BIG BOX RETIAL STORES, INTERNET, UHC/HIGH HEALTH INNOVATIONS or PRIVATE PRACTICE AUDIOLOGY?
Almost 50 million Americans have hearing loss in a least one ear. About 26 million Americans between the age of 20 and 69, have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure or loud noises at work or in leisure activities.
With hearing loss on the rise, the need for good quality healthcare is also needed. There are two types of groups licensed to dispense hearing aids. Audiologists, who are highly educated professionals with doctoral degrees and thousands of hours of training. This training includes anatomy, physiology and auditory neurology. The other group is hearing aid dispensers. A hearing aid dispenser is just that, someone trained to fit a hearing aids and nothing more. This group has very little education in the field of Audiology or training.
Hearing loss is a health issue. Big box stores, retail chains and the internet are not in the business of providing hearing healthcare, they are in the business of “selling” hearing aids.
If you are a candidate for hearing aids, our Dr. of Audiology has the education, knowledge and understanding of the auditory system and brain functions. With that knowledge, she can make adjustments to the hearing aids that are more precise and individualized. The other places, will adjust the hearing aids, as directed by manufacturers specifications instead of a case by case basis. Audiologists, are also able to determine if there is a health issues that needs to be taken care of, and referred to the appropriate physician..
We realize that price point is very important to our patients. Remember the old adage “You get what you paid for”. The hearing aids that are offered in these big box stores often have the same manufacturer as your local Audiologist, but, don't be fooled, these are NOT the same hearing aids. Manufacturers build devices specifically for these stores and typically they are watered down versions of the same thing. Hearing Aids offered via insurance companies are using unknown manufacturers, and do not allow Audiologists to have access to programming cables, parts, etc. All the service must been done via mail,with no professional one on one personal contact.
We realize hearing aids are an important investment for your hearing health, and for “keeping you in touch with life”. Satisfaction should be of the highest quality and this is directly related to the one fitting the devices. Though there is a difference in price point, being fit by a caring, compassionate, professional Dr. of Audiology, will help avoid the frustration of impersonal care, and poorly fit devices. Remember, CornerStone Hearing, is not about the “selling” of hearing aids. We are about complete hearing healthcare for each individual patient we are entrusted to care for.