Hearing aids may seem like a big deal before one acquires them. And in a way, they are. After all, you’re going to be wearing them for the foreseeable future. It’s, therefore, prudent to wonder if a prescription is needed before buying them. In this post, we delve into the process of acquiring hearing aids in order to shine light on whether a prescription is necessary or not.
The process required to acquire hearing aids
If you are experiencing some sort of hearing loss or hearing damage and conclude that you may need hearing aids, the process ahead of you is simple and short:
You’ll need to visit an audiologist and get a hearing test carried out. You may need to schedule an appointment for this.
During the hearing test, the audiologist will establish whether you can hear from both ears, what frequencies you can hear (high, low or both), whether your hearing nerves are working, whether your ear drum is damaged, etc. This test will determine whether you need hearing aids or not.
If your audiologist determines that you do not need hearing aids, they will provide a way forward. This may mean being referring to an eye specialist for further tests, getting a prescription for an ear infection, etc.
If the tests show that you do need hearing aids, the audiologist can provide you with some that are ready-to-wear on the spot. These are standard designs. Alternatively, you may choose to go for customized hearing aids. These are molded using impressions from your ear. They offer a better fit but also cost slightly more. Once fitted with your hearing aids, you’re good to go.
Prescriptions and hearing aids
Today, more than ever, anyone can go online and order hearing aids even without a prescription. However, considering that hearing aids are such crucial devices, medical prescription is important. This is because you do not want to buy a device that will harm your ears or fail to deliver the intended result.
At the very least, seeking a prescription from an audiologist will allow you to ascertain if you really do need hearing aids or if you are simply suffering from some other type of hearing problem.
The verdict here is mixed. The answer as to whether hearing aids prescriptions are needed is both yes and no.
The FDA regulated the distribution of hearing aids so, yes; legally you do need a prescription before buying these devices online or anywhere else. Also, to safeguard the public’s health and money, a prescription helps to provide confirmation that the aids are necessary.
However, because the market is very open and fluid, one can get hearing aids without a prescription.
The right answer rests on what one ought to do rather than what one should or can do. You can buy hearing aids easily without a prescription. BUT, what you ought to do is see an audiologist and get your ears tested first. Then you’ll be issued with a prescription which you can use to buy hearing aids from the same audiologist or any other hearing aids dealer in the country.