With so many different health specialists and different fields of medicine, it may seem intimidating to identify the right doctor to suit your personal needs. However, when it comes to finding the right audiologist it’s important to do a little research and put some thought into the factors that are important to you. There are plenty of things to take into account when deciding which doctor is best for you:
Some insurance providers require professional referrals to cover hearing specialist visits.
An audiologist is a professional who specializes in evaluating and treating hearing loss. Audiologists offer a variety of treatment options, including dispensing and fitting hearing aids, providing hearing rehabilitation services, and conducting balance testing. A doctor of audiology’s title will include Au.D. and it means that they earned a doctorate in audiology. If their title ends with M.S. or M.A., they earned a master’s degree in audiology. If you’re working with someone with a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology, they are certified to perform audiology services but may not be able to perform some procedures themselves. Audiologists commonly refer patients to a physician if the hearing concern needs medical or surgical evaluation.
Some ear conditions, like the occasional infection, are often treated by your primary care doctor. However, for more unique ear problems, your doctor may refer you to an Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) specialist. ENT specialists have at least five years of specialty training and have passed a certification exam from the Board of Otolaryngology. They’re qualified to work with congenital ear disorders, balance disorders, tinnitus, chronic ear infections and hearing loss. Many ENT specialists are practicing audiologists, or have an audiologist on staff.
“Are appointments easily accessible?”
Is your doctor’s office friendly?
Are appointments easily accessible? Do the receptionists make you feel comfortable and welcome? Does your doctor listen to you when you tell him or her that you’re having issues? These are all things that you should take into account while looking for the right audiologist. If you aren’t happy with your current doctor, talk to friends or family members about who they’ve seen treated, or ask another doctor for a referral to a new office.
Do they take your insurance?
Hearing treatments and hearing aids can be expensive without insurance coverage. Be aware of what services are covered under your insurance, and which services you would be expected to pay for separately. Before making an appointment with a doctor, check that the office accepts your kind of insurance. Some insurance companies require a professional referral before visiting a specialist. To avoid confusion, check with your provider before making an appointment.
Pick a location close to home
It’s still important to find a location that is as convenient for you to get to as possible.You want to be able to get to the doctor’s office to have any concerns addressed as soon as possible. There can also be frequent visits involved, depending on your treatment. Choosing an audiologist’s office that is nearby will help ensure you are able to get the most out of your visits.