Hearing loss is a common issue among adults. Whether it's a result of aging, genetics, or exposure to loud noises, hearing aids can be a great way to improve hearing and communication. Unfortunately, the high price associated with hearing aids could make you turn to used ones. But, just how convenient and beneficial are second hand hearing aids, if at all?

What Are Used Hearing Aids

Used hearing aids are hearing aids that were previously owned by someone else and are now being sold again. As with all preloved items, they sell at a discounted price compared to new hearing aids of the same type. Used hearing aids may be sold for a variety of reasons, such as the owner no longer needing them, upgrading to a newer model, or simply wanting to get rid of them. Although used hearing aids may seem like a good option for those on a tight budget, it is important to keep in mind that they may not have been properly maintained or serviced and may not be in the best condition. 

The Advantage Of Buying Used Hearing Aids

The most attractive thing about used hearing aids is definitely the lower cost. For many, it’s a no brainer: the same hearing aid for a fraction of the price. This is perhaps the only advantage. If you are unsure whether you suffer from hearing loss, buying a used hearing aid which gages hearing loss using a free online test could be a good way of checking your hearing loss and deciding if you need one. This way, you won’t be made to spend hundreds of dollars on an audiologist appointment or a hearing aid.

Used Hearing Aids Can Have Serious Implications

Risk of infection

Hearing aids can easily become contaminated with microbes and cause infection, even if it’s your own hearing aid. This occurs due to improper cleaning and maintenance of hearing aids. Used hearing aids are more likely to carry pathogenic microbes, which could also be the reason why their owner is selling them. It’s very important to put your health before your wallet, otherwise severe ear infections could cost you your hearing or a huge hospital bill. 

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Used hearing aids are cheap to buy, but could cost your ear health

Further Hearing Damage

Most hearing aids are prescription ones, as OTC hearing aids have recently entered the market, and have therefore been adjusted to compensate for someone else’s hearing. For this reason, they will amplify particular frequencies only; and chances are, this sound amplification doesn’t match your hearing loss. It’s like wearing someone else’s glasses. Customization and correct adjustment of sound amplification devices is paramount in treating hearing loss properly. If not, you will hear high pitched screeches and incomprehensible sound; which not only is not only awful to listen to, but will most likely further damage your hearing. Also, the transducer part of the hearing aid loses sensitivity as it ages, resulting in higher sound distortion which causes more damage than good to hearing.

Noise from hearing aids that are not adjusted to your hearing will cause more hearing damage
Wearing someone else’s hearing aid can create noise, damaging your hearing further

Why New Hearing Aids Are Better Than Used Ones

Sound Quality Of Hearing Aids

New hearing aids are made with the latest technology, like Digital Signal Processing, and are designed to provide the best sound quality and comfort for the user. Used hearing aids, on the other hand, may not be as technologically advanced, and generally won’t produce good sound quality as they are tailored to the previous owners hearing needs.

Hygienic And Safe For Your Ears

Clean of any pathogens and adjusted to your particular hearing needs, new hearing aids are definitely a safe bet to save your hearing. They are equipped with the latest sound enhancing technology to provide a better listening experience; while being free from dirt, dust, and bacteria, at the same time. In addition, newer hearing aids come with improved noise reduction features, which can help protect the ears from dangerous sounds. Furthermore, new hearing aids can be shaped to fit your ears perfectly, for a more comfortable hearing. With newer hearing aids, you can enjoy the best hearing experience without worrying about contracting any ear infections.

Hearing Aid Customization

Custom hearing aids are designed to meet the individual needs of the user, and can be adjusted for the user's hearing loss and other preferences. Used hearing aids, however, are not customizable and may not provide the same level of functionality or fitting for the user. They cannot be tailored to the individual user’s needs and may not be as comfortable to wear or provide the same level of sound quality. It’s important you feel comfortable wearing your hearing aids, so that you can utilize them to the fullest. Additionally, used hearing aids may not be compatible with newer technologies, such as wireless streaming. Buying a new hearing aid ensures that it is tailored to the user’s individual preferences, and the sound amplification is according to the user’s hearing loss.

Hearing Aid Warranty

Though used hearing aids are considerably cheaper than their shiny new counterparts, they still cost at least a couple of hundred dollars. When paying this much for a hearing device, it would be unfortunate if it were to stop working days after use. But, the warranty will cover any damage in the first year, right? Not if your hearing aids are used. Used hearing aids are usually damaged, have repaired parts not covered by the manufacturer, or have been used beyond the warranty period. In any case, warranty won’t cover your hearing aids, and they could quickly be next to useless. However, when buying new hearing aids, warranty is usually included.  The warranty and service plan should cover any necessary repairs or replacements for your hearing aids. This will ensure that if something does go wrong with your hearing aids, you will be covered and have the ability to get them fixed or replaced. Additionally, a service plan may include regular hearing aid check-ups and maintenance for your hearing aids to ensure optimal performance

Better Hearing Aid Battery-Life

Rechargeable hearing aids usually have lithium batteries. These lithium batteries lose charge quicker over-time and use, making rechargeable hearing aids hold less charge as the hearing aid gets older. Therefore, used hearing aids with rechargeable batteries will lose charge much quicker than new ones, making them unpredictable and inconvenient for those who need to use hearing aids regularly. The depreciation of battery-life is a real hindrance in using used hearing aids. 

To summarize, new hearing aids are better than used ones since they have the latest technology and audio enhancing features. They are designed to be more comfortable, lightweight, and easy to use than older models. Providing more accurate sound quality and clarity, they allow users to not only hear better, but also understand better. Additionally, newer hearing aids offer advanced features like directional microphones, feedback cancellation, and bluetooth connectivity to smart devices, allowing users to access more features and customize their listening experience. Used hearing aids are usually worn out and outdated, meaning they won't produce the same sound quality or features of newer models, even if they can be adjusted to your hearing.