Need advice on new aids

HearWHAC HearWHAC at
Fri Jan 12 00:08:02 EST 1996

In article <aahzDKxyGn.36v at>, aahz at says...
>Howdy, folks.  I've been wearing BTE aids for more than 20 years.  It's
>been 10 years since the last time I replaced them, and more than 5 since
>the last time I went to an audiologist.  Now the aids are starting to
>break down, and none of the places I've called will recondition them
>(surprise, surprise).

>5) I'm in the SF Bay Area, and I've traditionally gone to Stanford for
>an audiologist.  Looking around, I see some audiologists in independent
>practices, and some attached to dispensers.  What are some common
>advantages and disadvantages?  

I'll just comment on this one question. If I were purchasing a hearing aid, 
I would obtain it from someone who has been successfully fitting hearing 
aids in the same community for at least five years. Sure, I know, everyone 
has to start out but I would look around to find that person who has at 
least a five-year pattern of "success." (In our area, we have had a lot of 
audiologists start out dispensing hearing aids and then leave. This always 
is hard on the patients they leave behind.)

I would prefer to purchase the hearing aid from someone who owns their own 
business. There are a lot of ear, nose and throat doctors who need to make a 
lot of money so they own hearing aid businesses. But, a little known fact is 
these doctors actually know very little about hearing aids - they have had 
less training than you might think. They hire employees to sell their 
hearing aids. The more successful employees usually gain their experience in 
this way and then go out on their own.

Persons who have at least five years' experience and own their own practice 
usually can be depended upon to do a good job in my opinion.

Sure, I know there are a lot of "employee" audiologists who will disagree 
with me, but what I have said is pretty much true.

Like all things, I know there are some exceptions. We have at least one 
audiologist in our state who has more than five years experience and owns 
his own business that is in constant trouble with the state licensing board 
because of his practices. I would never want to buy a hearing aid from him.

Your questions are excellent! Thanks and good luck.

Paul Woodard :-)

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