You probably already know that the Internet has the power to bring prices down and keep them low. You may have purchased books at Amazon.com, music from iTunes and unique gifts at eBay. There is nothing like experiencing the cost savings of the online world firsthand to understand it potential, but what about buying more complicated devices – like hearing aids – online?
At first blush, you might be reluctant to purchase such a sophisticated item online, but there are some real sound reasons for doing so. You should not be afraid to purchase a hearing aid or similarly powerful “hearable” device from a reputable seller – one who has many years of clinical experience and expertise in the field.
Traditional Constraints on the Expansion of Hearing Aid Access
Clinical expertise is the key when it comes to buying a hearing aid. You do not want to buy such a sophisticated device from just anyone. The average consumer wants an audiologist with experience providing customers where they can hear the world more fully and understand the conversations around them.
However, a traditional hearing aid fitting and purchase requires multiple trips to the audiologist. Furthermore, the cost of traditional hearing aids runs in the thousands of dollars and often is only partially covered by insurance, if at all.
Hearables for Hearing Loss
New devices known as hearables are poised to upend the traditional hearing health marketplace. The devices offer interesting alternatives for millions of individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss who only wish to hear better in specific listening situations.
Manufacturers such as Bose, Nuheara, Bragi, and the now-defunct Doppler Labs have all unveiled iterations of these hybrid devices in the last few years. These hearables bridge the gap between traditional Bluetooth headphones or earbuds and hearing aids.
Next Steps for Purchasing Hearing Aids or Devices Online
Once you have found an online hearing aid or hearables supplier who meets the necessary criteria – including years of experience and special expertise creating these powerful devices – you may find that the cost is much lower than it would be from a traditional audiologist or clinic.
The entire hearables space is on the cusp of another breakthrough as by 2020, “consumers should have access to over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids that are expected to bring down the price and hassles associated with purchase” according to the AARP. Following the passage of the bi-partisan Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, FDA guidelines are expected to be in place to formally recognize and validate qualified hearing devices as OTC hearing aids in the near future.
If you have been nervous about shopping online for a hearing aid, now may be the perfect time to start looking at what the web can offer you. Chances are you will be surprised at the excellent quality you find – with many online hearables and hearing aid makers sporting years, or even decades, of clinical experience. Many of those long-overdue for hearing assistance are delighted at the prices and performance of these new solutions.