When a person comes to the realization they need assistance with hearing difficulty, their first step is critical for success. In consumer fashion, some fall for the loss leader trap in an advertisement featuring a lowball price on hearing aids and a free test from a sales person. This acceptance to a solicitation is to get something for next to nothing without realizing you cannot apply typical consumerism to a medical issue.

Please tell us why anyone would seek out a retailer or discount store for any healthcare need and expect a positive result.

For the individual to venture down ‘Price Road’ is to self-inflict disappointment, waste money & time, and derive a blanketed negative opinion upon all of hearing health care.

Once the individual has exited the minefield and is seen by a private practice audiologist for their hearing loss, recommendations will be made including specific amplification. I evaluate patients and document hearing loss on a daily basis. In counseling, they are advised that the best patient I have is the person whom is motivated to acquire the hearing aids and wear them every day. If they are not motivated to get the hearing aids and wear them every day, I tell them not to waste their time and money. The patient has to be in the proper mindset in accepting the realization they have a hearing loss and want to do something about it.

Usually the patient is accompanied by a spouse or family member for the evaluation, fitting of amplification, and all follow up counseling & aural rehabilitation sessions. The in-office professional services and home environment is critical to the patient’s success.

As a professional private practice audiologist, I provide counseling on proper handling, use, care and maintenance of the devices in addition to computerized acoustic adjustments for listening comfort, performance, and effective communication. The patient is given aural rehabilitation and support for listening strategies in a variety of environments to ensure maximum daily use. The person is given the tools they need to face the world.

The other component critical to their success is the understanding, care, and support by the spouse, family, and friends when they leave the office. This two pronged approach (office and home) help this patient in their adjustment to their new hearing aids. With a positive outlook and support from everyone, the transition to & adaptation of digital amplification is smoother.

Recalling an event involving one patient ended tragically. Following the evaluation with a review of the results and recommendations, the patient was afforded an overnight demonstration and use at no charge to experience better hearing. This patient and one offspring returned to my office the next afternoon and completed the state-mandated form and purchased the devices. This person loved their new found hearing. The patient was seen for a couple follow up sessions for counseling, aural rehabilitation sessions, and review of their progress. The data logging feature tracked usage at almost 13 clock hours per day. On the 29th day of the 30 day evaluation period, the patient’s other offspring returned the devices. Apparently, the first offspring from out-of-town who accompanied the patient for the initial visit and all other follow up sessions had created and maintained a controlling approach to the daily use and the experience became negative. The joy this patient experienced in a renewed, positive quality of life, and ability to hear better had become irreparably damaged due to the first person. The overall behind-the-scenes negative family dynamics led to the downfall of any success and soured the patient on keeping the digital amplification. The patient had not been allowed ease of daily use as had been counseled but rather had been browbeaten beyond what was good use. This person of advanced age will undoubtedly never take that step again to better hearing.

When a patient makes a giant leap into better hearing, the family must provide positive support and assurance of this wonderful quality of life change. This support ensures their success. Without it and/or placing them in a negative environment of daily interaction, this new hearing person will fail and reject their hearing aids.

If you or someone you know is experiencing hearing difficulty or are dissatisfied with their current devices or provider, it is time to seek help from a private practice audiologist today.