Hearing instrument specialists (HIS), or hearing instrument specialists, are hearing care professionals are trained with a specific focus on hearing aid technology. If hearing loss is affecting your wellbeing and you feel you may benefit from using hearing aids, an HIS will be able to test your hearing and recommend the best product to meet your needs. So, how should you go about finding one?

Locating a hearing instrument specialist

If you have any friends or family members who have dealt with a hearing instrument specialist in your area before, start by asking them about their experience. People are very quick to expand on very positive or negative customer service experiences, so this is a great way to get some in-depth information on your prospective HIS. If the person you are speaking to would recommend them, add them to your short-list.

The internet is another valuable search tool for finding businesses in your area. Try entering your town or city and “hearing instrument specialist” into Google and see what results turn up. All reputable hearing instrument specialists will have websites that outline their services and (hopefully) display feedback from previous customers. Positive customer feedback is a great indicator that you can expect high-quality service. If you find any local practitioners that you like the look of, note them down on your list.

Choosing the right HIS for you

Now you have your short-list of prospective hearing care providers, here’s how you choose the right one for you. This stage will involve some more in-depth investigation; it may involve you or a family member speaking to specialists over the phone or even going to meet them in person. Check each potential specialist for the following criteria:

  1. Hearing screenings: Most reputable specialists will offer initial hearing screens at low or no cost. These are basic evaluations (not to be confused with more in-depth testing) that will let you know if you need to have further testing completed.
  2. A wide variety of manufacturers in stock: You don’t want your choices to be limited if you choose to buy hearing aids, so make sure your potential hearing instrument specialist’s range is diverse.
  3. Friendly and approachable. This is perhaps the most important quality that you should look for in an HIS. Hearing aids are an important investment, so you want to deal with somebody who makes you feel comfortable and doesn’t rush you into a purchase. This is also important in terms of aftercare; it can take a little while to adapt to using hearing aids, during this time you need to be able to discuss any concerns you have with your specialist. It is possible that adjustments in programming and fit will need to be made to help you get the best possible performance from your new hearing aids, this means you will need to feel relaxed enough to discuss any difficulties you are experiencing with your hearing instrument specialist, at your follow-up appointment.

Once you find a hearing instrument specialist in your area that you trust in and feel is competent, schedule an appointment to have your hearing accessed!