Contributed by Joy Victory, managing editor, Healthy Hearing
Finding a hearing healthcare practitioner can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. A good audiologist or hearing aid specialist provides their patients with comprehensive services like state-of-the-art technology and diagnostic hearing tests. Licensed practitioners can determine your degree of hearing loss as well as ensure that the specific hearing aids you use will be the best option for your condition. Here are a few tips to make sure your experience at the audiologist is a good one.
Ask for a referral
Many hearing healthcare providers rely on referrals for new clients, and it’s a great way to know that you are receiving the utmost care. If you have a family member or friend that has visited an audiologist, ask him or her for advice on who to see. However, if you don’t know anyone that has recently been to a hearing healthcare professional, you can ask your regular physician to help you find an audiologist. Your doctor will most likely be able to recommend a clinician who will give you great service. This can ease the anxiety of going to get your hearing checked.
Does your insurance cover a hearing test?
While most insurance companies will not cover hearing aids, some will pay for diagnostic hearing testing. If you are fortunate to have this coverage, check the provider directory for your insurance to make sure you’re going to a clinic that is in their provider network. Some insurance providers require you to get a professional referral to an audiologist before they will cover the services. Investigate these requirements before booking an appointment, so you don’t get surprised with an unexpected bill.
Consider a business with a history
If a hearing clinic has been in business for 20 or 30 years, they likely provide excellent service and care because they have long-term accountability to their community. You should do some online research to find patient reviews and check practice websites—many of them will have customer testimonials that provide you with additional support in determining which place to choose.
Read patient reviews of hearing clinics
Our clinic directory has thousands of verified consumer reviews of hearing clinics across the country. You also can look at each clinician’s biography to determine their level of education and time spent in the industry. Professional credentials like Au.D., M.S., M.A., BC-HIS and CCC-A can ensure quality.
Do you need an audiologist with a specialty?
While most audiologists focus on treating hearing loss in adults, subspecialties can include pediatrics, balance and vestibular disorders and tinnitus therapy, among others. Clinic profile pages usually will make it easy to determine if an audiologist has received special training.
Expect outstanding service
Audiologists and hearing aid specialists love helping people regain their hearing, and this satisfaction is usually the very reason they got into the profession in the first place. If you suspect the person you visited only cares about getting a product into your hand, reconsider your options. Good hearing care is an art and a science, and finding a good audiologist means you’ll be working with someone who takes the time to learn about not only your hearing needs but also your lifestyle and motivations for seeking help.
Buying hearing aids is a significant investment, but it is worth it if it improves your quality of life. Only trust a professional that seems genuinely concerned about your wellbeing. For help finding a good audiologist or hearing aid specialist near you, check out our directory and make the call today.