DPOR Consumer Guide: Buying a Hearing Aid
More than 22 million Americans of all ages experience hearing impairments. If you are considering buying a hearing aid, it is important to know what to look for when purchasing one.
Consumer Tips on Hearing Aids
- Visit a licensed Hearing Aid Specialist who meets state requirements for education and performance. You can check a license status any any disciplinary actions using the online License Lookup tool, or by contacting the Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians.
- Get an ear examination from a licensed physician. Be wary of advertisements for hearing aids that dismiss the need for an exam – the seller may be promoting an inadequate product.
- Before selling a hearing aid, Hearing Aid Specialists must recommend that the consumer obtain a written statement from a licensed physician indicating a medical evaluation of hearing loss within the past six months. Hearing Aid Specialists are prohibited from actively encouraging a consumer to waive a medical exam.
- Hearing Aid Specialists must perform testing before and after fittings for a hearing aid. These evaluations will help ensure the best hearing aid type and fit for your individual needs.
- State regulations require that consumers get at least a 30-day trial period for hearing aids.
- Insist on a detailed purchase agreement or contract, including information on service, maintenance, and warranty terms.
- Do not rely on verbal promises. Get all explanations in writing.
- Do not feel pressured into buying a hearing aid. Ask for more information or a second opinion.
- Door-to-door salespersons must provide a disclosure form with information on service and maintenance.
- Buying a hearing aid through the mail is risky, because it is hard to get a proper fit, and service and repair may not be readily available.
To learn more about services available to the hearing impaired, visit the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing website.
Website for the Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians.