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
● Rehabilitation
● 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.

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Dr. Debra L. Hamila, Au.D., CCC/A

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.
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.