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Editorial

Around Our Town: Wyoming Otolaryngology


Choosing Hearing Instruments



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06/01/2016 - Cheryl Drost, Au.D.

Wyoming Otolaryngology

Casper, Wyoming

We are all familiar with the mantra, "When purchasing real estate, base your decision on Location, Location, Location." Similarly, when making a decision to purchase hearing instruments (formerly referred to as hearing aids), follow three simple rules: provider, product and service.

Finding a provider of hearing instruments can be confusing. There are a plethora of acronyms used by those who offer hearing instruments for sale. Some have extensive education and credentials; others may have more of a sales orientation. In the recent past, Consumer Reports suggests finding a provider who is part of a medical practice—specifically, an Ear, Nose and Throat (Otolaryngology) practice, specializing in hearing healthcare. This is important since hearing loss can be caused by a variety of situations. An Otolaryngology practice with an Audiology component can best serve your complete hearing healthcare needs. Since it is actually your brain that does the hearing, not just your ears, you want to make sure your provider understands the whole picture.

Choosing a brand of hearing instruments can be mind-boggling. First and foremost, rely on the recommendation of your audiologist (see above). AVOID NO NAME OR PRIVATE LABEL BRANDS of hearing instruments. Lately, it seems like everyone wants to sell hearing instruments—from the internet to big discount operations. Many of these offerings are proprietary or private label brand, which can only be serviced or programmed by those who sell them. Be certain your hearing instruments are from a reputable national company. Its engineers spend years on research and development to ensure hearing instruments are Best of Class and leading technology. Virtually all top hearing instruments have Bluetooth capability to enhance your enjoyment and use of televisions and cell phones as well as music.

Last and equally important is service. For example, consider you are out of town at a conference and your hearing instruments malfunction. Now what? By choosing the right brand ahead of time, you can find an audiologist, who can service and program your hearing instruments in the city you are visiting. Also, imagine traveling on business to a remote part of the country, preparing for a big presentation and finding your hearing instruments are not working. You need service now! Make the right choice at the beginning of your hearing instruments selection, and your stress level will go way down.

There are the basics of choosing hearing instruments. If you just remember provider, product and service, then you will have smooth sailing no matter where your boat is going.

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