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I am thinking of purchasing a used hearing aid from a friend. Will it work for me?

Brock Sturlaugson, AuD

Hearing Healthcare Provider

17 December 2019 - 673 Views

There's a lot that goes into purchasing used hearing devices from anyone, whether that be online or a friend. It's important to have a hearing healthcare professional not only evaluate your needs for an aid but help guide you as to what type of device is best for you.  If you do purchase a used hearing aid, it's important that anything that has been in the original owners ear be sterilized by a hearing health professional , as they can have bacteria from a previous owner. In addition, hearing aids must be properly programmed and fitted by a hearing aid professional. 

Best advice, go to your hearing local hearing health care professional and have an honest conversation about it! With the costs associated with purchasing a hearing aid it can be tempting to look for something used to save money but you want to make sure that you are making an educated decision before doing anything. 

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Jasmin Auzenne, AuD

Doctor of Audiology: Hearing Healthcare Provider

17 December 2019 - 675 Views

I would definitely be sure to explore all of your options first. Depending on the hearing aid model that your friend has and your hearing loss, it may be better to consider an alternative option.

I would recommend seeking out treatment options from a local audiologist (hearing doctor) to see if they would recommend being fit with your friend's hearing aid or if there were something else that may work better to meet your hearing needs.

Whether you decide to purchase a used hearing aid from your friend or not, finding an audiologist to fit the hearing aid(s) to your hearing and care for your hearing will be essential.

I hope this helps!

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

17 December 2019 - 678 Views

Before purchasing the hearing aids, I would suggest you get the make/model and age of the devices including the serial numbers. I would then schedule a diagnostic hearing evaluation and ask the audiologist if those hearing aids are appropriate for your hearing loss and needs. The provider will be able to let you know if that would be a wise purchase, also considering the investment. Please remember, used hearing aids may not have an active manufacturer warranty. If the warranty is active, some manufacturers will not transfer to another recipient. Many providers will also require the devices go into the manufacturer for a refurbishment for infection control or to replace certain parts, as needed. I would ask this of your audiologist, as well. 
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Jeffrey Cline, BC-HIS


07 January 2020 - 606 Views

Purchasing used hearing aids is a big risk with the advancement in technology. The fast technology advances the instruments could be out dated and not able to be programmed any longer. My question is always why are they selling them if they worked great for them?Always consult with a hearing specialist before considering buying someone else's problem or old instruments. 

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Aviva Tilson

Hearing Healthcare Provider

20 December 2019 - 616 Views

This is a great question, and we get it often in the clinic. 

The best way to answer this question is to compare it to finger prints or snowflakes. No 2 finger prints are alike and no 2 snowflakes are the same. The same goes for hearing loss. Even if a hearing loss appears to be the same on paper, sound is not processed the same between the ear and up through the brain systems. 

Before purchasing the hearing aid from your friend it is important to know 2 things.

 1. Are these hearing aids appropriate for me and my hearing loss.

 2. How many years are left on the warranty. 

An audiologist would be able to answer both of those questions for you at a consultation appointment. Once you have that information, you and the audiologist can both make an educated decision if the used hearing aid will work for you.

Kind regards

Aviva Tilson 

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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

17 December 2019 - 636 Views

There is nothing wrong with repurposing hearing aids.  Here is my advice if you decide to purchase used devices:

Find out the make, model and if possible, serial number. If it is a custom molded hearing aid most likely it can not be remade.

Schedule a hearing test if you haven't had one in the past 6-12 months.

Find a provider that supports that brand and is willing to help you.  They will determine if the hearing aids are right for you, 

Ask the cost for professional fees.  At the fitting, make sure that real ear measurements are used to verify the performance. 

Used hearing aids can sometimes open a can of worms.  You can make the investment to have them fit and they may need a repair or parts sooner than you hoped.  Buying used hearing aids is like buying a used car.  You really don't know what you are getting.  They may need parts or have unexpected breakdowns.  Weigh your risks and benefits.  Best of luck. 

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