Audiologists across the UK are often asked “is it safe to wear second-hand hearing aids?” or “should I consider wearing a used hearing aid?”. Although some people buy and sell worn hearing devices on online sites, such as eBay, it is actually illegal for audiologists to provide customers with pre-owned aids. This isn’t because the hearing aid provider wants to make more money, it’s to protect the health and hearing capability of customers. True, worn aids might be cheaper, but we strongly advise against using already worn aids for several reasons.
The aid won’t be customised to suit your requirements
When the original owner of the hearing aid received their hearing devices, they would have had a hearing test so that their audiologist could understand their level of hearing. The aid that they were prescribed would have then been programmed so that their needs would be catered for, and it is likely that their needs are different to yours. It’s therefore highly probable that you won’t benefit from wearing these already used aids. For example, your new aid might have been previously used for someone who has much more severe hearing difficulties than you have. As a result, the hearing aid will have an amplification that is too high for your ears, causing further damage to the health of your ears. Equally, if the amplification is too low, the hearing aids will provide minimal benefits.
Most hearing aids also have a feature that allows for different modes to be programmed, such as decreasing the volume in particularly loud places. Another feature is for calming noises to be played, to act as a distraction for people suffering from tinnitus
. These specific programmes may not be preferable to you, and can be an irritating distraction.
With Hearing Solutions UK, you can rest assured that the hearing aid
you are given after your free consultation
will be programmed to satisfy your hearing requirements.
It’s likely that the aid won’t fit your ear
Not only will the aid be customised to someone else’s hearing capability, but it will also be customised to fit someone else’s ear size and shape. Hearing aids aren’t one-size-fits-all as everyone’s ears are different sizes and shapes. They are instead bespoke and made specifically to fit the shape of the original user’s ears so that as much comfort as possible is provided. Wearing a hearing aid that doesn’t correctly fit your ears will inevitably cause soreness, irritation and pain.
Wearing an ITE (in the ear) hearing aid that has been custom-made for someone else will cause discomfort as it has been made specifically to fit the ear canal of only the initial user. Likewise, a BTE (behind the ear) hearing aid is fitted to the ear with a custom earmold, which is likely to be a different size to a new user’s ear. It would be much more worthwhile booking a free consultation
with one of our specialists, so that a custom-made and comfortable device can be issued.
It is also possible that the technology used in second-hand hearing aids are now dated, potentially limiting its performance. With recent developments in technology, hearing aids are now much more advanced, and can offer more than just improved hearing. The Sonorlite XL2020 Phonic Band
, for example, allows telephone calls to be answered with one click and also music to be played through the earbuds. Although a second-hand aid may help your hearing, considerably more benefits will be provided by wearing a hearing aid that has been constructed with the latest technology.
Similarly, the design of a second-hand hearing aid might be outdated, causing irritation to the skin, and consequently making them uncomfortable to wear for longer durations. Nowadays, there’s a wide range of designs and styles available for you to choose from, such as receive in the canal (RIC) and behind the ear pre-programmed (BTEPP), allowing you to choose the model that provides you with optimum comfort.
The aid might come in poor condition
Another factor to consider when buying an already worn hearing aid is the condition that it comes in. For instance, the aid may’ve been used for numerous years, and the state of the aid is likely to have gradually deteriorated, or perhaps the aid hasn’t been regularly cleaned and therefore isn’t as hygienic as you’d want a new hearing aid to be. It is also possible that the previous owner of the aid is selling it because it has a faulty component that might not be repairable, or will come at an extra cost to mend.
What are the benefits of a new hearing aid?
Overall, a new hearing aid is significantly more comfortable and reliable. You can be assured that your audiologist will have programmed your device to satisfy your hearing requirements, as well make certain that the aid is the correct size and shape, ensuring maximum comfort. The vast majority of audiologists also only prescribe hearing aids that have been manufactured by established and dependable brands, such as Oticon, and with the latest technology.
If you think your current hearing aid isn’t benefiting you as much as you’d like, or is irritating and uncomfortable to wear, arrange for a free consultation
with one of our audiologists where we can help find you an appropriate hearing aid for your needs.
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