​traditional​ ​hearing​ ​aids​ ​as​ ​it​ ​is about​ ​the​ ​latest​ ​high-tech​ ​hearable.​ ​Be​ ​skeptical​ ​of​ ​any​ ​claims​ ​that​ ​a​ ​hearing​ ​device​ ​doesn’t require​ ​input​ ​from​ ​an​ ​audiologist​ ​and​ ​can​ ​simply​ ​be​ ​set​ ​up​ ​by​ ​the​ ​consumer.
Even​ ​in​ ​the​ ​best​ ​case​ ​scenario,​ ​if​ ​you​ ​purchase​ ​one​ ​of​ ​these​ ​device​ ​and​ ​experience​ ​some​ ​relief from​ ​hearing​ ​loss​ ​right​ ​off​ ​the​ ​bat,​ ​you​ ​still​ ​can’t​ ​be​ ​sure​ ​how​ ​that​ ​compares​ ​with​ ​the​ ​hearing correction​ ​you​ ​would​ ​have​ ​received​ ​had​ ​you​ ​made​ ​an​ ​appointment​ ​with​ ​an​ ​audiologist​ ​who​ ​has the​ ​experience​ ​and​ ​training​ ​required​ ​to​ ​help​ ​patients​ ​hear​ ​better.
If​ ​you​ ​need​ ​help​ ​deciding​ ​on​ ​which​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​hearing​ ​device​ ​will​ ​work​ ​best​ ​for​ ​your​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​hearing loss,​ ​we’re​ ​here​ ​to​ ​help!​​ ​​Get​ ​in​ ​touch​ ​with​ ​us​​ ​to​ ​schedule​ ​an​ ​appointment!

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.