Who doesn’t love online shopping? I definitely do. In fact, I’m probably at the point where I should really just hand the FedEx driver a spare set of keys. But, despite the awesome convenience and rapid delivery, there are some things you are better off buying in-person.

I still like to try clothes on before I make a purchase, and I certainly want to take that new car out for a test drive before I commit to a loan. Hearing aids are in this bucket. You don’t want just to grab the latest set of hearing aids from the first result on Google. Despite the convenience on the surface, purchasing hearing aids through eCommerce stores can end up biting you in the end.

Here are some reasons you should get your hearing aids from a professional audiologist — not an online store.

1. Hearing Aids Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All

Do you know why clothes, shoes, and jewelry are the most returned online items? It’s because they aren’t universal. Sizing differs between manufacturers, and each person has a unique shape of body, feet, and wrists. Your ear shape is also unique. Buying a hearing aid online doesn’t guarantee fit. It’s more likely that you’ll receive a hearing aid that doesn’t fit properly if you attempt to buy one yourself.

Sometimes, you’ll notice the fit issue. Other times, you won’t. And, after a few weeks of wearing the hearing aid, you’ll start to feel discomfort and pain. That’s due to the hearing aid having fit issues with your ear. At this point, you may have run out your return policy — leaving you out-of-pocket for an ill-fitting hearing aid. That’s not a good situation!

When you come in to visit an audiologist at Big Thicket Hearing Aids & Audiology, we’ll measure your ear precisely. In my clinic, I use 3D ear scanning technology to get an accurate measurement and modeling of your ears. Then, I use those models to suggest hearing aids that fit comfortably and securely. At Big Thicket, we don’t do “sort-of-fits.” We make sure our patients’ hearing aids are perfect for them.

2. Like Glasses, You Need a Diagnosis

There’s no such thing as a “perfect” hearing aid. Like all other medical instruments, hearing aids are designed to solve a specific hearing issue. So, here’s the question: what’s your hearing issue? And is that shiny, overly glossed hearing aid that’s half-off online actually meant to solve your specific problem? There’s a good chance it’s not.*

Ears are incredibly complex bodily systems that contain many unique structures and parts. You need to figure out precisely what type of hearing aid works for your issue. Unfortunately, hearing aids aren’t all built alike. They each are created to solve specific problems. A well-trained audiologist can help you discover which hearing aids will combat your issue.

3. Hearing Aids Are Only a Small Part of The Care You Recieve

Hearing issues aren’t always fixed by hearing aids. When you purchase a hearing aid online, you’re not getting a diagnosis, advice, or proper ear measurements. You also don’t have an expert audiologist to help you calibrate and fine-tune your hearing aids. There is a variety of hearing aid types (e.g., IC, BTE, CIC, ITE, etc.), and each one presents unique benefits. An audiologist can help you find the hearing aid that works for your situation.

For this reason, online hearing aids may cost you more in the long run. They’re no pre-calibrated and fine-tuned for your hearing issue. And they may not fit reasonable or provide the hearing assistance you really need.

4. You May Miss the Real Issue

This is, by far, the most serious issue. You may be treating the problem, not the cause. When you simply purchase a hearing aid online, you’re not getting a full diagnosis of your hearing problem. Believe it or not, hearing issues can cause severe damage to your body and your brain. When your ears start to lose their hearing ability, your brain goes into overdrive mode and strengthens your other senses. This is called cross-modal cortical reorganization. And, while it’s a great defense mechanism, it creates cognitive issues. In fact, hearing loss can lead to dementia.

An audiologist is here to provide you with a full-scale hearing diagnosis. From helping you find the right hearing aids to diagnosing your hearing issue, audiologists prevent health problems related to hearing loss. Buying a hearing aid with fancy packaging doesn’t necessarily fix your issue. It may even make it worse in the long run.

Schedule An Appointment With An Audiologist Instead

I’m not suggesting that you stop shopping online. It’s a fast, convenient, and relatively cheap way to get many different items delivered directly to your door. But hearing aids shouldn’t be one of those items. If it relates to your body and health, it’s best to see a specialist. Contact us at Big Thicket Hearing Aids & Audiology to get a comprehensive hearing assessment. We’ll discover your issue, measure your ear, and get you a hearing aid that’s perfect for you.

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Dr. Joni A. Ruiz AuD

Dr. Joni A. Ruiz AuD

Dr. Joni Ruiz is the owner and doctor of audiology at Big Thicket Hearing Aids and Audiology. She earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009 from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. Selected for a prestigious fourth-year externship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ruiz has more than ten years’ experience as an audiologist. She has a heart for patient-centered care. At her hearing care practice, she performs comprehensive diagnostic audiological evaluations, provides aural rehabilitation to her patients and their loved ones, dispenses state of the art hearing aids, and manages the care of said devices for their life. Dr. Ruiz is dedicated to patient education regarding hearing loss, hearing protection, and hearing aid selection.
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