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Deborah L. Berndtson, MS, CCC-A
Choosing a Professional to Meet Your Hearing Health Care Needs
SONUS Hearing Care Professionals - Alexandria

Choosing a Professional to Meet Your Hearing Health Care Needs

Hearing loss is as individual as a fingerprint. When choosing a hearing health care professional, you should find someone who will take the time to listen to you so that your needs will be understood. Below is a suggested list of recommendations for a complete evaluation with follow up care
Thorough case history to determine the causes of your hearing loss, appropriate testing and if medical referral is necessary.
Otoscopic examination to inspect outer ear for abnormalities, wax buildup and/or infections. An audiologist is able to remove wax or debris from your ear canal.
Needs assessment to determine communication difficulties in the order of importance.
Audiometric testing to determine the degree and type of hearing loss. Included are pure tone testing, speech testing in quiet and noise, and loudness discomfort levels for speech and tones. Tympanometry and acoustic reflexes to assess the functioning of the middle ear. Results of these tests will guide the hearing health care professional to assess whether a hearing aid is recommended or if a medical referral is needed.
Counseling and hearing aid evaluation to identify the need for a hearing aid, types available, styles appropriate for the hearing loss, and the patients lifestyle and financial needs.
Based on your needs, a hearing aid purchase should include a warranty for the instruments from one to three years. Also included may be services and batteries for the hearing instruments for a specific time period. This should be spelled out in your purchase contract.
Availability of a wide range of models of digital hearing aids from the leading manufacturers with a varied price range.
Hearing aid fitting “real ear” measures are taken to measure the performance of the hearing aid in the patients ear.
A trial period of 30-75 days, with 75 days being the longest in the profession. The Commonwealth of Virginia and State of Maryland both require 30 days as a minimum trial period. During that trial period, patients are encouraged to return for adjustments and counseling as needed.
At the end of the trial period, a follow up needs assessment is given to determine if the patients needs have been met or if another type of amplification would be more suitable.
Appointments are scheduled for periodic follow ups, generally at three month intervals, to assure that hearing aids are working properly or to troubleshoot problems.
A full line of accessories to help patients care for their hearing aids may also be available. With summer here, one accessory that helps to reduce moisture in hearing aids is the Dry & Store storage box. It is available in a large size for home use and a small size for travel. The larger home version also has a disinfecting light which may sanitize the hearing aids and reduce symptoms of itchy ear canals.

MD (301) 805-6805 | VA (703) 288-3130