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Can I buy used hearing aids?

Question

Being the type of person that likes to save money whenever possible, I’ve been strongly considering used hearing aids instead of new ones. I know there are probably risks involved but I’m thinking that the wear and tear on a pair of hearing aids really can’t be that bad. Maybe there is some kind of certification system in place to make sure customers get quality used products? This may seem like an odd question, but is it possible to buy used hearing aids?

Answer

I guess it is possible to buy used hearing aids but it is not legal for a registered hearing aid audiologist to provide them to you. I have seen many hearing aids for sale on ebay so this activity does indeed take place. There are 2 big issues here.  A) Does the hearing aid match my hearing loss? and B) Does the hearing aid physically fit my ear?  There are of course other questions such as “where has it been” and “in what condition is it in” but I won’t go into these here.  In answer to the first question, without doubt NO. The hearing aids may have been programmed for someone with a severe hearing loss and by wearing them, the amplification they could deliver may actually damage your hearing. Conversely, they may either give you too little amplification or the wrong type of amplification. In answer to the second question relating to the physical fit. It is highly unlikely that the aid(s) will fit your ear comfortably. Would you really wear something uncomfortable for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need hearing aids and wish to save money then you should go to the NHS. The aids they provide are of a reasonable standard , digital, programmed to your loss and will fit comfortably. Do not buy second hand aids – ever.

Author: Paul Harrison

Date: Wednesday 20th February, 2013

Published in: Hearing Aid Questions

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