Arizona Hearing Center June 2019

2627 North 3rd Street Ste. 100, Phoenix, AZ 85004 | 14418 West Meeker Blvd. Bldg B, Ste 102, Sun City West, AZ 85375

JUNE 2019

602-277-4327 | www.azhear.com

We Don’t ‘Sell Hearing Aids’ We Treat Hearing Loss

Often, when a patient asks me if they can buy a hearing aid from Arizona Hearing Center, my response leaves them puzzled.

loud, or are exceedingly uncomfortable. No matter the problem, if a hearing aid is not appropriately selected and adjusted, it won’t serve its intended purpose and treat hearing loss. I want to stress that the fault of this broken system rests with care providers, not patients. Our standard advice to patients used to be, “Go buy hearing aids.” Beyond that, they were left to fend for themselves. As I mentioned last month, a Consumer Reports study found that nearly two-thirds of hearing aids don’t meet the prescriptive needs of a patient. It’s not hard to see why. Given that hearing loss is the absence of detection of sounds, a patient is not able to determine if the devices are presenting at the appropriate volume. Simply put, patients do not know what they are not hearing. that might not work for them and started treating their hearing loss in-house. We begin by assessing the patient’s listening lifestyle to understand their needs. If you are somebody who loves listening to music at all hours of the day, you’re going to need a different solution than somebody who only wants to hold a one-on-one conversation. Understanding these needs is crucial in selecting and fitting a treatment device that will be reliable for years to come. To reverse this trend, we have stopped sending people off to buy a product

From there, we work in close collaboration with the patient to ensure the aids are meeting the patient’s hearing prescriptive need. Not all ears are the same, so it is essential to validate the output of the hearing aids while the patient is wearing them. This is accomplished with an Arizona Hearing Real Ear Measurement. Only then do we send a patient on their way, but they will follow up with us on a regular basis to monitor their hearing health and to ensure the hearing aids are performing as best as possible. This is much better than just "selling hearing aids," right? I firmly believe we need to provide the high level of hearing care that people actually need rather than just telling them to "go buy hearing aids." With excellent hearing care and service, we can reduce the number of people who suffer with ill-fitting, improperly working hearing aids. We then know we are helping our patients to get their hearing loss well-treated.

“We don’t sell hearing aids,” I tell them. “We treat hearing loss.”

Part of their confusion is understandable. Patients can

purchase a hearing aid directly from us, so, technically, we do sell hearing aids. However, my answer does serve a specific purpose. I don’t want patients to think a hearing aid is a product they’d buy like any other. Instead, hearing aids are part of a comprehensive solution to treat their hearing loss. "I firmly believe we need to provide the high level of hearing care that people actually need rather than just telling them to 'go buy hearing aids.'" For nearly as long as hearing aids have existed, they’ve been treated as a commodity. Most people end up buying hearing aids from the same place they get their meat, trash bags, and toilet paper. And these commodified hearing aids often don’t work properly, make everything too

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