You may have seen ads on TV or looked at stores with low-cost hearing devices and thought to yourself; really what’s the difference between these hearing instruments and those that are higher priced?
Well, thank goodness for research to help answer these unanswered questions! Professor Jerry Punch of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and Susanna Love Callaway, a lifelong education alumna, published their study on over-the-counter hearing instruments in a recent issue of the American Journal of Audiology.
The low-cost devices may appeal to some with hearing impairment because of the significant cost differences, Punch said. “But our research found that the low-cost aids generally don’t meet the fitting requirements to help a hearing-impaired person and could potentially damage a person’s hearing.” (as taken from the Hearing Review)
The research is important to consumers, Callaway said. “Aside from being of extremely poor quality, very low-cost hearing aids—those under $100—have the potential to damage you hearing because they send very loud sounds into the ear. The study’s mid-range hearing aids ($100-500) were of higher quality and were not considered a safety hazard.”
To read more about this new research visit The Hearing Review, which released this story earlier in the week.