Hearing is one of your greatest assets. When it comes to your hearing health, it doesn’t pay to take chances. Just as you’d visit a registered doctor for your general health or a registered dentist for your teeth, it’s a registered audiologist you should visit for your hearing. Big box stores like Costco do offer hearing aids but not the whole hearing health package. This is one of the main differences between a hearing aid dispenser and an Audiologist.
“Hearing aid centers” generally hire hearing aid dispensers whose only required qualifications are a high school diploma and passing scores in an examination. An Audiologist on the other hand, has years of post-secondary clinical and academic training.
What does an Audiologist do?
An Audiologist is a trained healthcare professional who helps adults and children look after their hearing health. They provide:
● Hearing tests
● Balance assessments
● Hearing aids
● Prevention of hearing loss advice.
So basically, they evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss. They also treat balance disorders, as they usually originate from your ears. Yes, Audiologists do fit hearing aids, and so do hearing aid dispensers (sometimes also termed hearing aid specialists), but their specialized training means they can spot things with your hearing health that a hearing aid dispenser can’t.
Get the best quality
Audiologists use some of the best medical equipment that money can buy to test, treat, and monitor your hearing. They know all their hearing aid devices like the back of their hand so they can adjust them to fit you. Even though a big box store provides decent hearing devices, their training, service, and equipment simply don’t match that of an Audiologist.
Get the best value for money
An Audiologist always makes costs clear at the beginning of your treatment. They can even work with your insurance company to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. They go over and above to help you with your hearing health. A big box store may have enticing deals, but they’ll usually find a way to dig into your wallet with ongoing extras like adjustments and referrals.
Get the best care
The bottom line is, Audiologists are professionals who will always make your hearing health a priority. They know ears and hearing better than anyone, so you can trust their diagnosis and advice. They want you to have better hearing and will make sure your hearing aids fit you and your lifestyle perfectly. A hearing aid dispenser, on the other hand, is driven by making money – hearing aids are a business over anything to them.
Are you worried about your hearing?
The first step to better hearing is to get a hearing check. Book an appointment with us if you’re worried about a loved one’s hearing or your own.
Debra Hamila received her master’s degree in audiology from Cleveland State University and her Au.D. from Arizona School of Health Sciences and has been a practicing audiologist for more than 33 years. She has worked in a variety of ENT offices, hospital and clinical settings.