My new patients sometimes ask me: “What is the best hearing aid?”
I answer this question by telling them that they could never amass the amount of information, education, and experience needed to decide this question unless they studied audiology at the university level, and became an audiologist with many years of hearing aid experience. The more appropriate question is, “How do I choose the right provider?” to guide me through the process of learning about hearing loss and what hearing devices can do to radically change, for the better, and enhance my life.
As a consumer and layperson who may desire to begin the journey of dealing with a hearing loss, the first thing you need to know is that you cannot possibly do this by yourself. It doesn’t matter how many hearing aid brochures you collect, or how many websites you visit, or how many manufacturers you investigate; you will still need to establish a relationship based on trust and knowledge with a hearing care practitioner, (such as an audiologist), to guide you through the learning process about hearing loss and devices; and then the selection process of the right device for you.
So don’t make yourself frustrated and bogged down with amassing huge amounts of data that will ultimately be meaningless to you. Rather, spend your time getting acquainted with a good hearing care practitioner and building a relationship based on trust and the exchange of unbiased information. Ask questions; get educated by an audiologist. Ask questions such as, “Based on my life-style and hearing loss what device features do I need and can you describe them?”
How do I choose the right provider?
Firstly, you should know that the difference between a hearing aid dispenser and an audiologist is education and experience. A hearing aid dispenser, in the state of California, needs only a high school diploma and to pass written and practical exams to earn a license to sell hearing aids. Whereas, in addition to the written and practical exams, an audiologist needs at least a master’s degree from an accredited university to be licensed to practice diagnostic audiology and hearing aid dispensing. Many audiologists have been trained in hospitals or medical clinics, or conducted audiology research on their way to becoming independent hearing health care practitioners. They know good patient care protocols. An audiologist is your best choice as your hearing care provider.
Additionally, regarding the right provider, you must have faith that the person you have selected to help you is a true expert and a caring professional who is looking out for your best interests both medically and financially. Yes, financially speaking, your investment in a hearing device should give you a good return on your investment; and your budget should be a consideration in the selection process for both you and your hearing care practitioner to make together.
At Evolve Hearing Center, our master’s level audiologist, Nina Nahmouli, has been providing patients in the greater L.A. county area with comprehensive diagnostic hearing services and hearing aids for 30+ years. Her training in audiology and hearing device technology makes her an expert and the most qualified practitioner to give you the right solution for your hearing care needs.
A word about internet hearing aid sales...
“Caveat emptor”, or let the buyer beware. There is an old saying you may have heard before; it is, “you get what you pay for”. This saying cannot be more accurate than in the arena of hearing aid sales. By buying your devices from an on-line distributor you may save in cost, but you will sacrifice high quality care, device effectiveness, physical comfort, on-going service and much more.
You and your hearing loss are unique and the solution to your problem is unique, there is no universal, one-size-fits-all hearing aid remedy. An audiologist understands this. That’s why at Evolve Hearing Center your audiologist will perform extensive diagnostic hearing testing to determine the degree and type of your hearing loss, and conduct an extensive medical history and life-style interview to learn as much as possible about your individual listening challenges. Based on these findings your audiologist will offer treatment options attuned to your lifestyle, cosmetic preferences and financial requirements.
Evolve Hearing Center is your right choice, your right partner on your journey to better hearing. When you choose us you are choosing a few decades of experience, knowledge, and compassionate care.