If you haven’t been hearing well lately, you may decide to seek the help of a hearing instrument specialist (HIS). A HIS is a professional with a state license to guide patients on their choice of hearing aid. Some people call them hearing aid dispensers because they help fit and distribute hearing aids

What does a hearing instrument specialist do? 

Patients will sometimes order hearing aids off the internet and fit them themselves, hoping for the best. But if you want to make the right choice of device, it’s always best to go to a HIS. HIS are trained professionals who spend their careers helping you find right hearing aids. A HIS performs multiple functions to help you choose the right hearing aid. 

Give hearing tests

To find the right hearing aid for your variety of hearing loss, you need a hearing test. HIS carry out hearing tests and then interpret the results for you. Specific tests you may receive include otoacoustic screening, air and bone conduction tests, speech audiometry and pure tone screening. 

Take ear impressions

Many hearing aids have an earmold – a piece of material on the exterior of the hearing aid that conforms to the shape of your ears. The purpose of earmolds is to make wearing hearing aids comfortable. Hearing instrument specialists, therefore, take impressions of your ear to send off to manufacturers. Manufacturers then create earmolds, made just for you. 

Help you choose hearing aids

There are a vast range of hearing aid makes and models on the market today. And because of this, navigating them as a regular consumer can be a challenge. For this reason, HIS are here to help. They point you in the direction of the type of hearing aids that will help you the most. 

And they introduce you to the various features you might want to consider. Modern hearing aids come with a vast array of technologies, some of which could benefit you profoundly. 

Repair hearing aids

HIS also assist in repairing faulty hearing aids. Because hearing aids go everywhere you do, they are prone to damage. Moisture, for instance, can get into battery compartments and prevent devices from working as they should. Damage can also affect the delicate wiring that leads from the microphone to the speaker. 

HIS have special training and experience that lets them diagnose hearing aid issues. They can carry out repairs and tell you whether a hearing aid repair is possible.  

Provide advice

If you have hearing loss you often just need a professional who can answer your questions. Here again, a HIS can help. Because hearing instrument specialists deal with hearing-related issues day after day, they are in an excellent position to provide advice. You can get their help on a range of topics from hearing test results to hearing aid features. They will be more than happy to help. 

Hearing instrument specialists are professionals

To become a HIS, candidates must complete a high school diploma and then receive rigorous training. The courses they undertake combine classroom work with distance learning. HIS must complete a minimum number of supervised hours before they can practice independently, a process that takes up to two years. 

To get a license, hearing instruments specialists must complete the training program recognized by their state and then pass a final exam. The test usually includes both practical and written elements and is examined by a board of examiners. 

All hearing instrument specialists must go through a background check to ensure that they can work with vulnerable patients. And to ensure that they maintain their professional standards, they must complete a minimum number of continuing education hours semi-annually. 

Get a HIS to help you with hearing aids

As discussed above, hearing aids can be confusing and, often, you need guidance. That’s where the Center for Better Hearing can help. We provide information on hearing aid evaluation and selection. We also offer hearing dispensing and fitting, as well as hearing aid repair. 

If you’d like to find out more about what we do or get help, call us at 510-768-7091. We would love to hear from you.