What is a Hearing Specialist?

Hearing Instrument Specialist

If you’ve been coping with hearing loss, you may be wondering what course of action to take to get the treatment you deserve. There are a variety of health care professionals at your disposal, but hearing instrument specialists offer knowledge and skills when it comes to hearing aid evaluations, fitting and repairs.

What is a hearing instrument specialist?

A hearing instrument specialist is a trained to test and evaluate hearing, recommend proper hearing devices, fit your hearing aids and can handle a multitude of repairs. Because of their strong foundation working with hearing devices, hearing instrument specialists can help you really narrow down your options and find a solution that works for your particular set of needs and wants.

What do hearing instrument specialists do?

Hearing instrument specialists are qualified to help their patients overcome hearing problems in a variety of ways. First of all, they can test for hearing issues and determine the best course of action going forward for each patient. Secondly, they can recommend specific hearing aids if necessary and then dispense the devices to patients. Finally, they will also work with you to help you understand how to properly use your hearing aids, clean and maintain them and help you adjust to hearing the world around you again.

What are the benefits of using a hearing instrument specialist?

Most hearing loss is treated using hearing aids. Hearing instrument specialists have current knowledge of the latest technology and features, while being able to evaluate which type or style would best suit your needs. For more severe hearing losses, a behind-the-ear hearing aid might be recommended because it offers more power and a larger line-up of features. In contrast, completely-in-canal devices are much more discreet and are ideal for individuals with mild hearing loss. Your hearing instrument specialist will also help you evaluate which features are the best for your hearing loss, whether that includes multiple setting options, feedback reduction or directional microphones.

Don’t forget, your hearing aid gives you a connection to the wider world and it’s essential that it is working efficiently and comfortably at all times. Ask anyone with a hearing problem that wears an aid and they will all tell you that their relationship with their instrument specialists is as important as the one they have with their primary healthcare provider.

Why is this a long-term relationship?

As we discussed above, the chances are that if you wear a hearing aid you will be doing so for many years to come, so a good relationship with your hearing instrument specialist is critical. Over time, your hearing requirements are likely to change and you will need annual tests to establish the rate of that change. As your hearing gets worse or your ears grow and require different sized hearing aids, you will require new devices and your instrument specialist will be able to recommend, test and fit the perfect aid for your needs. It’s important to remember that losing your hearing can lead to isolation, frustration and even can lead to depression – but with the help of a trusted and friendly hearing instrument specialist, you will be able to remain part of society and retain your independence and social life.

How qualified are hearing instrument specialists?

The qualifications for a hearing instrument specialist can vary state-to-state, but typically require completion of an accredited program and must pass an exam. Following their educational course, students are required to take up an on-site practical program to give them the vocational skills they need to do the job before graduating. The student hearing instrument specialist will be able to put all these learnings – as well as things like the fitting and selling of aids, taking earmold impressions and repairing broken devices – and use them under the supervision of a fully qualified and certified instrument specialist professional. This period usually takes around six months to complete, although this can vary for each individual. After this final stage of training, the student becomes a professional.

Hearing instrument specialists play a vital role in the hearing health industry and it’s important to find the right individual or team to work with. If you are suffering from hearing loss problems and need advice on getting the right device, don’t hesitate to contact us here at West Family Hearing. If you have any questions with regards to our services or would like to make an appointment, you can call us at (425) 245-8507.

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