Tag: audiologist

The Importance of Dedicated Hearing Care

The real differences between audiology and over-the-counter solutions

In July, President Biden signed an executive order allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter. This measure is aimed at lowering the cost of hearing care, and at a glance, it seems like a great way to ensure that everyone who needs hearing care is covered. But can OTC products ever compete with the knowledge and expertise of a specialist? Because you deserve the best hearing care available, here are six reasons to make an appointment with an audiologist.

 

1. Expertise

Both audiologists and hearing aid specialists are licensed to sell hearing aids, but audiologists possess master’s or doctorate degrees that concentrate on hearing health. Because individuals develop hearing loss in a variety of ways and have unique communication needs, accurately diagnosing hearing loss and selecting the right hearing aids will ensure successful treatment.

 

2. Fit

To maximize comfort and functionality, hearing aids must be custom fitted to each individual and programmed to support their listening lifestyle. Only a trained audiologist or hearing aid specialist can do this. Additionally, audiologists can monitor your progress over time and make adjustments when necessary. Wearing hearing technology is not a “once and done” solution; it takes time for the body and mind to adjust, and there may be a period of discomfort that requires professional support.

 

3. Patient-Provider Relationship

Hearing loss is a complex condition. It has many different causes, from simple age-related decline to disorders such as Ménière’s disease to exposure to ototoxic chemicals. There are also many comorbidities associated with hearing loss. An audiologist can diagnose and treat many of these, forming a long-lasting relationship with you that goes beyond simply fitting you with hearing aids.

 

4. Tinnitus and Balance Support

Hearing loss often occurs alongside tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing, buzzing, or clicking sound in the ear. While the condition is still being researched and is not yet fully understood, what we know about tinnitus so far falls under the expertise of audiologists. And because the inner ear governs the body’s equilibrium, balance issues are often diagnosed and treated by audiologists as well. Providing support for these conditions is part of our commitment to our patients’ total hearing health.

 

5. Safety

Aside from achieving a better fit and receiving professional support from an audiologist, there is evidence that programming your own hearing technology or choosing a one-size-fits-all solution can actually be harmful. An audiologist will perform a series of tests to assess your hearing loss and ensure your hearing aids meet your needs without being too loud. Hearing technology that amplifies sound too much can further damage your hearing, and an ill-fitting hearing aid can create uncomfortable wax buildup, which may lead to ear infections.

 

6. Investment

While purchasing an OTC hearing aid may provide considerable savings on upfront costs, seeking treatment through a licensed audiologist is a better investment. From warranty protection to professional cleanings and advice on upgrades, nothing compares to our guarantee of quality. We also know hearing aids can be expensive, so we always do our best to provide affordable solutions, including coupons, specials, and financing options. Once you’ve purchased your hearing aids, your treatment plan is put into effect – we will be with you every step of the way in your journey to better hearing and better health.

 

Whether you are a longtime user of hearing aids or considering them for the first time, there is no better decision you can make for your hearing health than choosing an AudigyCertified™ practice to provide you with an expert evaluation. It’s the right choice for you to be sure that you’re pursuing the very best solution for your hearing loss.

You Need Hearing Aids. Now What?

You Need Hearing Aids. Now What?

You Need Hearing Aids. Now What?

Q: It turns out I need hearing aids. Whatís my next step?

A: Hearing aids arenít one-size-fits-all devices, so your question is a good sign youíre approaching this with the right mindset. Your first step is to confirm youíve had a complete audiological evaluation.

An online “hearing test” canít determine whether you need hearing aids ó it simply reports whether youíre hearing certain sounds. Only an audiological evaluation can determine if you have hearing loss that requires hearing aids. If you havenít had one, this is your next step. If you have, itís time to schedule your hearing aid consultation.

Choose Your Provider
Any hearing aid is simply a tool. It has to be selected, customized, and fit to your ear by an experienced professional in order treat your specific hearing loss. Then itís your key to a better quality of life.

A clinical audiologist or doctor of audiology has had postgraduate education and training in all aspects of the human auditory system. Theyíre experienced in diagnostics, hearing aid fitting and programming, providing strategies for adapting to your new technology, and supporting you in your adjustment period. In short, with an audiologist, you get a partner and guide, not a transaction.

Use the Buddy System
Itís ideal to bring a friend or family member to the appointment to have a second perspective on your hearing loss journey.

Review Your Results
You and the audiologist will review the results of your evaluation as well as all the things youíd like to improve through better hearing, such as hobbies, conversations with loved ones, and activities. Knowing what your goals are will help determine the ideal type of hearing aid for you.
 

Select a Hearing Aid

Weigh the variables
Many factors determine what hearing aid you need, such as which sounds you canít hear, how loud those sounds need to be amplified, and the size of your ear canal. And thatís just the beginning.

Do you want to be able to control the volume and nudge the settings with a smartphone app? How about “hearable” tech that monitors your heart rate and other body and brain wellness factors? Do you hope to stream music, video, and other audio from a mobile device direct to your hearing aids? You and your provider will discuss these factors and more. Youíll be surprised at everything hearing technology can do now!

Consider the recommendation
This is where the audiologistís expertise really shines. When they make their recommendation, they will have synthesized all the hearing lifestyle information you provided, all the data from your hearing evaluation, and their wealth of knowledge about the hundreds of available hearing aid styles. They will have truly custom-tailored your solution.

Order the hearing aids
After you test-drive and decide on your hearing technology, thereís a strong chance it will have to be ordered and shipped to the provider. There are hundreds of styles ó too many for your average provider to keep in inventory. Plus, many styles need to be custom fit to your ear canal. When they arrive at your providerís office, your provider will call to schedule a fitting appointment.
 

As you can see, itís not as simple as pulling a box of hearing aids off a shelf. But all these steps lead to you experiencing a world alive with sound!