Switching audiologists for this reason?

Posted by urgentresearch @urgentresearch, Mar 9 9:10pm

Has anyone here switched audiologists because their aud seemed a bit "out of touch" with the latest hearing tech? Things like new systems/devices, add-ons for work, good apps for my phone, etc…

I feel like I read a lot about this stuff in the news, but wonder if auds are able to discern what's what for me.

I guess I'm asking because… I don't want to have unrealistic (unfair?) expectations?

Is it reasonable to *expect* an audiologist to go out of his/her way to tell me about all the latest devices and gadgets that could help me hear better? Or is that not within the scope of what they offer, and I am just holding them to a standard I imagined.

At the end of the day, I know I can do my own research… maybe print out articles or ask my aud about specific solutions. But it's a lot to absorb! Things are moving fast, too.

So yeah, I'm wondering… Is it typically my responsibility to *ask* about this stuff… or is it common for audis to clue me in.

(And is this "keeping up with tech" responsibility… worth switching audiologists over? Has anyone here switched for that reason??)

Thanks in advance for any insight. I'm inexperienced with this stuff… so I want to be confident in my decision. It would help to know if I am being realistic but also fair.

EDIT:
P.S. full credit to @futuretech for starting a thread on new tools for HL (thank you!!)… which is what inspired me to post this, as it got me thinking about this decision as it relates to my future appointments: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-are-your-favorite-apps-for-hearing-loss-or-tools-you-use/

I have chosen (always shop for comparison – does your provider offer choices of bundling or unbundled? Does he or she say what features by which manufacturer suit your needs best? Are they open hours you need and how quickly can you get in? Is the attitude that of selling or helping you with your needs? Then, cost knowledge base and courtesy count as well. I actually did not choose one provider I visited because the appointment lasted 3 hours – because he talked too much.

Yes, I'd switch for service reasons. But check with at least 3 others so you are served best.

REPLY

I agree with th1. There is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion, or even a third. Hearing aids and other assistive listening devices are rarely insured. They are sold as if they are consumer products, so sometimes you have to think like a customer rather than like a patient. Doing some research before you buy hearing devices makes sense. And, it helps to talk to other people who use these devices to learn where to go and what to expect. It's often said that a person who is dissatisfied with a hearing aid or service will complain about it to anyone who will listen, while one who is satisfied with it won't talk about it unless asked. Ask.

Know that in most states, hearing instrument specialists (HIS) with state licensure and/or certification are doing the same thing that clinical audiologists with doctorate level degrees in the field of audiology are doing. In some instances those HIS are excellent fitters. Much depends on the equipment they are using and on their dedication to keeping up with the rapid changes in technology.

Know that when you have been tested for hearing loss and have an audiogram, you should ask for a copy of that audiogram. You have a right to that record. Having it allows you to go to a different provider to try a different product without having to go through all the testing. Obviously there is a timeline on that because most hearing loss is progressive. Don't wait a few years and expect that audiogram to be up to date. Do use it to shop around if you feel you should.

Audiologists are identified by the AuD following their name. Those are the ones with doctorate level degrees. They are not medical doctors. But like medical doctors, some are very good at projecting care and kindness when serving people, while others may be curt and short with people. People are people.

Today these professionals deal with something that wasn't an issue for them years ago. That is the knowledge that potential patients/customers have when they seek help. Some providers are used to being the ones who provide information and resent it when people come to them and tell them what they need or want. I was confronted with that attitude years ago after I became involved with HLAA. I learned more from HLAA than I did from my provider. I told my provider what I wanted when I was ready to upgrade to different hearing aids. He was offended by my knowledge and told me so. I switched providers.

Back to that consumer product thing. Today we research online when we are going to make a major purchase. When we do that, we have a pretty good idea of what might be available even if we don't know how it works. We expect to be able to ask questions and get answers. We also expect to be taught how to effectively use the equipment we purchase. If a provider isn't willing to take the time to explain options and possibilities, go elsewhere.

As I always tend to do, once again I emphasize that talking to other people who use hearing aids and other products for hearing loss is a great way to learn what is available and what kind of questions to ask of a provider.

REPLY

@urgentresearch The best consumer is an educated consumer. If you ask your audiologist about certain technology and they are not familiar with it, that should raise a red flag. I don't know if audi's have to maintain a certain level of CEU's every year but they should. Audiologists have incentives from some manufacturers so you may not get the absolute best product that works best for you. It's important to have an idea on what you want before you go to the audiologist. Today, it's not just about hearing aids. It's about compatibility with other technology you use and also the type of smartphone that you use. If you only have a mild to moderate loss, you may want to look at the Over The Counter (OTC) devices that will soon be flooding the market. There will be good ones and bad ones, but you'll save a lot of money by bypassing the audiologist. Keep up with your own research and pick our brains here.
Tony in Michigan

REPLY

While disappointing the many audi do not have a lot of tech knowledge, it is quite common. You would think, if they are using Bluetooth connectivity as a selling point, they would understand how that works, how to help you pair it with your devices, and other assistive devices to make your life easier. Fortunately, I am very tech savvy so I don't have issues there but many do. Like @julieo4 said, people often learn more from other HA users than from audi's who rarely wear HA's themselves. I have been in audi offices where everything about their office and equipment looked ancient. That is often red flag that their knowledge might also be very out of date and you might want to go elsewhere.

REPLY

Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses @julieo4 @tonyinmi @thedeafguy I really appreciate it

REPLY

A rule of thumb is to find a seasoned hearing professional who uses different manufacturers so you can pilot the newest technology and shop comparisons. Education is critical when perusing new hearing aids or upgrades…

REPLY
@mattie1014

A rule of thumb is to find a seasoned hearing professional who uses different manufacturers so you can pilot the newest technology and shop comparisons. Education is critical when perusing new hearing aids or upgrades…

Jump to this post

That makes a lot of sense!
Thanks for the tip @mattie1014

REPLY
@mattie1014

A rule of thumb is to find a seasoned hearing professional who uses different manufacturers so you can pilot the newest technology and shop comparisons. Education is critical when perusing new hearing aids or upgrades…

Jump to this post

It sounds like you have a lot of information to give.

@mattie1014 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

Is there any information you are looking from group members?

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.