According to the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), consumers who purchase over-the-counter, one-size fits-all hearing aids instead of consulting a hearing healthcare professional, run the risk of missing an underlying medical problem.

Why? Because hearing loss is sometimes the symptom of a serious health issue. Additionally, BHI warns that hearing devices purchased over-the-counter or via the Internet may not be accurately customized to the specific hearing needs of the patient.

“Today’s state-of-the-art hearing aids should be programmed to the individual’s specific hearing loss requirements in order to provide good levels of benefit and customer satisfaction,” says Sergei Kochkin, BHI’s Executive Director. “The process requires a complete in-person hearing assessment in a sound booth; the training and skills of a credentialed hearing healthcare professional…; and appropriate in-person follow-up and counseling.

“The best advice BHI can give anyone purchasing a hearing aid is to find a state credentialed hearing healthcare professional and to communicate openly during the evaluation, fitting and trial period to increase the likelihood that you are receiving the best possible benefit.”

Founded in 1973, BHI conducts research and engages in hearing health education with the goal of helping people with hearing loss benefit from proper treatment. They are a great resource when it comes to answering all your questions about hearing loss and hearing aids.