Over the counter hearing devices are becoming more and more popular. Recently, patients have asked about a device called Eargo. So, we did some research on their website.
What is Eargo?
Based on the Eargo website, Eargo devices are invisible ‘hearing aids’ that come in three different technology levels. Eargo devices sit deep in the ear canal and are fit using silicone ear tips which come in a few sizes. The devices are sold as “open-fit”, rechargeable devices.
Does Eargo require a hearing test?
No. Eargo claims that their hearing professionals will help determine whether Eargo is right for you. The Eargo website mentions the devices are created for mild to moderate hearing losses.
What are the downsides to Eargo?
There are a few things that are concerning about Eargo from what we see on the website. Among the most concerning is that you do not need a hearing test. Eargo specifically states that the devices are made for mild to moderate hearing losses. It would be impossible to determine whether or not someone has a mild to moderate hearing loss without a hearing test. And it is hard to imagine how the devices are producing sound that is right for a patient when their hearing loss is unknown. For the cost of these devices, we would expect some personalization to the product. Eargo also offers services from a licensed hearing professional, but never actually states what the services are of what degree these professionals hold.
Lastly, there is incorrect information about hearing aids themselves…
Eargo claims that current, custom-made hearing aids are outdated because they plug up the ear, while Eargo devices leave the ear open. Open fits are not right for many people for multiple reasons including increased risk of feedback or whistling, loss of power and many more. When an Audiologist has a custom device made, it is made exactly for your ears and your specific hearing loss which may indicate a more open fit custom product.
Our biggest recommendation is do your research and get a second opinion. Devices like Eargo may benefit some people. But it is always best to start with a hearing test to determine what is right for you. We never like to play guessing games when you are making an investment!
For a free consultation, call Gardner Audiology at 1-800-277-1182.