Where Should I Buy Hearing Aids?

Health & FitnessMedicine

  • Author Dr. Jeffrey Rice
  • Published March 11, 2013
  • Word count 631

Shopping for hearing aids can be a daunting task. Not only are there many types and brands to choose from, but there are also many places from which you can purchase them. Who should you trust, which places are more reputable, who has the best prices, who is the most qualified? These are all good questions a weary consumer should ask. Here are a few guidelines to help you choose a hearing aid provider in Medford, Oregon and remember, there’s no harm in shopping around.

NAME BRAND STORES

Stores like Miracle-Ear in Medford and Beltone in Central Point and Grants Pass only sell devices under their brand name, limiting customer choices. Often times with name brand stores, customers will deal with hearing-aid specialists and won’t necessarily have access to an in-store audiologist. This is important to note, as hearing-aid specialists aren’t required to have the extensive medical background an audiologist has. Essentially, you are dealing with salespeople who know the product very well, but may not understand your hearing needs the way a doctor will.

BIG BOX STORES

While not as popular as brand name stores or medical offices, many big box stores also sell hearing devices. Large chains that carry hearing aids include Walmart, Sears and Costco. Not only do Sears and Costco sell them, they also offer professional consultation and hearing tests at their Medford locations, giving them a big advantage over the next option – buying online. They also offer customers a highly competitive price (sometimes up to 50% cheaper than other providers).

ONLINE

It is no secret that you can buy non-prescription devices online without having to have your hearing tested and for a fraction of the price you’ll pay for a prescription aid. However, buyer beware - you get what you pay for. These over-the-counter devices lack many beneficial features and are not customized to treat your hearing loss. Without proper auditory testing, medical examination, fitting and follow-up, you may be wasting your money or worse - causing further damage to your hearing. If the savings is too great of a temptation to pass up, just be sure wherever you buy offers a money back guarantee or a good return policy.

MEDICAL OFFICES

By far the best hearing aid providers are medical offices. More specifically, audiologists (hearing specialists), otorhinolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat physicians), and hearing instrument specialists will be the most qualified professionals to help you both diagnose and treat your hearing loss. Oregon Ear, Nose and Throat Center in Medford employs all three, giving their facility a unique ability to effectively treat all types of hearing loss. Not only will professionals in a medical office be able to advise patients on hearing aids, they can also rule out medical conditions that could cause hearing loss, such as wax build-up, tumors or infections. Buying directly from a doctor can be an expensive choice, but their knowledge and level of care gives your treatment a higher success and satisfaction rate than with any other provider or dispensary.

THE KEY TO PROVIDER SATISFACTION

No matter where you decide to buy hearing aids in Medford, communication is an important factor in proper fitting and hearing aid satisfaction. Before making a purchase, discuss your lifestyle and hearing needs, as they can affect the type of hearing aid that will be best suited. Things like watching tv, talking on the phone, socializing in large groups or frequenting noisy establishments may change the type of device recommended. Be sure to follow-up after choosing a hearing aid; communicate with your provider and ask questions if you have concerns or if you need clarification. The more you communicate with your provider before, during, and after purchasing hearing aids, the more successful the treatment of your hearing loss is likely to be.

Dr. Jeffrey Rice has over 21 years of experience as a clinical audiologist specializing in hearing aids. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree at Brigham Young University, he moved to Medford Hearing Aids and became the Director of Hearing Services at the Oregon Ear, Nose and Throat Center a distinguished group of Medford Hearing Specialists.

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