Finding and choosing an audiologist is the first step when it comes to taking control of your hearing and any potential hearing loss. If you are worried that you might be experiencing a loss of hearing, this can be a difficult and worrying time. Yet some people also find it embarrassing and struggle to know how to talk about it with their family, let alone with a professional.
Firstly, you should be reassured that this is a very normal diagnosis that happens to millions of people, and there are many ways that an audiologist can help you to retain a fantastic quality of life. All you need to do is find one, and prepare yourself to start the steps that you’ll need to take.
Why is it important to get professional help?
As soon as you start feeling concerned about your hearing, it’s important to get professional help right away. If untreated, hearing loss can have a drastic effect on your life. It can lead to other health issues such as depression, dementia and an increased risk of accidents as you become slightly less aware of the world around you. Hearing loss can also affect your close relationships, your energy levels and your confidence, as you may find social interactions more difficult than before.
A good audiologist, however, can work with you to find solutions for all these potential consequences, often heading them off before they occur. With expert treatment and an audiologist to advise you on hearing loss, hearing aids, protection, sound levels and tinnitus, you need not let hearing loss influence the rest of your life.
Locating an audiologist
Finding a quality audiologist is an important first step in finding the right care for your ears. There are a few solid ways to start looking for an audiologist, all with their own benefits. You can use any of these, or a combination, to help you find the best audiologist to suit you and your needs.
Firstly, and perhaps most easily, you can search online for an audiologist who operates in your local area. There are many databases that allow you to locate particular specialisms, or you can use a general search engine to get a wide range of options. When you search online, it is a good idea to browse several websites from different audiologists, to get a feel for who you would like to go to.
Remember that this is a person you will be talking to a lot, and trusting to give you long-term advice, so it’s important for you to find someone who you trust and who you feel you can talk to freely. Many places online will also allow you to see reviews of a particular practice, or even an individual audiologist. This way, you can be informed by the experiences of many people who have gone through the same process before you.
Find recommendations from family and friends
If you have any family or friends who have experienced hearing loss, they should be your first port of call. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask them who their audiologist is and see if they would recommend them.
You might end up with a glowing recommendation from someone you trust, meaning you can go to your appointment feeling completely confident that you will be in the best of hands. If you’re asking friends and family for recommendations, it’s also a brilliant way to receive support from them through your process and have a person with whom you can talk about all your experiences.
Get a referral from a physician
Finally, a great way to locate a professional and expert audiologist is by receiving a referral from a physician. If you visit a clinic and describe your symptoms, a physician will be able to direct you to the exact person that you need, including if there are any specialist areas that you might want your audiologist to know about.
Physicians will have good relationships with audiologists who they trust, and to whom they have successfully referred patients in the past. By using this route, you can be assured you’ll end up visiting an audiologist who has the trust and respect of others within their profession.
Ultimately, experiencing hearing loss is not something you should have to do alone. Finding a professional audiologist who you feel confident trusting with your hearing is a vital part of this. To find out more and speak to someone, contact The Speech & Hearing Center today at 423-622-6900.