When making the decision to seek treatment for hearing loss, the options can seem daunting. What do I do first? Who can I call? What should I ask? Who is the best choice? These are all questions you may be asking yourself. Here are some simple solutions to get you heading down the right path.
If hearing loss is new to you, the first place you’ll want to start is finding the names of audiologists. Consider looking nearby. It can be a struggle to get to appointments that are some distance away, especially in the event you just need a simple adjustment or aren’t sure how to troubleshoot a new hearing device.
Check with friends or family to see if they can recommend someone. Word of mouth referrals are great options to explore. Chances are they’ll either be able to guide you to a great doctor that they’re pleased with or steer you away from one you really shouldn’t waste time on. If that isn’t an option, ask your general physician. They have huge networks of resources in any medical area imaginable and are usually happy to provide you with some names.
Credentials of the prospective professional are important. Check them out thoroughly. Some of the most qualified ones you can expect to see are Au.D., BC-HIS, CCC-A, M.A., M.S. This can be done with minimal time or physical disruption by using the internet.
While you’re at it, look at any reviews or testimonials posted online about them. People are quick to naysay when they are not happy, but many are equally dedicated to giving a thumbs up when it’s deserved, especially if they think it could help others who might have similar concerns.
Next, you need to explore your insurance options. Both your coverage as well as the coverage accepted by the audiologist you’re interested in are very important factors. While basic appointments and tests might be covered by some insurance companies, others may not. Hearing devices are even less likely to be a covered cost with many types of coverage.
With this in mind, be sure to ask the potential audiologist if they even accept your specific coverage. If they don’t, the entire cost will likely fall to you. This could be a large burden if you don’t have the coverage or opportunity for reimbursement. Nip this in the bud before you even make your first appointment and save yourself the headache in the future.
If your insurance is not all-inclusive, which is often the case, find out if they offer a payment plan. While you may anticipate being able to handle a major cost, things happen that you can’t control. It’s good to know what your options are should an unexpected finance occur.
Do they work with different manufacturers, or do they offer products from only a select one or two? This could be concerning because a limited product line may not have options that appeal to you or suit your particular hearing situation. They may also be in a higher price range or not accepted by your insurance if you have coverage.
Find out if they do in house repairs. If you have an issue with your hearing device, does the audiologist’s office offer service while you wait? If not, are you prepared to either continue the search for someone who can fix it, or wait for your device’s return? Will you buy a backup if available?
Once you call and make that first contact, what does your gut tell you? Were they pleasant and professional to deal with or did they make you feel as if you were wasting their time? Did they answer your questions or leave you with even more? If you don’t feel like you were important to them, like you were a person, not a number, it might be best to keep looking.
Audiologists are highly skilled, specially trained professionals. They are there to offer you the best care available and keep your hearing as healthy and your progress as unimpeded as possible. A qualified audiologist should be able to help you find the resources to get through the difficulties of learning to deal with hearing loss.
Whether you’re looking for yourself, a grandparent, or a child, contact us today to see how we can help you navigate through the next phase of hearing-related answers you’ve been searching for.