What to Look for in an Audiologist When Considering Hearing Care



While hearing loss is a significant health problem, many people may be unsure where to begin when it comes to improving their hearing health or confused about available treatment options. That’s where an audiologist can help.

A good audiologist can not only diagnose hearing loss but can provide individualized counseling and treatment, thus improving not only hearing but also the quality of life.

Regular visits to an audiologist for screenings and evaluations can help protect your hearing for a lifetime. However, the first thing you should be aware of when considering hearing care is how to choose the best audiologist.

Things You Should Consider While Selecting an Audiologist

Choosing an audiologist can be a difficult task. However, there are many things you should look for to find the right audiologist for your hearing problems. A good audiologist has the right credentials and is well-known for providing excellent hearing care services.

Read on for more tips on selecting a good audiologist.

  • Qualifications and Experience

    As in any other healthcare field, academic qualifications and experience are important in audiology. A professional audiologist must have a work history in hearing sciences and a Doctor of Audiology (AuD.) degree from a reputed institution. Individuals who have completed an AuD. are trained to prevent, evaluate, diagnose, and manage hearing and balance disorders.

    The audiologist you select should also have years of clinical experience in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation. They should have served patients of all ages, from newborns to older adults.

  • Specialties

    Because hearing loss is a problem more common with older adults, most audiologists focus on treating this age group. However, many audiologists are also trained in different subspecialties for specific age groups or conditions, such as pediatrics, tinnitus care, and balance and vestibular disorders. It is a good idea to investigate (the best place to check it is their website) the sub-specialties of the audiologist you’re considering. Finding an audiologist who specializes in different areas may be ideal for those who have multiple conditions.

  • Associated Memberships

    Look for associated memberships or fellowships with reputed institutions like the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), California Academy of Audiology (CAA), and American Academy of Audiology (AAA). Having these memberships gives them more credibility and rapport as an audiologist.

  • Physician Referrals

    The first person who diagnosed issues with your hearing may be your primary care physician. That is common, as most often people visit their usual go-to doctor for a potential health condition. After that visit, you may be referred to a specialist. You can ask your regular healthcare provider or family doctor to recommend the best audiologist for you. Also, you can use this opportunity to learn about the audiologist from an expert.

  • Community Presence

    You can ask your friends or family members who have recently visited an audiologist for advice on who to see. If none of your family, friends or acquaintances have any experiences to share, you can check online for referrals. For example, you can ask for recommendations in a local hearing community on Facebook.

  • Patient Testimonials

    A comparatively easy way to learn what people have to say about your local audiologists is evaluating the patient reviews and testimonials. Here, the patients can explain the process and outcomes of their treatment. There are many review sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google, HearingTracker, etc. where patients share their experience with their healthcare provider. These reviews may help you make a more informed decision.

Qualities to Look for in an Audiologist Beyond Their Qualification:

  • Active Listener & Communicator

    As a patient, you want your audiologist to provide information to you in a direct and understandable manner. A skilled audiologist will always listen carefully to your problems and present information in a way that puts you at ease so that you know precisely what is going on and what to expect in terms of your hearing health. Your audiologist also should encourage you to ask questions and be able to give you accurate answers.

  • Time Management

    Skilled audiologists understand the worth of their patients' time and prioritize good scheduling and time management in their practice. You want your audiologist to have strong time management skills. With this, you can be certain that your appointment will begin on time, allowing you to plan the rest of your day appropriately.

  • Caring and Empathetic Nature

    A friendly and empathetic audiologist can make a real difference when dealing with health issues like hearing loss. You want your audiologist to care for you and be honest with you. An empathetic audiologist will not only listen to all your problems but will also support, encourage and assist you with your treatment while monitoring your hearing health.

  • Excellent Bedside Manner

    Hearing loss is a difficult subject to discuss, and the last thing you need is an audiologist who is rude, abrupt, and uninterested in your situation. The best audiologists never lose track of the reality that they are working with real individuals with genuine emotions.

Some More Tips for Your Convenience

  • Insurance Coverage

    Whether your insurance covers only hearing screening and tests, or also (fully or partially) hearing aids, depends on your individual plan and your respective state’s healthcare policies

    It’s better to directly ask the audiologist office about these by calling. You should learn what your insurance will cover and what your out-of-pocket costs will be beforehand, so you do not receive any unexpected bills. You can confirm this with your insurance company.

  • Financing Option

    About 48 million Americans live with some form of hearing loss; however, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), only 1 in 5 people with hearing loss wear hearing aids. Unfortunately, this is typically due to the cost of hearing aids.

    To help cover the costs, many audiology offices offer low monthly payment plans (perhaps including 0% financing options) on hearing aid purchases. Check if the audiologist you’re considering offers flexible financing or credit options to make sure your visits are convenient and affordable.

  • Proximity from Your Home

    Audiology and hearing aid fitting appointments may require you to visit your audiologist’s office more than once. Patients also feel the need to revisit their audiologists with issues related to adjusting to their hearing aids. Finding a nearby audiologist would help you save time and money if any follow-up visits are required.

Trust Your Instincts

After the first visit with your audiologist, ask yourself these questions:

  • Did they take the time to listen to my concerns and requirements?
  • Did they answer all of my questions?
  • Are they considerate and friendly?
  • Did they communicate well and explain things clearly?
  • Are they easy to work with?

Schedule an appointment with our audiologist, today at Hoffmann Audiology. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.

 

 


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Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.

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