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Expertise

What should I expect when I visit a hearing care professional?

If you are experiencing hearing loss, it is important to get advice from a specialist you can trust. A good audiologist will offer you advice, assess your hearing, recommend a hearing aid, and adjust it to your personal requirements. Click here for valuable information on hearing issues, what you can expect on a first visit, what kind of help is available, and how the professionals are trained.

What is a Hearing Care Professional?

A hearing care professional or audiologist helps people with hearing loss. They treat people with hearing loss and ensure that hearing aids are correctly adjusted to the individual’s needs. They are also responsible for professionally maintaining the devices.

Connect Hearing professionals are certified Audiologists or Hearing Instrument Practitioners/Hearing Instrument Specialists. They uphold the professional practices and ethical guidelines set out by the national and provincial associations including the Canadian Academy of Audiology and Canadian Hearing Instrument Practitioners Society.

Under the guidance of our Director of Professional Practice and Professional Practice Committee, which is comprised of six of our leading Connect Hearing professionals from across the country, Connect Hearing professionals receive regular training that guarantees you are receiving our highest standard of care.
Man in industrial setting holding coffee mug

Where can I go if I have hearing loss?

If you notice the first signs of hearing loss, you should start by having the causes checked out. If you suspect that you may be affected by hearing loss, do not hesitate to contact a hearing care professional. This is the first step towards improved quality of life.

A hearing care professional or audiologist will determine whether you have hearing loss by offering a free hearing test. This includes an analysis of your personal situation and tailored advice on an appropriate hearing aid. The professional will accompany you throughout the whole process as your own personal expert: From the first discussion in the hearing clinic, to the fine tuning and regular maintenance of your hearing aid.
If you have had an on-site hearing test with a hearing care professional and hearing loss has been identified, you may also wish to consult with your general physician or ENT doctor. Your doctor can further investigate the causes of the hearing loss and may be able to  recommend suitable treatments depending on the type of hearing loss. With your permission, your Connect Hearing professional can coordinate with your docotor or ENT.

You should see a physician immediately if you are in pain.

What should I expect when I visit a hearing care professional?

Your visit to the audiologist will start with an individual lifestyle consultation, including a hearing test. The aim of this discussion is to gain an understanding of your personal hearing situation and your requirements. This includes both daily needs and leisure activities (e.g. meeting friends, watching television, theater, sport, etc.). You will be given comprehensive information and an individual hearing solution will be identified.

The hearing test does not take long and provides you with information on your hearing performance. You will be asked to sit in a specially equipped room, and sounds will be played to you through headphones. The audiologist will create a hearing curve based on your responses. This visual representation of your hearing ability is known as an audiogram. The results of the hearing test form the basis of subsequent personalized advice and procedures.
The measurements are then evaluated and an ear impression may be created for a special earpiece. Earpieces (earmolds) are individually manufactured to ensure optimum position and sound in the ear. They are combined with the hearing aid at a later stage.
 
Finally, the appropriate hearing aid is selected and adjusted. Our experienced hearing care professionals carefully match your hearing aid to your specific requirements using modern computer software.
At the hearing clinic
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You can now hear using your new hearing aid for the first time, which is a very special moment on the path towards better hearing and understanding.
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Your hearing care professional will explain the functioning, care, and storage of the hearing aid, and will carry out a performance assessment.
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The device will be fine-tuned once you have worn it for some time on a daily basis and have gained a first impression. Maintenance of your hearing aid is also part of the audiologist’s role.

What makes a good hearing care professional?

Not all hearing aids are alike, and the same applies to hearing care professionals. Buying a hearing aid is not like going to the supermarket. Hearing aid wearers need to deal with their devices on a daily basis. Individual adjustment and acheiving the perfect settings are particularly important. We have summarized the aspects that play a role in selecting the appropriate professional here:
Specialist skills
A trustworthy hearing care professional must have sound expertise in the specialist fields of human hearing and hearing aid technology. They must also be able to provide their clients with a clear explanation of the different types of hearing problems and the treatments available. Technical jargon does not generally help, as potential hearing aid wearers can only make a decision once they have a full understanding of the situation.
Patience
The learning phase for adjusting to new hearing aids may be quite lengthy: The hearing aid wearer may need to visit the hearing clinic several times before the right settings have been achieved for their maximum comfort. Clients should never feel that they are being a nuisance: A good hearing care professional is patient and pays attention to the individual client’s specific needs and requirements.
They offer solutions for your individual situation
The hearing care professional should always offer their client a range of technology levels and prices for the different models available for their individual hearing loss and should give a detailed explanation of the differences between them. If you believe your audiologist is only interested in selling you the most expensive hearing aid, you are definitely not in good hands.
Sufficient time for testing
The various hearing aid brands and technology levels typically have obvious differences in terms of sound, settings options, and extras. It should be possible to test a device in normal conditions for a few days to determine whether it is an optimal fit. The audiologist should always offer you this flexibility.
Experts for follow-up care
Once you have found the right hearing aid for you, you can start enjoying life to the full again! However, a good audiologist should also offer you follow-up support. Follow up appointments are equally as important as quick and competent help in the event of any problems with the device.

What does it take to be a hearing care professional?

Hearing care professionals and audiologists are required to complete a recognized professional training program. This training provides the knowledge and abilities that they require. A high level of empathy, friendliness, and good communication skills are also essential, as the audiologist’s everyday work involves direct contact with clients. Manual dexterity and an interest in technology and medicine are also key. Technical expertise must be complemented by commercial and social skills.
 
During their practical training, aspiring professionals learn how to provide their clients with the correct advice, how to support them in selecting the appropriate hearing aid, and how to adjust and maintain the devices. Once their training is complete, they work either at hearing aid companies, or for larger industrial hearing aid manufacturers.  

If you are interested in a career in hearing care, visit our Careers page to learn more.

Other topics

What is an audiogram?
How can I have my hearing tested?
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