How to Find the Right Audiologist for You
When it comes to managing the health of your hearing, a good audiologist can be invaluable. However, choosing an audiologist is an unfamiliar process for most people; if you have only recently been diagnosed with hearing loss, or are searching for an audiologist to conduct your first-ever hearing test, you may lack the experience that allows you to decide if an audiologist is suitable for your needs and preferences.
In an effort to help overcome this problem, below, we have outlined a few tips that can help you find the right audiologist for you, and one you will be able to trust with all of your hearing health needs long into the future.
Talk to your insurance company
Some insurance providers will cover diagnostic testing, such as hearing tests, under their schemes, so it’s definitely helpful to call your insurer to find out which clinics are in their network. You can then cross-reference the suggestions with the recommendations you have received from others; if a clinic appears in both lists, then it’s definitely worth finding out more.
Ask for recommendations
Audiologist’s clinics are fairly common, so if you look online for ideas then you might find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available - and there’s no way to tell if any of the options you do find might actually be the right choice for you. To help narrow your search, it can be helpful to ask friends, family members, and even your primary health doctor for recommendations. While you will still want to check out the recommended audiologists for yourself, asking for recommendations does at least give you a more focused place to begin further research.
Research as much as you can
It’s helpful to look online and read as much about the clinic as possible, including reviews written by patients and the clinic’s own website and social media pages. Ideally, you should look to collect information about the clinic itself and the individual audiologists who work at the clinic. This information can help you determine if the audiologist offers the services you need – such as tinnitus treatment – in addition to the different professionals that will be serving you.
Consider how accessible the clinic is
There are two distinct requirements that need to be met when choosing an audiologist: the first is the services provided by the audiologist themselves, and the second relates to the whole experience of attending the clinic. As a result, you’ll need to consider the practical elements related to each clinic you are considering. In particular, you will want to choose a clinic that is relatively close to your home, as a clinic located hours away from you will be inconvenient to visit. In addition, think about how you will travel to the clinic and how accessible it is when you have arrived, such as the distance from a public transport stop or parking lot to the clinic’s front entrance. You can use online maps to help calculate these things, but ultimately, you’ll also need to:
Visit each clinic you are considering in person
Visiting a clinic you are considering in person is strongly advised. Doing so provides you with the opportunity to assess the practical requirements we discussed above, and you’ll also be able to speak with the reception staff and make sure you feel comfortable in the clinic environment. If all seems well and the clinic seems suitable, then you can make an appointment to see one of the audiologists.
Assess your own appointment
When you have found a clinic that meets the above requirements, you’ll be able to make your first appointment with your audiologist. However, the assessment as to whether your chosen audiologist is right for you continues after this point. When the appointment concludes, ask yourself how you felt during it: did you feel comfortable? Did you feel that the audiologist listened to your concerns and answered all the questions you had? Did you feel that you had plenty of time during the appointment and the process was conducted in a timely, but not rushed, manner? If you’re happy with the answers to all of these questions, then you can be confident that you have found an audiologist and a clinic, that is right for you.
Finding the right audiologist is vital to your ability to manage your hearing health needs confidently and effectively, and hopefully, the tips above will allow you to select an audiologist that is perfectly suited to you.