This week in The United States the Minnesota Department of Health started urging consumers to be cautious about buying hearing aids over the Internet.
The Health Department issued a news release Wednesday stressing the importance of people seeing a hearing health professional if they are concerned about possible hearing loss. Internet providers increasingly are offering online hearing tests and selling the devices directly to consumers, said Catherine Dittberner Lloyd, a Health Department official.
“Before hearing aids can be sold to consumers, (state and federal) laws require practitioners to…visually inspect the consumer’s ears and ear canal,” the Health Department said in its release.
This is a very important point because a more serious problem is the possibility of overlooking a serious medical condition underlying the measured hearing loss. What if they have a conductive or retrocochlear component? What if they think that the two tone test is as accurate as a full diagnostic hearing evaluation, with otoscopy and either ignore the symptoms with or without a purchase from online? Watching for medical indications and medication interactions is very important in hearing health care. If we focus on the product all of this will be missed.
The lead taken by Minnesota may spread throughout the USA and hopefully it will take hold in Europe as well as we see an increase in the availability of all types of service and products across the internet. In the case of medical devices it is so important to seek the opinion of a trained expert. If you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids contact Hidden Hearing.