How To Find The Right Audiologist For You

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Wouldn’t it be great if there were a “Good Housekeeping” Seal of approval for audiologists? In my latest post for Ida Institute, I describe what they hope will become the standard benchmark of quality for person-centered care in audiology. I share an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

When my audiologist retired a year ago, I was devastated. We had invested a lot of time together to find the right programming for my hearing aids and had built a strong working relationship. She was caring, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. She understood my hearing challenges and partnered with me on my communication priorities. How could I replicate this positive dynamic with someone new?

As time passed, I felt more confident. I was no longer an inexperienced hearing aid wearer and knew what I required from an audiologist and how to ask for it. This included many of the components of person-centered care I highlighted in my recent blog series on this topic. I was looking for an audiologist who:

  1. Listens to my particular hearing needs and focuses my care around those.
  2. Runs a hearing loss friendly office with a receptionist I can understand.
  3. Champions new technologies in both hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
  4. Believes best practice communication tools are just as important as technology.

Finding the right person was still difficult. I checked online listings for audiologists in my area, but the metrics presented did not include person-centered care. I reached out to my local hearing loss friends, but many were not satisfied with the care they received and suggested I look elsewhere.

Important Characteristics For An Audiologist

The right audiologist is hard to find, and may not be the same for everyone. Each person has a distinct hearing journey, a unique set of communication challenges and their own hearing loss baggage. Comfort level with technology also likely varies. Consider the following factors in your search to help you find the audiologist that is perfect for you.

Click here to continuing reading on Ida Institute.

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14 thoughts on “How To Find The Right Audiologist For You”

  1. I can relate, as mine retired suddenly too. His replacement was a young lady who was just beginning to practice and I was extremely concerned about my future. I decided to give her a chance and thankfully she has been great. I recently got a new pair of hearing aids and I couldn’t be happier but it’s a huge concern when you can hardly hear!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      I am so glad it is working out for you! Thanks for your comment.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      It is part of the name of Ida Institute which is a non-profit organization based in Denmark focused on promoting person-centered care in audiology care. Thanks for your question.

  2. I’m happy to see this article blog Shari. Finding the right audiologist is very important. Your hearing aids are only as good as the audiologist is at fitting them. I’ve had one that was not so good. He had made adjustments and when I went back saying that I couldn’t hear with them. He studied them and said ‘I don’t know what to do with them’. I requested for him to adjust them back to the beginning before he started tweaking. He did and sent me on my way saying that he didn’t know what was occurring. I dint either. Maybe he didn’t have the latest software or Maybe he just didn’t want to support my hearing any longer.
    Needless to say I started looking for a new audiologist. I chose a AuD thinking it might be better. She is great and caring. The area I think is missing is the ‘know how‘ of the workings of the hearing aids. Like interface between Bluetooth and say the TV box. Many audiologists only know what the computer tells them.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Great point. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  3. Juliette Sterkens, AuD @LoopWisconsin – I am a retired audiologist on an encore career to advocate for hearing loop technology in public places and houses of worship. Hearing Loops are for hearing aid users what ramps are for those in wheelchairs. See www.loopwisconsin.com for information for consumers, audiologists and hearing care providers.
    Juliette Sterkens, AuD @LoopWisconsin says:

    Good blog and on a topic many struggle with: I’d love to add to your list.

    An audiologist who
    1) Recommends you bring a friend of partner with you for appointments
    2) Takes pride in following the American Academy of Audiology Best Practices (Google it)
    3) Who routinely does Q-SIN (Speech-in-Noise testing) even though insurance doesn’t cover it…
    4) Who consistently does Real-Ear verification measures (I would run from any provider who doesn’t)
    5) Not only discusses but demos options to hear better beyond hearing aids (such as using assistive technology, TV transmitters, remote mics, Roger pen etc – as this means they understand that hearing aids are often not enough
    6) refers to local HLAA chapters for support
    and last but not least
    7) has a hearing loop in the waiting room 🙂

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Great additional points. Thank you Juliette!

  4. I was always told that you should look for an audiologist who represented the majority of the top 6 brands of hearing aids, notably Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Siemens, Starkey and Widex. The message is each of these brands offers selected features the others don’t and audiologists who represented the majority of them were committed to ensuring their patients got the best device for their needs. They had to make a considerable investment in time to be trained to handle each brand. In addition, they were also making less as their margins because like the movie business apparently margins increase as you sell more of one brand. In the end, it seemed so transparent to spot the good providers based on the number of brands they represented.

    As for picking the best of the local providers who meet the above criteria, I agree with many of your points and some of the comments. It is all about your chemistry and feeling like you can understand the provider and they can answer your questions in a way that makes sense to you

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Interesting thought. I do agree that carrying a variety of hearing aid brands is important. Different brands tend to work better for different people. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. I noticed the past few months that my aunt has been struggling with having a conversation with people due to her hearing loss problems. Because of that, I decided to bring her to an audiologist. Perhaps, I shall then look for a hearing clinic that offers new technologies in hearing aids and other listening devices.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Great idea to have her evaluated. Best of luck to you both!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for sharing that information.

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