Can I Use Someone Else’s Hearing Aids

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can i use someone else's old hearing aids

So you’ve been told that you have a hearing loss, and you also know that your friend or a family member has a pair of old ones. Is it a good idea to just use someone else’s hearing aids? You might think yes, because hearing aids are there to make sounds louder, so what’s the harm?

Well actually, there are a few things to consider before you put someone else’s hearing aids into your ears.

1. Type of Hearing Loss

Everyone’s hearing loss is different and unique. Hearing loss can be caused by a wide variety of causes, with different degrees of severity. It is a complex issue and choosing the right hearing aids that are appropriate to your circumstances is one of the most important part of our job.

In the most basic way, hearing loss falls into four broad categories:

  • Conductive
  • Sensorineural
  • Mixed of conductive and sensorineural
  • Auditory processing disorder

There are a variety of causes and levels of severity within these categories. For example, your hearing loss may have been a gradual process due to noise at the workplace, or may have been the result of a hereditary condition, or maybe you have asymmetrical hearing loss. These factors will dictate the more appropriate hearing aids for you.

Another person’s hearing aids may be suited to their particular hearing condition, but it may not be right for you. There are a wide range of hearing aid types and functionalities to suit all types of hearing loss.

For example, you may want to wear your friend’s IIC (Invisible in the Canal) hearing aids, but your hearing loss may be more severe and the small IIC aids might not have enough power for amplification. There will also be a fitting issue, which leads to the next point.

2. Form & Functionality

The physical design of another person’s hearing aids may also make them a poor choice for your unique ear shape and ear canals. Many parts of hearing aids are tailor made based on the wearer’s ears, e.g. the custom shell, the ear moulds, the size of the plastic domes and the length of the wires or tubings. We don’t even recommend swapping your left and right hearing aids, let alone using someone else’s hearing aids!

Apart from that, the size and shape of the hearing aids matter too. It dictates how easy they are for you to handle, like putting them in, changing batteries and changing programs.

3. Your Lifestyle

Lifestyle is another significant aspect to consider when choosing hearing aids. The hearing aids of someone else might not be what you need for your own circumstances. You might lead a busier life in a variety of sound environments, so features such as speech enhancements, tinnitus management, optimised listening programs may be more suitable for you.

On the other hand, you might be a quiet person who loves to have conversation indoor rather than outdoor, and talking to one person instead of to a group. You may need hearing aids that have features like natural voice processing and connectivity to your phone.

4. Risk of further hearing damage

Even if we put discomfort of using someone else’s hearing aids aside, there’s a huge chance that you will further damage your hearing ability. As mentioned before, everyone’s hearing loss is different and unique. Hearing aids are programmed to amplify different levels of frequencies to different loudness according to the individual. If you wear someone else’s hearing aids, the loudness on certain frequencies might be too loud for you. When that happens, it would permanently damage your hearing.

What should you do?

Let’s see, you have the intention of wearing hearing aids even if they are unsuitable or uncomfortable to you, so that means you truly want to hear better and improve your hearing situation.

A visit to a hearing clinic with caring, professional audiologist like Ivory Hearing is the first step you can do. It is important that you get your hearing tested comprehensively. Our audiologist will carry out extensive testing to diagnose your specific type and extent of your hearing loss. The results of these assessments will let you know if hearing aid is a suitable solution, and if so, which type of hearing aid will work best for you.

If you are wearing your friend or family member’s hearing aids because you want to save money of buying your own, we understand that too.

We can help you find out if you are eligible for any subsidies and rebates for getting your own hearing aids. If their hearing aids can be adjusted to your hearing, we’ll be upfront about all the costs (repair, adjustment, ongoing service) associate with wearing someone else’s hearing aids. You can then decide which path you want to go with.

Ivory Hearing’s mission is simple. We are here to help you enjoy the sounds of your life to the fullest. If that sounds good to you then contact us today.


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