Is it possible to buy a used digital hearing aid?

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My 102 year old aunt cannot afford $6000. Any ideas?

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We use Pocketalker Ultra by Williams Sound. Our local Access to Independance office has catalogs to choose sound amplification devices out of. This one comes with both ear phones and a speaker that you can hang around your neck so you don't have to wear anything. There is a reciever unit that is wireless so you can set it in the middle of the room or on the TV.
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Oops. Having named names, I'd better take it back about Amplifon in Hereford, in case anyone's reading this: for five years they have doggedly maintained, adjusted, cleaned and repaired my mother's (dizzyingly expensive) hearing aids free of charge, testing her hearing at 6-monthly intervals, and I cannot fault their service. The one thing they haven't done is figure out how to make her WEAR the d*mn-and-blast things...
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GA I couldn't agree more about the companies' marketing tactics - they turn me into a rabid frothing-at-the-mouth I shall write to The Times! maniac quicker than almost anything except home improvements salesmen. In the UK we have a sort of weird divide, though; because it's a kept-quiet fact that anyone can get a referral to a proper audiologist AND have a hearing aid prescribed if they need it (or, crucially, not if they don't but simply could do with having the wax cleared out); but NHS hearing aids have been traditionally so clunky, squeaky and hideous that no-one with any choice would wear them. So the market is also populated with your Hidden Hearing and Amplifon type companies (some branches being considerably more ethical and vocational than others); and the net net is that only very poor people who are extremely deaf or very rich people who don't notice what they're shelling out end up with functioning, helpful hearing aids, and in the middle you've got lots of people who've tried to economise and keep their (still pretty expensive) kit in a draw because it doesn't work for them.

I think the health policy is called "muddling through." It's a treasured national tradition.

And that thing about $xxxxxxx off! but not mentioning the price drives me up the WALL. Rip off bastard con artist bastards!!! Especially if dutiful daughter hem-hem rings up specifically to ask for price guidelines and they still won't tell you, like it's an unfathomable mystery and they have no idea what they've ever charged previous customers. Grrr gnash snarl spit….
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CM, get a prescription?? That's an excellent idea!

The audiologists we've seen don't write prescriptions, as if they were glasses. The only details are in their notes. So, no, it's not possible to shop for a better price but that's an excellent suggestion. I'm going to try that the next time we see an audiologist.

What they generally do is insulting - they send out marketing propaganda offering $1k or so off the price of a hearing aid. There's no indication of what that price is. Then after the exam, they drop the bomb that the aids cost $4k or so, but there's this great deal to get $1k off each aid. As if we're dumb enough to believe that.

I think the issue is that they have a monopoly. Generally speaking it's the older people who need hearing aids, although I suspect that anyone who listens to rap is going to need hearing aids in a decade or so.

When there's a limited market, the suppliers can be price controlling, and they are.
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GA, that's shocking :( - but I suppose not surprising. Is it still possible to take your prescription and shop around?
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Henrietta, I'm with Mr. Bray on that. My current aid, which is a Phonak and its about that old, works quite well; I am saving up to switch to receiver-in-canal because I could use something a little stronger and that would also help with phones and stethoscopes, plus might be safer from moisture in very light rain. My colleague with normal ears (and a lower pitched voice that I can always hear incredibly well, especially while I am trying to hear a soft spoken young resident trying to present a case to me :-) does find it a little annoying to have to turn down the volume all the time on the phone we share in clinic.
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Beware of simple amplifiers if you have high frequency loss, which is what I have - low pitch sounds may be amplified so much that speech is unintelligible, just louder, which is not what you want. I will even get headaches from amplification of low pitches. no if they would create a little portable "treble boost" device of some sort, I would probably be able to use it, customized or no! My car radio is turned all the way down on the bass and up on the treble and that works for me.

You can look on e-bay for ideas but make sure your own audiologist is willing and able to do adjustment on whatever you purchase.
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Ronnie, "the long and the short and the tall.." ??
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CM, audiologists are definitely not at arm's length from hearing aid manufacturers. In fact some audiologists we've seen only recommend specific brands.
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bless 'em all .....
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