Confused about hearing aids in Tampa Bay? If you are shopping for hearing aids you may be overwhelmed with deciding on what to buy and who to see. As a hearing aid user and a 40 year veteran audiologist I understand your frustration. I often walk in my patient’s shoes as I search online for hearing aid advice. Hearing aid blogs and online information is rife with conflict of interest links to advertisers.The huge full page newspaper aids placed by big hearing aid retail chains are ploys to to get you into their office for a sales pitch..
So how can you get the best hearing aid outcomes in Tampa Bay?
First and most important is to see a hearing doctor, not a salesmen. Audiologists have earned a doctorate degree in the hearing sciences while hearing aid specialist in retail hearing chains and big box stores need no formal academic degree before they are licensed to sell you hearing aids. See a doctor of audiology, not a commissioned salesman, if you want a proper hearing exam and intelligent recommendations about everything from hearing aids to surgical implants. You can find a hearing doctor by searching online for an audiologist or doctor of audiology. Also most ear nose and throat surgeons employ doctors of audiology.
Beware of salesmen in white coats. Advertising a doctor’s name is sometimes a ploy used by hearing aid stores. Specify that you want the services of a doctor (Au.D.) not a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) when making appointments. Some retailers have audiologists on staff as consultants but they are not available for patient treatment.
The least important element when shopping for hearing aids is the brand name. Stick with one of these six world renown brands and you won’t go wrong; Starkey, Oticon, Widex, Phonak, Resound, Signia. Beware of any brands with a different name or you may lose the ability to get a doctor’s support. Big box stores such as Costco and retail chains like Audibel sell hearing aids that may be built by one of the big six however they convert them to generic and unsupported versions by coding the aids computer chip with private passwords. If you buy one of the big six I mentioned above then you can go anywhere and any place for service and repairs.
The Doctors of Gardner Audiology repair and sell all major brands of hearing aids at our 7 Tampa Bay locations. Call 1-800-277-1182 for more hearing aid advice.