Should I choose an Audiologist or Hearing Aid Dealer?
BY: SHARON HIRSTEIN, BOARD CERTIFIED AUDIOLOGIST
Okay, you have finally decided that you need to do something about your hearing. You definitely want to hear the punch-lines, you really need to turn the TV down, and it would be nice not to have to ask your family to repeat things…but, where do you start? Who do you trust? The answer is your local audiologist.
Hearing loss can creep in slowly or happen suddenly. Balance concerns or tinnitus may accompany changes in your hearing. A diagnostic hearing evaluation will reveal if further medical treatment is needed before using amplification. It will also allow for discussion about your potential benefit from hearing devices and the creation of a treatment plan not just a description of the latest technology being advertised. Fortunately, Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance will cover the cost of an initial diagnostic hearing evaluation when it is completed by an audiologist.
Since audiologists are uniquely qualified to evaluate and treat your hearing where do you find one? You can consult a physician, search the web, or use the phone book. Look for an audiologist, not just hearing aids.
All audiologists can be licensed to fit hearing aids but not everyone that fits a hearing aid is an audiologist.
Many ads will refer to “hearing professionals”, “hearing care associates”, or “certified staff” but these terms do not guarantee you will be evaluated or treated by an audiologist.
The boxes below provide information on the credentials and scope of practice for those licensed in the State of Indiana to sell hearing aids.