According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 15% of American adults report some trouble hearing. That means that there are millions of Americans who could benefit from using hearing aids.
If you are considering hearing aid options, you may be curious about second-hand options, either from a family member or an organization that donates hearing aids. However, while it’s understandable that this might sound like an appealing option, there are reasons why second-hand hearing aids might not be your best option.
Downsides to Second-Hand Hearing Aids
- The fit won’t be right. Hearing aids are fitted to the individual wearing them, so if you take someone else’s older pair, they won’t be customized to your ears. This may especially be a problem with hearing aid models that fit inside the ear. You will need to take them to a hearing aid specialist to have them refit. Otherwise, they may cause pain and be at risk of falling out of your ear, leading to damage.
- They won’t be programmed to match your hearing needs. Similar to everyone needing a custom fit, they also need custom programs to meet their individual hearing needs. If you get a second-hand pair of hearing aids, you will still need to get a hearing test (or bring in your recent results) to a specialist so that they can reprogram them to give you a quality listening experience.
- They might be too old. Like any technology, hearing aids have a shelf life. Hearing aids over five years old start to become more prone to natural wear and tear. This may take the form of distorted or weak hearing, shortened battery life or being too obsolete for the latest hearing aid programs.
Investing in Your Hearing Health
While second-hand hearing aids may sound like you’re getting a good deal, the truth is they still require visits to a hearing specialist, adjustments and possible repairs to provide you with hearing assistance that actually benefits you.
Instead, a better option is to see if you can use your insurance or health savings account to invest in a new pair of hearing aids that has custom settings, the latest technology and the right fit for you.
Investing in your hearing health benefits your overall well-being. It can improve your mental and physical health, make it easier to focus on work and let you enjoy social activities like hiking with friends or meeting with your book club at Four Barrel Coffee.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call San Francisco Audiology today.