Hearing aids are expensive pieces of equipment. Regardless, when you have hearing loss, and you want to treat it, you must pay the price. Over 40 million people in the US alone suffer from hearing loss. Of that number, only 20% of people wear hearing aids. Whether that is because of the price, not being diagnosed, or other reasons is unknown.
However, people have been asking the question, can you use someone else’s hearing aids. Answering the question is not as simple as yes or no—it requires knowing the advantages and disadvantages of wearing used hearing aids. So, whether or not you can, if you wear someone else’s hearing aids, there are a few things that should be kept in mind.
Get a Hearing Test First
Before you consider buying used hearing aids, you should take an audiogram. With the help of a doctor or a specialist, you can determine what degree of hearing loss you have. From there, doctors may recommend certain actions, such as specific hearing aids.
If you find out you do need hearing aids, and you choose to find a used pair, the audiogram will have helped you determine what kind of hearing aid you need.
Consider the Fitting and Style
If you’re asking, can hearing aids be reused, you’ll get a straightforward answer; yes, they can be reused. However, that doesn’t mean doing so is a good option.
First, you have to consider the style of the hearing aids. Are they behind-the-ear, completely-in-the-canal, or others? Depending on the style, the model, and even the manufacturer, the hearing aids could have been a custom build to fit the past user’s ear. Some hearing aids, typically over the counter aids, are not custom fit.
Most often, in-the-ear hearing aids are custom fit. As they are designed to be small and discreet, manufacturers and sellers want the hearing aids to perfectly fit the user who purchased them. Considering the unique shape of each individual’s ear canal, it’s unlikely you could find a used in-the-ear hearing aid that fits you well enough. If you were to try and wear someone else’s in-the-ear aids, they will likely fall out, fit uncomfortably, or even work ineffectively.
Alternatively, behind-the-ear hearing aids usually do not come as a custom fit. Rather, manufacturers create these hearing aids with a basic ear dome piece. Most behind-the-ear hearing aids even come with a variety of ear dome sizes and pieces.
That way, users can find the best fit for them. If you bought a behind-the-ear hearing aid, your chance of them fitting better increase compared to in-the-ear models. Additionally, if the used hearing aid comes with all the pieces the original purchaser received, you will likely have an earmold that will fit your ear.
Thus, for those interested in a pair of used hearing aids, potential buyers should first consider the style of hearing aids. Although many people lean toward in-the-ear hearing aids for discreetness and style, they will likely not work well as a secondhand pair. Used hearing aid buyers should look for behind-the-ear hearing aids instead.
Consider the Type of Technology
Hearing aids come with different technology. First, hearing aids may be analog or digital. Although digital hearing aids are more common, some users prefer analog hearing aids. Users of analog hearing aids claim to receive a much more natural sound. Analog hearing aids take in sound waves and continually amplify them. They essentially amplify all noises that they pick up.
Alternatively, digital hearing aids pick up noise, convert the sounds to a digital signal, and then they attempt to amplify separate noises while reducing the level of other, background noises. Thus, digital signals do not sound as natural as analog hearing aids.
Seek Assistance from a Doctor
Before you try out any used hearing aids, seek help from a doctor. Most people who use hearing aids have had them customized for their hearing needs. That means a specialist has tested the hearing aids on the wearer and fixed them, so the users can hear the clearest sound possible. At times, hearing aids may need to have a large amplification that suits one wearer but could hurt another’s ears.
Doctors highly recommend never putting in someone else’s hearing aids and turning them on without seeking assistance first. You need to have your hearing measured before using a hearing aid. Otherwise, you may further damage your ears and worsen your hearing.
Consider the Lack of Warranty
Depending on where you receive used hearing aids from, you may still have had to shell out a fair chunk of change to buy them. As some hearing aids cost thousands of dollars upfront, people may try to sell them for near that amount. If you’re buying a used pair of hearing aids, consider the fact that you won’t receive any warranty on them.
Imagine you paid for used hearing aids that break within a short time of use. You’re essentially out of luck. You likely cannot get them serviced without having proof of purchase or a second party warranty. Consequently, you’ll need to buy a new pair of hearing aids, used or not. This may cost end up costing a similar amount of money to buying one new pair of hearing aids.
The Bottom Line
Can I Use Someone Else’s’ Hearing Aids?
Yes, you can. However, you must be careful when you purchase them. You have to consider the cost of the used hearing aids, the style, the technology used, and the lack of warranty. Is it in your best interest to buy used hearing aids? Or would a new, custom fit pair of hearing aids be better?
Can You Buy Used Hearing Aids?
Yes. In this day and age, you can buy practically anything you wish. Websites like eBay and Craigslist are great options to find used hearing aids. Some sellers may require you to sign a document to agree with the seller’s terms and conditions.