It Takes Two To Tango: Why You Should Partner With Your Audiologist

The audiologist / patient relationship is a critical one for people with hearing loss. In my latest post for Ida Institute, I discuss what steps people with hearing loss can take to help make this relationship a productive one for both sides. See an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

My hearing aids were shorting out. The issue was accompanied by a popping sensation in my ears — like when you change altitude in a plane. I assumed I had allergies or a cold, but when this happened repeatedly over a period of weeks, I knew a detailed conversation with my audiologist was needed. In that chat, I learned the actual problem was fluid build-up behind my aids, which are worn deep inside my ear canal. This is a common problem, but it was a new one to me, even after more than 20 years of wearing hearing aids! The only solution is taking a break from the aids so the ear can dry out.

While this was certainly inconvenient, I was happy to have an explanation and a remedy. Together, my audiologist and I devised a way for me to handle this situation on my own should it recur. By working together, we solved my problem and created an action plan for the future. If only all audiologist-patient relationships worked this well all the time.

The Patient-Audiologist Relationship Is A Shared Responsibility

The audiologist-patient relationship can be a tricky one, with the two groups sometimes feeling like they are at cross-purposes. Patients want solutions for their communication problems, while audiologists often seem to focus on the technical aspects and selling hearing aids. Patients are disappointed that their hearing aids don’t work well in all situations, but many audiologists do not provide any alternatives. It can feel like a constant battle of wills, but it should not be. A strong working relationship between audiologist and patient is a win for everyone.

Like most relationships, the patient-audiologist one is a shared obligation, requiring work from both sides. It takes time to develop and strengthen. Both patients and audiologists must understand and respect the important knowledge that each side brings to the table. The best outcomes require both perspectives.

What Can Patients Do To Support This Partnership

There are many reasons why audiologists should partner with their patients, but it is equally true that patients must collaborate with their audiologists. It takes two to tango. Click here to continue reading on Ida Institute for my suggestions on how patients can help support this critical partnership.

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2 thoughts on “It Takes Two To Tango: Why You Should Partner With Your Audiologist

  1. Wow! I guess this partnership is with a private audiologist. This is the kind of relationship I have with my NHS GP (realise I am lucky), my private dentist and my hairdresser. I don’t have a dedicated audiologist at my NHS clinic in London. Fortunately it is a good service but the system does not allow for seeing the same audiologist so difficult to build up a relationship. I feel more and more that hearing loss is a hidden disability and there is not enough funding to resource NHS audiology departments properly.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of Living with Hearing Loss, a popular blog and online community for people with hearing loss, and an executive producer of "We Hear You," an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Her book, "Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss," (co-authored with Gael Hannan) is the ultimate survival guide to living well with hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      That is a shame. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

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