How to Choose the Right Audiologist
When you have a hearing loss or think you have something wrong with your ears, the best thing to do is see a qualified audiologist that can help.
Selecting the right audiologist for you may seem like a long and tedious process, but it doesn’t have to be.
What is the definition of an audiologist, and what are some tips for choosing the right one?
We’ve compiled a list of five different tips to help you find the right audiologist for you.
What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is an allied health professional qualified to diagnose and manage hearing loss and balance problems.
Audiologists see both adults and children and are different to audiometrists based on their more extensive training and expertise.
The roles of an audiologist include:
- Diagnostic hearing assessment
- Central auditory processing assessment
- Diagnostic balance assessment
- Tinnitus assessment
- Prescribe and fit hearing aids
- Fit implantable hearing devices, such as cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing aids and middle ear implants
- Fit Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
- Fit custom earplugs for music, swimming and noise
- Repair hearing aids
- Provide counselling
- Provide communication tactics and strategies
- Perform earwax removal
Tips to Choosing the Right Audiologist
Tip 1: Education & Accreditation
It’s essential to make sure that you see a qualified and accredited audiologist.
Australian audiologists must have completed a two year accredited Audiology Master’s degree and one-year clinical internship under supervision to be recognised as an Accredited Audiologist. They must then complete professional development activities to maintain their accreditation annually.
There are two professional bodies for audiologists to gain accreditation in Australia, including Audiology Austalia (AudA) and the Australian College of Audiology (ACAud). Membership ensures they work within codes of conduct and scopes of practice.
When looking for a hearing care professional, make sure they are university qualified and an accredited audiologist to ensure they have proper training.
Most professional bodies will have a website where you can find an audiologist near you or check if your audiologist is accredited.
Tip 2: Medical Foundations
Any audiology clinic can offer hearing aids, but not all can provide medical audiology services.
Sometimes a hearing aid isn’t the answer; you may have a medical ear problem or balance problem and need a complex diagnostic assessment.
Your local hearing aid dispenser may not be able to provide you with the service you need, which is why it’s important to determine whether your audiologist has a medical foundation or is purely retail.
The best thing to do is find an audiologist trained in diagnostic assessment and rehabilitation so you can visit one clinic for all of your needs.
Tip 3: Referral & Word of Mouth
If you aren’t sure about finding an audiologist, checking with your doctor is a good idea. Your doctor may have an audiologist who they know and trust and refer to daily, ensuring you receive the best care possible.
By getting a referral, the hard work is done for you.
A good audiologist will have a strong relationship with local GPs and Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists (ENTs).
Alternatively, you can ask your friends and family who have been to an audiologist if they can recommend anyone.
Tip 4: Find an Audiologist Near You
Location is another important factor to consider, especially if you’d like to build a long-term relationship with your audiologist.
You may be seeing your audiologist regularly for hearing tests, hearing aid adjustments and hearing aid maintenance and repair, so the last thing you want to do is travel far to do this.
It’s a good idea to find an audiologist close to where you live or work, making it easier to visit.
When looking for an audiologist, you can do a quick “audiologist near me” Google search.
Tip 5: Read Online Reviews
Another way to find the right audiologist for you is to do some research yourself by reading online reviews.
This can be useful as people will share their honest thoughts on the service. Review sites like Google and Trust Pilot are often the best.
Reviews and testimonials on clinic websites, while helpful, may only show the positives. By looking at Google and Trust Pilot reviews, which show both the positive and negative, can help you decide whether they are the right audiologist for you or if there are red flags.
In a Nutshell
The first step on your hearing health journey is to find an audiologist that you can trust and who is suitable for you.
If you are stuck on where to find an audiologist, contact EarDeals. Our brokers will work with you to find an accredited audiologist near you.
If you’ve already found a quality audiologist and have found out that you need hearing aids, browse our range of high-quality and affordable hearing aids or email us for more information on our services.