Q#2: How Do I Find a Hearing Professional?

Updated: Sep 16



Short List Your Options

You've decided to get a hearing test and may now be asking..."How do I find a professional I can trust for testing and possibly selling me hearing aids?"


If you do need hearing aids, this will be an investment in your health, your relationships, your quality of life. Dare to be choosy. Take your time. Ask lots of questions!


Step 1: Create a short-list

1st Ask friends, or a doctor for a recommendation.

2nd Find certified audiologists in your province or state through these links:

Canada (SAC) USA & Canada (AAA)

3rd Search online for "Audiologist" and/or "Hearing Aids".


Step 2: Learn more about your short-list

  1. Look up their websites and Facebook pages.

  2. Check their credentials.

  3. Call reception or drop in.

  4. Ask questions and ask for information materials.

  5. Ask yourself, "Do I feel welcome?" If the answer is no, cross them off your list!

Step 3: Interview your audiologist (or their staff)

What should you expect from your audiologist? Ask questions about the exam and what happens if you do buy a hearing aid. Answers to look for include:

  1. A consultation to discuss your lifestyle and your hearing priorities followed by a hearing test in a sound booth.

  2. Multiple follow-up visits for care and adjustments in the first year.

  3. Promise of long-term care and adjustments to extend the life of your hearing aids and ensure your hearing continues to be the best possible!

  4. Availability for emergencies (Staff who can see you on short notice)

  5. Clear return policies

  6. Fee-for-service options

TIP

Pay for your hearing exam like you would an eye exam.

Be free of pressure to buy!


Know What the Professional Designations Mean

Two types of hearing professionals are approved to assess your hearing and sell hearing aids. These are Audiologists and Hearing Instrument Specialists/Hearing Instruments Professionals. Look for these professional designations when creating your shortlist


Aud (C) for Audiologists in Canada

AuD for Audiologist in the U.S.


Audiologists have a masters degree or doctorate.


They are qualified to assess and treat a range of hearing disorders including tinnitus, balance disorders and auditory processing disorders with the brain. They perform hearing exams and many also fit and sell (dispense) hearing aids and other assistive hearing devices.


Since 2007, an audiologist in the United States requires a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) for clinical practice, typically a three to four-year program. Prior to 2007, Audiologists in the U.S. required a master’s degree for clinical practice.


HIS or HIP for Hearing Instrument Professional or Hearing Instrument Specialists in Canada & the U.S.


Hearing Instrument Professionals (or Specialists) complete a 2-year training program.


They are qualified to conduct hearing tests, select and fit and sell (dispense) hearing aids, or recommend other assistive listening devices.


In the U.S., HIP and HIS credentials, professional titles and program details may vary by state. Please search for hearing professionals or hearing testing credentials in your state to learn what to look for in the U.S.


Additional Resources

Blog Post. Q1 Do I Need a Hearing Test?

Blog Post. Q3 Hear Aid Styles and Costs

Blog Post. Q4 What Other Options do I Have? Hearing Devices Under $500.


Printable. 2 Minute Hearing Self-Test. Should I Get My Hearing Tested?

HIAA Hearing Self Test
.pdf
Download PDF • 146KB

Printable. Hearing Devices Under $500.

HIAA4 Hearing Devices Under 500
.pdf
Download PDF • 161KB

Printable. Q2 Key Take-Aways for This Post. Finding a GoodH earing Professional.

HIAA 2 KTA Find A Hearing Professional
.p
Download P • 215KB


Hear it all again! Starting here.

Lori


Lori Cunningham, MA, AUD (C), RAUD

BurnabyHearingCentre.com