Mail Order Hearing Aids During Lockdown

Q.  My dog chewed up one of my hearing aids this week.  My hearing center is fully closed during the lockdown.  I have seen TV commercials for hearing aids, and my Mom’s Reader’s Digest has an insert ad in it for hearing aids.  Will these types of hearing aids be okay to use?

A.  Hearing aids require hands-on customization to fit properly and work as well as possible.  Think of them like dental work.  Would you try a mail order dental crown, bridge or dentures? You can get them and try them. But keep your expectations low.  If your only options are to not hear well, or to order a hearing aid by phone or through the mail, try one.

Before seeing us, some of our patients tried mail order hearing aids.  They were unpleasantly surprised by a few things.  They were upsold over the phone to order aids three to four times the cost of the aids in the ad.  The aids they received were much larger than they expected and looked cheaply made.  They were unable to get the aids to fit securely and comfortably.  The sound quality was generally too soft, too loud, or too tinny.  And they over accentuated ambient noises.

Though your hearing aid center is closed, perhaps another one nearby provides curbside service for your model of hearing aids.  They could order you a replacement hearing aid and program it.  Then you will have two matching hearing aids again.

Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin for a curbside appointment.  We can order and program all models of Oticon and Phonak hearing aids.  Once the restrictions are lifted, come get your hearing tested and listen to the newest instruments.  We provide coaching and adjustments during a 4-week hearing aid trial for patients to fully test out hearing aids before they make a final purchase.

Saleem Assaf (BA – Rice, MBA – UT) is a native Dallas, Texan and a recipient of KVUE’s 2020 award for 5 Who Care and the Texas Hearing Aid Association’s 2018 Dispenser of the Year award.  Outside his practice, Saleem volunteers for hearing healthcare in Austin and abroad.  Since 2008, he has provided $178,000 in hearing aids to students at the Texas School for the Deaf.