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What to Look for in a Hearing Clinic: Gold Standard Care

Author: Maggie Stephens
Reviewer: Brian Vesely, AuD
– 5.5 minute read

When you’re choosing your hearing provider, it’s important to look for a clinic that is committed to providing you the best hearing care possible. So what does that mean? We advise patients that they should look for a hearing clinic that offers Gold Standard Care:

• Is independent and not owned by a hearing aid manufacturer 

• Has expert providers with training in the latest technology

• Offers you risk-free trials on all hearing aids

• Verifies your hearing aids’ fit and performance 

Independence Matters

It’s a not-so-secret in the hearing industry that a huge number of retail hearing clinics are actually owned by, or have pricing agreements with, hearing aid manufacturers. That means they have a financial incentive to sell you a product from their brand, instead of the product that might be best for your needs. In most cases, these clinics offer a smaller selection of products and a limited number of brands. And they have no incentive to negotiate to get you the best prices on the hearing aids they sell. Instead, we recommend you look for an independent clinic where the provider has the freedom to choose the right hearing aid for you. 

Look for an independent clinic where the provider has the freedom to choose the right hearing aid for you. 

Where We Stand: We’re proud to be independent and free from any manufacturer relationships that could influence the products we choose for patients. When you come to our clinic, you can be sure that your provider is legitimately recommending the hearing aids that are best for you, without any ulterior motives.

Look For An Expert Provider

Providers are the heart of a hearing clinic. The best ones have spent years on their education and devoted their careers to giving patients the best possible hearing experience. They use their knowledge and experience to evaluate the issues you’re experiencing and recommend the most appropriate products and treatments. Look for a clinic with licensed experts who stay up on the latest trainings in industry best practices, audiology trends, and hearing technology. 

Where We Stand: We value our providers and ensure they stay up-to-date on the latest research, best practices, and technology. All of our providers are licensed by the State Licensing Board and fulfill required continuing education courses annually. These hours enhance their knowledge and keep them updated on the latest research and testing protocols. We also ensure our clinical staff receives the manufacturers’ trainings on all new therapies and technology products.

Try Before You Buy

Hearing aids are an investment in your hearing health, and you want to make sure you get the perfect devices for you! That said, it’s important to remember that getting used to new hearing aids often requires some dedication and time. Most likely, you lost your hearing gradually over many years. During that time, your brain adapted to not hearing the sounds within the range of your hearing loss. This is called auditory deprivation. When you first get new hearing aids, there’s always an adjustment period as those nerve cells reawaken and your brain learns to re-process the sounds. Your provider will probably need to make several adjustments to your new hearing aids to help them work best for you. Make sure you buy from a clinic that allows you a risk-free trial period to get used to your devices and ensure you’re happy with your purchase. 

Buy from a clinic that allows you a risk-free trial period to get used to your devices.

Where We Stand: We want you to be confident you’ve made the right purchase, and we understand that treating hearing loss is both an art and science! As we rehabilitate the hearing nerve into remembering the sounds in your life, we want you to have the reassurance that your initial product decision accomplishes your communication goals. We allow you a minimum of 30 days to use your devices, adjust to sound, and come in for necessary fine tunings with your provider.

Check the Fit and Performance

It’s common sense that your hearing provider should measure how well your new hearing aids are working, but you’d be surprised how many hearing care specialists skip this critical step! It’s important to not only check the physical fit of the devices in your ears, but also to compare the performance to your initial audiogram to make sure that your hearing aids are actually enhancing the frequencies that you’re missing. Look for a clinic that uses probe microphone measures, also known as real ear measures (REMs), to appropriately verify hearing aid fittings.

Hearing aid manufacturers base their fitting algorithms (which providers use to program hearing aids) on average ear canals. But, no one has an average ear canal! Every ear has natural properties that boost frequencies in the speech range, called resonance. To measure the resonance, a probe is placed deep in the ear canal, very near the eardrum, and a calibrated speech signal is presented through a speaker. The probe is connected to a microphone that measures the output in the ear canal of this calibrated speech. REMs measure the differences that ear shape and size have on this resonance. Much like the amount of liquid in a coke bottle changes the sound when you blow over the opening, wearing a hearing aid physically changes the acoustic properties of an amplified sound wave in an ear canal. REMs are how audiologists know precisely what is happening in each ear canal so we can make adjustments to fit the individual ear.

Where We Stand: At our clinic, we’re diligent about taking REMs and making adjustments to ensure that your device matches the prescribed performance! Our providers are sticklers for the details, and we won’t rest until we’re sure your device is working at its best to meet your hearing needs. We want to be your hearing partner for the long term: if anything is ever uncomfortable or seems off, we want you to come back in to have it checked so we can make it right.

You Deserve Gold Standard Care

Your hearing is a key part of your overall physical and mental health: don’t settle for anything less than Gold Standard Care. If you have any questions about what makes great hearing care or how we help patients restore their hearing loss and live their best lives, we would love to talk with you. Please don’t hesitate to call us or make an appointment. We’re happy to guide you through the process and help you find the right device for your needs.