How to Choose Your Hearing Care Provider in Canada?
Finding a reliable hearing care provider is just as important as a family doctor, gynecologist, dentist, and so on. We often don’t think about seeking a hearing specialist until later in life when hearing issues start to surface. With thousands of hearing care providers across all of Canada, it’s vital that you know what pros and cons to look for and make the right choice. This is your detailed guide to choosing your hearing care provider in Canada that best suits your lifestyle and health needs.
It’s important to search for a hearing care provider that is within easy reach of your current residence. Find the nearest clinics and then work your way farther out if the nearby ones don’t meet your expectations. Contrary to popular belief, visiting your hearing care provider is not a one-time errand, especially if you have a serious hearing impairment and need to wear a cochlear implant or hearing aids. For tests, fittings, cleaning, maintenance, and consultations, you’ll want to find a provider that isn’t a hassle to visit. Also, in case there is a hearing emergency, you don’t want to drive across town to get to your clinic. Luckily, there are hundreds of hearing clinics in the area to choose from, which means you won’t have to go to great lengths to find one at a reasonable distance.
Ask for Recommendations
Ask your neighbors, friends, family, and even a Google search for reviews and recommendations. There are hundreds of thousands of hearing clinics in Canada, which can make the process difficult to navigate when you only rely on independent research. By hearing what feedback others have to give, you can choose your hearing care provider based on some factual information instead of going into it blindly. You may even be able to find a specialist in a clinic that you may have never considered before, thanks to a strong recommendation from a friend.
Inquire About Testing and Consulting
Find out as much information as you can about the provider’s procedures. Do they do hearing testing? What types of tests are free and which are paid? Online tests are typically free but only give general insight to any hearing problems you have while professional, in-clinic testing is more accurate in detecting issues. What about consultations? A hearing test is often free along with a first-time consultation. When you become a regular patient, free consultations from time to time are often included with getting hearing aids, for example. It’s best to be informed about all of this in order to choose a care provider that you can get the most out of.
Find Hands-on Support
Regular checkups, adjustments and testing are vital to making sure that your hearing aids work well for as long as possible. That is especially true for patients with chronic hearing issues who wear hearing aids. Getting fitted for hearing aids is not a one-time procedure. Tests, fittings, consultations, and regular upkeep are necessary to ensure you get the most out of your hearing aids. With that in mind, it’s important to find a care provider that offers hands-on treatment for as long as you need it, whenever you need it. Finding such a provider that you can rely on will make the process of treating your hearing issues much easier.
Ask Questions During the Appointment
Your 1-on-1 session with a hearing care specialist should be a dialogue, not a monologue. Don’t be afraid to ask questions — and a lot of them. That will give significant insight about whether or not their services align with your lifestyle and health needs. Ask about anything from the tests that they run to the price, packages, warranties, consultations, procedures, and recurring assistance. After all, you don’t want to entrust a clinic with your hearing health only to be disappointed a few months down the line and end up searching again. Some people make the mistake of choosing a clinic, getting their hearing tested, fitted for hearing aids, and only just then finding out that the clinic doesn’t offer maintenance or upkeep of the devices throughout their lifetime. What works for one person doesn’t always mean it will work for another. It doesn’t hurt to ask if you have specific needs and preferences in regards to your hearing health.
Signs You Need to Change Your Hearing Care Provider
Not sure whether the new clinic that opened down the street is worth giving a chance or whether you should change your current hearing care provider? Here are a few tell-tale signs that you may have encountered a clinic that isn’t as professional as it claims to be:
- The clinic doesn’t customize the treatment plan for you. Every person’s degree of hearing loss is different. Every person’s lifestyle is different. And finally, every person’s ears are different. If a clinic/specialist is not keen on customizing a treatment plan by offering custom fittings for hearing aids and treatment plans that revolve around your everyday lifestyle, then you are certainly getting a generic treatment that may be ineffective.
- The specialists aren’t licensed or certified. This is certainly one red flag that you can immediately pinpoint. You should only seek medical treatment and assistance from licensed hearing specialists.
- They persuade you that hearing loss can be reversed with hearing aids or implants. Hearing aids are now quite innovative devices and are optimized with immense features. However, no one should deceive you into thinking that wearing hearing aids can reverse the damage or restore your hearing to normal. This is a common misconception that many patients are not aware of, and it showcases the level of unprofessionalism displayed by the specialist if they make such a claim.
- There aren’t any free tests or trial periods. The majority of providers offer free hearing quizzes and trial periods for hearing aids, so if a clinic wants you to pay for every single step in the treatment, this gives the impression that the clinic values making a sale more than providing patients with comfort, reliability, and quality services.
Hopefully, this guide will assist you in finding the ideal hearing clinic in Canada for you!