Your Audiologist has the professional medical training and expertise to recognize which types of hearing loss respond best to medications or surgery, and which types are helped primarily by use of hearing aids. The Audiologist’s training gives them full understanding of appropriate testing procedures as well as the medical expertise to diagnose the results. (Non-Audiologist Hearing Aid Dealers lack the knowledge, expertise and credentials to diagnose hearing loss.) If hearing aids are the recommended treatment, their programming will need to be tailored specifically to the configuration of the hearing loss diagnosed at that time. Per FDA requirements, testing of hearing is to be done within 6 months prior to time the hearing aid is purchased.
Hearing aids are only one part of a responsible approach to addressing hearing loss. More important is the quality of the testing and counseling that accompanies the purchase. No one can provide you with ideal hearing aids without first conducting thorough and accurate hearing tests and asking the right questions about your needs and lifestyle. All states have licensure laws governing both Audiologists and non-Audiologist hearing aid dealers. Tests by hearing aid dealers are done in order to determine the need for hearing aids, however many state laws governing hearing aid dealers do not regulate whether they have the expertise for Unfortunately about half It is estimated that half of all Americans wearing hearing aids did not receive a proper evaluation before the instruments were fit. Without the crucial information these tests provide, the likelihood of success with a given instrument is extremely low.
In addition to a proper evaluation, setting realistic expectations about the performance of hearing aids is imperative. In the process of dispensing hearing aids, it is important that “selling” does not take precedence over healthcare. If the promises made by the dispenser seem too good to be true, they probably are!
For the appropriate testing, counseling, and fitting required for success with hearing aids you should see an Audiologist. An Audiologist is not merely a hearing instrument specialist trained to sell, but a professional educated in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of individuals with hearing loss.
If you suspect that you or someone you love has a hearing loss, call a qualified Audiologist today!