Should I Buy Hearing Aids Advertised on TV?

Should I Buy Hearing Aids Advertised on TV?

Patients often ask me about the differences between the hearing aids we dispense and the “hearing aids” they can buy on TV, the internet, or at their local drug store. First of all, if you can buy it without a prescription…it is not a hearing aid. Traditional hearing aids are medical devices that are prescribed and fit (typically by a licensed audiologist) and are specifically indicated for use by an individual with hearing loss. Currently, you
cannot purchase an Over the Counter hearing aid. What you can purchase is a Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP). A PSAP is a wearable device that will minimally accentuate hearing in certain listening situations. These devices are NOT regulated and are NOT subject to quality standards beyond the basic consumer electronic standards.


Hearing loss is a medical condition that requires evaluation by a licensed audiologist and self-treatment denies you the opportunity to identify an underlying medical condition causing the hearing loss that may require medical intervention.


Hearing aids are just one aspect of the comprehensive approach to treating hearing loss and achieving optimal hearing. There is also not a standard, one-size-fits-all, approach to hearing aid fitting. A hearing aid fitting, at The Riesberg Institute, provides personalized care with experts in hearing health and communication. Hearing
aids are prescribed and personalized based upon an individual’s degree of hearing loss, sound preferences, and situational listening needs.

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Personal Sound Amplifiers may not necessarily be appropriate for your hearing loss; providing less amplification than needed and resulting in greater communication difficulties or providing too much amplification and potentially resulting in greater hearing loss. Although hearing aids cost more than PSAP’s, included with that cost is the peace of mind that comes from an appropriate and accurate fitting. Care and maintenance costs, supply costs, fitting and programming fees, and detailed repair and loss warranties are also factored into the price. If your goal is amplified sound, in certain situations, a PSAP may be right for you. However, most of my patients have a goal of improved communication and enhanced interactions with their loved ones in all


QUALITY is the difference between hearing aids dispensed at the RIESBERG INSTITUTE and the Sound Amplifiers you can buy from TV.

I can’t wait to HEAR from you,

Dr. Star

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