Can I Use Someone Else’s Hearing Aid?
Probably one of the most asked questions concerning hearing devices is if a patient can reuse someone else’s hearing aids. In most cases, it’s because a family member or friend wants to upgrade their hearing aids and has an old pair they no longer will use. While it may seem like a smart choice to use these devices, it is not as simple as swapping something else, like a jacket. Hearing aids are programmed to the individual hearing loss, with each ear having unique adjustment and specific fit. Below are the reasons why choosing the right hearing aid is more beneficial than using someone else’s.
- Hearing Aids Are Medical Devices – Before prescribing hearing devices, hearing specialists cross-examine several factors to determine an individuals’ hearing deficiencies. The manufacturers who supply the aids keep track of each hearing aid’s history including the date and name of person it was sold to. Keeping this data helps manufacturers track warranties and repair history. Using someone else’s hearing devices will affect the system put in place and may void the existing warranties.
- Hearing Loss is Personal – Just over 5% of the world’s population suffers from disabling hearing loss. Hearing loss develops at any time in life, but your hearing deficiencies are unique and differ from any other person. Hearing specialists ensure that a patient gets a hearing aid according to the physical fit and audiometric hearing needs. Many hearing devices feature custom ear moulds that comfortably fit in a specific patient’s ear. Of-the-shelf hearing aid models may feature specific lengths of receiver wire, specific dome sizes, and different strengths of receivers needed to match the audiological prescription of the individual client. Thus, someone else’s hearing aids are unlikely to sound correct and fit comfortably in another person’s ear. Besides, the possibilities of having similar hearing needs with the original owner are slim. This means that using their hearing device may not help with your hearing problems. Professionals use the person’s unique audiogram to prescribe and program these devices. Using aids set too loud for you will make them dangerous for your ear, too soft and you will not notice enough benefit.
- Support and Service Are Key – Successful hearing aid wearers see their hearing specialist regularly. When you initially purchase a hearing aid you start with 30 to 90-day trial period to make sure the prescribed hearing aids work well for you. It is a good idea to schedule 6-month follow ups to track your progress and check the status of your hearing aids as some like wax guards, domes or receivers may need to be replaced due to wax build up or usage. At an annual hearing test your hearing specialist may re-adjust your hearing aids if change to your hearing is noted. Having your own hearing aids and a trusted hearing professional for support and regular adjustments is very important to your success and happiness with your hearing devices. If you are currently wearing hearing aids, specialists recommend that you go for a complete annual hearing assessment. From the assessments, the specialist will determine the state of your hearing loss, any changes from last year and if your current hearing devices will require an adjustment.
- Lifestyle, Form, and Function – Hearing aids have lifestyle-dependent features. Among them are hearing aid programs that may fit your specific lifestyle like: speech in noise, speech in car, music settings, phone options, restaurant and theatre settings. These individual settings enable you to use your aids in various situations without much compromise. These personal preferences may significantly differ from one person to another and make each hearing aid unique.