If you try two, three or more over the counter hearing aids and determine that they will not work for you do not be discouraged, you wood framing need to buy a dispensed hearing aid.
Buying at Retail
Let’s go through some of the things that you may have heard or will encounter and how to deal with them.
Audiologist and hearing aid dispensers in most states are licensed by the state to sell hearing aids. In most states you can not fit and sell hearing aids without a license.
Hearing Aid dispensers are not doctors and cannot give you a medical diagnosis or opinion. A hearing aid does not require a prescription. A hearing test and its results is not a medical evaluation when administered by a hearing dispenser.
Hearing dispensers have no formal higher education requirement to be eligible for a license. They must pay a fee, take a course of instruction designed by the Hearing Authority in their state, pass a written test, and serve an internship under a licensed dispenser.
Most audiologists are not doctors. They do have a formal education, most often with Masters Degrees; more and more are getting doctorates. Until fairly recently they did not dispense hearing aids.
Some states require proof of a hearing evaluation by a MD; your dispenser must inform you of this requirement; you have the right to waive the hearing evaluation.
When you see an ad in the paper for something free, it’s a loss leader; they will try their best to sell you a more expensive hearing aid. Call them and ask them if you can get a copy of the free test results to take home without making a purchase.
The $379 (or other low price) Hearing Aid ad can be a bait and switch. You will get tested, (make sure and ask if there is a fee for the office visit and/or test if you do or do not make a purchase) and the tester may tell you that your loss is too severe for the inexpensive device advertised. Here’s where you’re over the counter hearing aid experience pays off. Did the ad specify if the device was custom molded or not? Is it the style you prefer? The dispenser should have a unit you can try, with your experience you will know if the amplification is going to meet your needs. If the ad says custom fitted and the style and amplification meets your needs, make them deliver. Do not pay the f