Is shopping for used hearing aids a good idea? Are there any good hearing aid alternatives that are comparable to their prescription counterparts? Get the facts right here, plus a more cost-effective alternative you might not be aware of.
Used Hearing Aids: What You Need to Know
Like most medical devices, the cost of hearing aids has risen as time continues to pass. If you aren’t lucky enough to have an insurance policy that covers the cost of hearing aids, the cost can be alarming. Many prescription models range in the thousands of dollars. Because of this – it isn’t surprising that interest in used hearing aids is on the rise. So where do you find used hearing aids, and is buying used hearing aids even a good idea? More information about if used hearing aids are even really worth considering can be found in this article.
Used Hearing Aids vs. Refurbished Hearing Aids
First – understand the difference between used and refurbished. Hearing aids are medical devices that have been in contact with someone’s ear. Before purchasing a used hearing aid, you need to verify that the unit got refurbished. For an open-fit model, someone needs to have inspected and cleaned all parts. Also, any parts that are malfunctioning would need replacing. In other words, hoping to find a set of used hearing aids on Craigslist is a bad idea for many reasons.
Understand the Fit and Type of Hearing Aid
The physical characteristics of the hearing aid are important. You have to rule out in-the-ear models as they are custom molded to an individual. It is impossible to repurpose those without costly remanufacturing of the shell. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are somewhat easy to repurpose. With all tubes and tips replaced, that unit can fit and function for anyone – as long as it functions as intended.
Understand the Technology Differences Among Used Hearing Aids
While any behind-the-ear model can fit your ear, that doesn’t mean you can use any hearing aid. The inner workings were set for someone else and can sometimes make hearing loss worse. An audiologist programs specific units to help with patients exact hearing range difficulties. Only audiologists can tell what specific type of hearing loss you might have. Thus, they are the ones that prescribe the type of hearing aid appropriate. Even with refurbished hearing aids, it is imperative to speak with your audiologist.
Are Used Hearing Aids Cost-Effective?
Used hearing aids might seem cost-effective at first, but the costs can add up. First – rule out buying from individuals. You have no idea where the hearing aid has been, or if it even works. Always buy from a reputable company that refurbishes the devices. That will cost more, but it is the only safe option. Remember to consult an audiologist before, during, and after any purchases. You’ll have to pay for these services as you go, so that adds to the cost as well. This is necessary, because you wouldn’t want to end up with a hearing aid that is wrong for your unique hearing loss.
Now – the Better Hearing Aid Alternatives!
We promised you better hearing aid alternatives, and here they are! If you know you suffer from the early symptoms of hearing difficulty, you should consider a PSAP. A PSAP is a Personal Sound Amplification Product or Hearing Amplifier. We would especially recommend you check out a PSAP from Tweak Hearing.
What is a PSAP?
PSAPs are hearing amplifiers that you may buy without a prescription. Are all PSAPs good products? No – it is sad, but there are a lot of junk units on the market out there. The “if it’s too good to be true..” rule applies here. Do not expect to pay $25 for a “hearing aid” on eBay and enjoy any hearing improvement from it. You could even damage your hearing. High quality PSAPs meet the same manufacturing standards as a prescription hearing aid. The main difference, though, is that the price point is in the hundreds rather than in the thousands.
Tweak Hearing – Focus
The hearing aid alternatives we mentioned above are the Focus and the Focus+T by Tweak Hearing. The Ear Technology Corp. built them to the same, exact standards as a prescription hearing aid. This includes top quality housing and hardware with high-end electronic and audio components. An experienced audiologist with decades of diagnosing and fitting patients designed this device. We designed these devices to meet the different severities of hearing loss. Furthermore, these hearing aid alternatives are at a much more manageable price.
What About The Different Types of Hearing Difficulty?
This is where the Focus has the advantage. Everyone’s hearing issues are different. The majority of patients suffer from several general ranges of difficulty. Some might have trouble hearing higher pitched sounds. All the while, others might have more trouble hearing lower sounds. The Focus is pre-programmed with these typical programs. Once you select the basic program, you can further tweak the performance of your device. Using the device’s on-board controls, you can tweak the level of volume and range you receive. Designed as a behind-the-ear device, the Focus is very small and inconspicuous. If you are concerned about the type of your hearing loss, we go into describing the different types here.
All the Hi-Tech Features
With a Focus by Tweak Hearing, you won’t miss out on the latest high-tech innovations. This hearing aid alternative offers the same top-selling prescription hearing aid features. The Focus has front and rear facing microphones. It has various modes for different settings such as noisy restaurants. Also, it contains state-of-the-art digital sound processing. We use the most advanced, digital amplification components on the market for a clear, crisp sound.
Caring for the Hearing Aid Alternatives
If you’ve decided to make a step in helping your ears, you need to know how to care for your devices. Both, the hearing aid alternatives and prescription hearing aids, need continued care. Cleaning and drying these devices is a necessity, because moisture and tech don’t mix. Dry and Store offers a bunch of available options for post-purchase care.
Whether you need help hearing the television, following conversations in noisy environments, or something as simple as hearing your family and grandchildren, the Focus by Tweak Hearing is a much better alternative to used or refurbished hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing problems. If you have any concerns, please contact us. We are always willing to answer any questions and won’t stop until you are 100% satisfied.
I had no idea that in-the-ear hearing aids are custom made for each individual. I’d like to get a custom hearing aid made for my dad. I’ll talk to home about getting it made in the next couple of weeks.
Hello, Mr. White. Thank you for your comment about the article on the TweakHearing site. Tweak is not a hearing aid, but a personal sound amplifier. Tweak models are behind-the-ear amplifiers; a custom ear mold is not offered. Your dad will need to visit an audiologist for a hearing aid with a custom mold.