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Should you buy a hearing aid from an infomercial?

Should you buy a hearing aid from an infomercial?

Q. Is it a good idea to buy a hearing aid advertised in an infomercial?

A. No. Buying a hearing device by phone, mail, or online provides neither customization for your hearing needs nor ongoing adjustments. That makes them an unwise investment, even though they’re less expensive than custom aids, which can run from $1,800 to almost $7,000 and are usually not covered by Medicare. If you’re having trouble hearing, first see a doctor to rule out any underlying conditions, such as an infection, wax buildup, or a punctured eardrum. If you need a hearing aid, he or she will probably refer you to an otolaryngologist or audiologist.

In the market for a hearing aid? Read our buying guide.

Got another question for our health experts? Ask it here. Be sure to include the state you live in.

This article appeared in the February 2014 issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

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