Beware the Hearing Aid Scams

October 27, 2015

It’s that frightening time of year again, and the perfect time to remind us all to be wary of the many hearing aid scams out there.

Most aids out there are unfortunately pricy, but for good reason: they can be tailored specifically to the individual, they have features that leave the user in control, and they are so compact and snug that they remain hardly noticeable — to both the wearer himself and those around him. However, there are still innumerable companies out there looking to make a profit through schemes that offer low-cost hearing aids. It is important to be aware of the truths behind them.

As one might expect, there is no room for adjustment with these “inexpensive aids,” since they can’t be made specific to the user’s hearing loss. Each individual’s hearing loss is different, and must be properly evaluated by an audiologist, who can then precisely program the best types of hearing aids to combat that loss. A pair of stock, cheap hearing aids will simply amplify all sounds with no respect to the complexity of the user’s hearing impairment. Similarly, these scamming aids are much more likely to cause discomfort, because they can’t be molded to fit the (again, always unique) shape of the user’s ear. There is no “one size fits all!” with hearing aids. Yet time and time again, the scammers advertise exactly that, and buyers often overlook this in favor of the impossibly low prices. Unfortunately, these scamming hearing aids are simply a waste of money altogether.

Genuine hearing aids may seem a bit costly, but they are absolutely worth it: their technological capabilities, their uncanny ability to improve sound clarity without overwhelming the user, and their ability to fit snugly to the individual can make all the difference. Your audiologist can work with you to find the right options for you ­— yet another key offer lost in the hearing aid scams. Stay smart and put your health first — the right way.

Beth S. Levine M.S., CCC-A, F-AAA owner and licensed audiologist, is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. She is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Audiology, and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

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