Tips for Finding a Good Audiologist
Hearing or balance problems can be uncomfortable to experience when you don’t know what is happening. The uncertainty and fear are one of the worst parts of wondering if there is a solution or if it might be a serious problem.
That is why it’s important to find an audiologist that you can trust will have your best interests at heart.
Use this guide to navigate finding a good audiologist that’s experienced, possesses good qualities that make you feel comfortable and is the right fit for you. It’s essential
for finding the right diagnosis and long-term solutions to improve your quality of life.
What is an audiologist?
An audiologist is an expert with a vast amount of training, knowledge and tools needed to diagnose and treat patients of all ages with varying levels of hearing loss.
Using advanced technology and tests to understand the cause of a patient’s hearing problem, if it’s permanent or curable, and its severity, audiologists work with them to determine the best course of treatment.
They can help or assess tinnitus, balance disorders, Hyperacusis and Misophonia as well as drastically improve your hearing with hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.
Typically, once a patient’s hearing tests are completed and it’s determined that assistive technology is needed for treatment, audiologists recommend the best hearing aids based on their unique needs, lifestyle and prescription.
Audiologists program the hearing aids to align with their patient’s preferences and prescription, and teach them how to properly care for their new technology. Several follow-up appointments are often scheduled to ensure the patient likes how the hearing aids sound, fit and function. This time is also used to provide much-needed support, troubleshoot any areas of struggle and answer questions.
Good audiologists put time and effort into ensuring each patient’s experience with hearing aids is positive, they follow up, build a relationship and continue to provide excellent hearing care.
You want to ensure that you find an audiologist who is experienced, has the skill to provide effective solutions for your unique situation and can answer your questions. It’s even more useful if they are up to date on industry insight from new or upcoming technology or findings from studies.
What Credentials Does an Audiologist Hold?
Many audiologists have their Master of Science in Audiology (M.Sc.), Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner (RHIP), Registered Audiologist with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC (RAUD) and in some cases, further education.
In Canada, regulations require an audiologist to hold a Master’s degree or a doctorate in audiology. BC further regulates audiologists by requiring them to be registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC (CSHBC) in order to practice and provide services.
We recommend visiting the CSHBC website’s public register to confirm the audiologists you’re researching are in good standing with the College and have obtained the proper certifications.
Are there qualities I should look for?
Getting hearing aids can be an overwhelming process for individuals, especially those who have never used them before. An audiologist who is understanding, knowledgeable and dedicated to helping you get the best hearing experience possible can make the process much more enjoyable.
Trustworthiness is one of the most important qualities needed for a good relationship and outcome. You need to be able to trust that your audiologist and clinic are committed to providing the best treatment care and outcome, as well as listening to your concerns, needs and goals for your hearing.
Audiologists that are also genuine, empathetic and compassionate towards the struggles you face and comfort levels throughout the process are able to provide outstanding care.
In addition, good audiologists tailor the experience to each patient and provide ongoing support. If you are feeling nervous or hesitant, finding an audiologist who is happy to move at a pace you are most comfortable with is incredibly helpful.
“I always tell patients that the journey doesn’t end at the hearing aid fitting. We are here to help them for as long as they need,” says Stephanie Sykes, audiologist and clinic owner of NexGen Hearing Penticton and Summerland BC.
We recommend looking for these qualities when meeting with audiologists. Do they give you the time you need? Are they compassionate? Do you trust that they have your best interests at heart?
Most people can recognize whether an audiologist is genuine or ingenuine from the first meeting or through word of mouth. Ensure you feel comfortable working with them and that they care about your wellbeing.
What do other people say about them?
It is good practice to see what other people are saying about the audiologists you are looking into.
If there are people in your life who have hearing loss and have received service from an audiologist, consider asking for their opinion. Learning about a trusted friend’s experience with an audiologist is a good indicator of whether or not you should take the next step and book an appointment.
Many patients leave honest, online reviews for clinics and audiologists. With a critical eye, read through the messages left by current or past patients who have similar needs to learn about their experiences.
You can also browse a hearing clinic’s website for more information on the services provided, their guiding principles on patient care, biographies about audiologists and more. It’s a good way to get to know the hearing clinic and its team members better before pursuing its services.
Are you looking for a good audiologist?
Most individuals don’t pursue treatment for hearing loss until about 5 years after a diagnosis. Living with untreated hearing loss can pose a variety of risks such as mental fatigue, poor emotional wellbeing, and dangerous falls.
It’s very important to seek treatment for a better quality of life, but it’s just as crucial to choose a good audiologist who will provide excellent treatment and a positive experience.
Audiologists and hearing professionals at NexGen Hearing are passionate, dedicated and experienced. They are here to support you on your journey to better hearing and help you experience an improved quality of life through exceptional care.
At NexGen Hearing, appointments, hearing aid supplies and minor repairs are free of charge because every patient is valued and welcomed for as long as they need.
Patients are welcomed at over 45 clinics in the BC Interior, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. To find a clinic near you and book an appointment, click here or call 1-877-606-6671.