Choosing the Right Audiologist
Since an audiologist is your partner in better hearing, it’s important to find the audiologist that is right for you. Since you will see the audiologist regularly for hearing aid adjustments, repairs and cleaning as well as hearing exams you want someone that makes you feel comfortable. Use these resources to find an audiologist.
Start with referrals
Start by asking people that you trust. Ask your primary care physician who they recommend. Talk to the nurses and office staff to see if they agree. If any of your friends, co-workers or family members wear hearing aids or have tinnitus, ask them who they see and if they recommend their services.
As important as asking “who” is, always ask “why” they recommend the audiologist. Often, the “why” will give you insight into the audiologist’s personality or professional demeanor. You may find out the reason is something as simple as extended hours during the week or weekend hours that make appointments easy.
There is a difference between a hearing instrument specialist and an audiologist. You want to make sure that you see an audiologist. Audiologists are medical professionals that have earned an advanced degree in audiology and have received years of extensive training. Hearing instrument specialists or hearing aid dispensers have training on hearing aids, but not medical training.
Check their professional associations as well. Audiologists need to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and medical advances. Participation in professional groups is a great way to do this. The American Board of Audiology (ABA) and the American Speech Language Hearing Association are the two largest professional groups for audiologists in the US. Membership shows the professional is dedicated to continuing education and excellence in their field.
Use the internet
The internet lets you find a world of information without leaving home. Check on office locations and hours to see if they are convenient. Review the audiologist’s website to find out more about the professional, their philosophy, and their involvement in the community. Most websites include a brief biography and many times, you can find reviews online as well. All of these things provide you with a picture of what services you can expect, in addition to who the audiologist is as well.
Once you find an audiologist you feel is a good fit for your needs, schedule an appointment and take the first step to better auditory health.