What is more important? The hearing aid or the provider?

April 30, 2021

What is more important? The hearing aid or the provider?

Like many other high-tech devices, hearing aids have evolved at the speed of light in the last few years.

The best of today's hearing aids are built to monitor body and brain health, remove feedback, and make it easier to understand conversation in noisy environments. Despite these technological advances, there is something else that is more important than the hearing aid when dealing with your hearing loss - your provider. Read on to find out why.

Hearing aids are less important than you think.

There is understandably a heavy focus on tech when it comes to hearing aid marketing. It's always more exciting for hearing providers to talk about exciting new hearing aid features like directional microphones and sound processing chips than it is to discuss the virtues of a Best Practice hearing aid fitting.

Because of this laser focus on the importance of hearing aid technology, many people see the hearing aid as the most important factor to consider in their hearing loss treatment program, and this may lead them to buy their hearing aids online and forego the hearing provider altogether. However, we don't recommend this for the following reasons:

  • Fitting a hearing aid requires as much attention to detail as a tailor-made suit and needs to be specifically designed to match the patient's ear and unique hearing loss.
  • As with any medical procedure, regular checkups are required to ensure that your hearing aid works as intended.
  • With the cost of repairs and follow-up adjustments, it could cost you more to buy a hearing aid online than you might think.

If not fitted correctly, even the best hearing aid in the world won't perform at it's best. It can take several structured programming visits to get the most out of your hearing aid. If you've bought your hearing aid online, it is impossible to program a hearing aid properly.

Why you need to go to a hearing aid provider

Every hearing loss and hearing need is personal, just as every person is unique, too. Hearing aids are delicate devices that need to be fit and programmed to each patient's exact hearing loss and ear canal form. That's why we say you should consult with an Audiologist to ensure you get a custom-fit solution to your unique needs and lifestyle.

Here are some specific reasons why you need to go through a hearing aid provider.

They provide the most comprehensive hearing tests. A Licensed Hearing Care Provider will complete a comprehensive auditory assessment and review your audiogram, a picture of how you hear at different frequencies and volumes, with you. Such assessments are extremely detailed and are impossible to complete online.

They help you decide the right device for your lifestyle. A hearing aid is an intricate medical device intended to treat hearing loss and is much more than a simple sound amplifier. There are several factors to consider, including style, cost, suitability to your lifestyle, and power level. An Audiologist will help you navigate the wide variety of options to decide the best choice for your unique hearing needs. Purchasing with an Audiologist's input lets you make sure that you buy a device that will maximize your ability to actually hear better, instead of just amplifying all sounds.

They fit the hearing aid to your exact hearing loss prescription. An Audiologist can program and fine-tune your hearing aids to your unique prescription and sound preferences once they have recommended the most appropriate model. This procedure can be completed very precisely if your provider utilizes Real Ear Measurements (more on this below).

They provide ongoing professional care. Properly treating hearing loss is an ongoing process that requires follow-up care. That's why an essential aspect of any hearing provider's treatment program requires routine visits at least every six months. This visits include programming adjustments, maintenance, detailed hearing aid cleanings, diagnostic checks, ear wax removal, and other services you don't get if you order your hearing aid online.

The best hearing aid providers use Real Ear Measurements.

If you're looking for a hearing care provider in your area, look for one that offers Real Ear Measurements (REM) - the Gold Standard of hearing aid fitting. REMs take into account your unique ear anatomy, such as an ear canal size and shape, when programming your hearing aid to your hearing loss prescription.

When fitting patients with hearing aids, REM is critical because it verifies the gain (volume) provided by the hearing aids at each frequency of a hearing aid wearer's hearing loss. Without an accurate verification of a hearing aid's amplification levels, a patient will walk away with a hearing aid that not programmed properly.

Surprisingly, despite how important REMs are to ensure proper hearing aid programming, only an estimated 30 percent of Audiologists and hearing aid dispensers use REMs when fitting and programming hearing aids, so it might take a little due diligence to find a provider who uses Real Ear Measurements in your area.

Conclusion: A Hearing Care Provider is significantly more important than the Hearing Aid

Hearing is what connects us to those we love, so there should be some serious consideration when it comes to your hearing treatment. Success with any hearing aid requires a more in-depth process than most people realize.  Not only do you have to select the best hearing aid for you, but you also need to make sure that your hearing aids are fit and programmed properly.  While a hearing care provider may be more important than a hearing aid, to achieve your best outcome with hearing treatment, you need to make sure your provider follows Best Practices.  Applied Hearing Solutions is known for obtaining exceptional hearing outcomes for their patients by following these Hearing Aid Best Practices. To schedule an appointment, call us at 602-877-0000 or complete our contact form.

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