Choosing a reputable hearing clinic
Difficulty hearing in noise; noticing your partner asking you to repeat yourself more often; trouble hearing the grandchildren. Once you start noticing hearing loss, you may start looking for a reputable and trust-worthy hearing clinic. Googling ‘hearing test near me’ is one way to start, but let’s look at some other considerations prior to investing time, money, and emotion, into caring for this vital social sense.
Fair and ethical treatment
Depending on your experience with hearing care you may be surprised to learn that around 75% of people who take up hearing aids for the first time, do not continue wearing them. Why is that? And how do you avoid becoming a statistic?
When considering a hearing clinic, Cleveland, and the Redlands more broadly, offers a long and bewildering list of options. How do you know who to trust to put your interests ahead of their own commercial or personal interests?
People shouldn’t be afraid to do something about their health for fear of being sold to. Yet, the sales commissions are common in the hearing industry. At A Better Ear we feel so strongly about sales managers telling us how to practice hearing care, that we started our own clinic! Personally, we feel uncomfortable consulting with a healthcare professional whose pay increases the more you spend. Our advice is to consider a hearing clinic with this in mind and develop clear goals before you get started.
What are your goals?
Most people start by saying ‘to hear better’. Great start! But hearing is super complex. It’s worth putting some time into working out when, and where, you are struggling to hear. Take notes for a few days. Are you struggling at home communicating with your partner? Is the TV the problem? Or are you someone who works long hours in a people focussed role, and are you required to be at the top of your game in large outdoor settings, crowded conference rooms and on video calls?
Once you know what you want, you’ll be able to determine the right hearing clinic for you.
Shopping centre healthcare
Increasingly consumers are confronted with the convenience of shopping centre healthcare. Fortunately, we have not yet reached the point where you are being invited in for a quick 5 min endoscopy, and people aren’t quite ready to choose a heart surgeon based on a screening performed by retail sales staff. So why has hearing care fallen into this trap?
Many clinics is Australia are owned by hearing aid manufacturers or global chains. Although the clinic may not carry the hearing aid manufacturers name, they represent that manufactures retail sales division. Within this model of care hearing aids provide the manufacturer with excellent margin and profitability. Over time this has resulted in tension between clinicians who wish to practice ethical healthcare and the prevailing retail sales model.
It’s a bit like going to an Apple store for healthcare. The act of attending selects the product. The consultant then tries to match that product to your needs.
Audiologist vs. Audiometrist
In Australia these professions are misunderstood, and the terms interchanged, but there is a difference.
An audiologist has a much wider scope of medical practice. Requiring a Masters’ qualification, an audiologist has a comprehensive understanding of the auditory system. They have a minimum of 2 years intensive post-graduate university training. This is critical to understand diseases of the ear when consulting on hearing health. Furthermore, Audiologists have a superior understanding of the link between hearing and cognition, the complexities of tinnitus, and can provided a comprehensive diagnosis and rehabilitation based on evidence.
An Audiologists training isn’t solely focussed on dispensing hearing aids. Rather their focus is on treating the person from a health perspective.
When searching for an independently owned hearing clinic with an Audiologist on Google, check their reviews. ‘Google reviews’ are a great barometer for patient satisfaction. How many 5-star reviews does the business have? What are people saying about the clinic?
A Better Ear has been serving the Redlands for over 3 years (as of April 2022) and has over one hundred and thirty 5-star reviews.
“Blown away by the service, dedication, and attention to detail!”
“It’s great to see such a professional, thorough, well-researched and dedicated service in the audio field here in Cleveland.”
“I can’t speak highly enough of my experience at A Better Ear. Penelope takes the time to explain what she is doing at each step of the assessment.”
“No pressure or pushing of more expensive products.”
Word of mouth is hard to beat, so make sure you ask your friends if they can recommend a clinic.
How do I get started?
Disclaimer: All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion. Eligibility for, and services available under the Hearing Services Program may change. Please check the HSP website for up-to-date details.