When it comes to your hearing, your local hearing healthcare professional is a wealth of knowledge. They are likely well versed in available products and have a good understanding of your personal information and lifestyle. Why is a second opinion by a different hearing professional a valuable resource, then? Let’s take a look at why WE think a second opinion is a great idea, and how the Hearing Aid Advisor can help.
The questions you ask about your hearing make a difference
Knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them is imperative to getting the best treatment, regardless of your medical need. A second opinion from a group not selling anything eliminates the concern of financial gain as a motivator for a specific product being recommended. We have also found that getting a second opinion can help allay a prospective hearing aid user’s fears and provide them with important questions to ask their local hearing healthcare professional.
Sometimes the way a question is worded and asked can make a world of difference. Here is an example:
How long can this hearing aid be adjusted?
The hearing aid can be adjusted forever, or at least as long as the software is available to link the hearing aid to the computer.
This answer is technically correct and even answers the question asked. However, it is not what was meant by the question. There are a lot of better ways to ask the question to get an appropriate answer that will provide the patient with more useful information.
Ask a better question, get better answers
Here’s how the question above could have been asked differently –
How long will this specific hearing aid fit my hearing loss, and how much reserve gain will this device provide me?
Your hearing loss falls in the lower portion of the fitting range for this device. This means it should cover you even if your hearing loss progresses over the next few years. Of course, nobody can predict a massive shift in hearing. However, assuming a reasonable rate of reduction in your hearing abilities, this hearing aid should cover you for several years. Also, technology changes every few years and the average life span of this style of hearing aid is 4 to 6 years. Based on this information, you can expect this device to last you 4 to 6 years, assuming you don’t have any major medical events that lead to a massive shift in hearing.
In this case, the two questions are both answered honestly and correctly. Although the two questions are asking the same thing, the way in which they are asked leads to two very different answers.
Ask about available hearing aid brands
Many hearing healthcare providers work with only one or two manufacturers of hearing aids. This brand loyalty is not necessarily a problem, however. In fact, many or even most hearing providers have specific brands they like to utilize. This bias generally comes from familiarity with software, features in the product, and/or better outcome measures with a product. We strongly recommend you ask your hearing healthcare professional why they recommend a certain brand of hearing aids. Brand loyalty is NOT a problem as long as it is providing the best benefit to the end user. Also, if your hearing healthcare provider is comfortable with a brand’s features and software, they will better be able to tune the hearing aid and identify and solve potential issues.
Get a second opinion about hearing aid brands
We understand loyalty and comfort with certain brands of hearing aids from a provider’s perspective. Furthermore, we understand the patient’s concerns to make sure they are spending their hard earned money on a product that will best fit their needs. This is why a second opinion can help – it can provide patients with the questions that will spark a conversation about best practices, leading to overall better outcomes with hearing aids.
The bottom line on second opinions
A second opinion is not an effort to steal a patient or direct them to another provider. We don’t have clinics, we don’t sell hearing aids, and we don’t even ask where you live. This second opinion is simply designed to help you, the end user, feel empowered to make an informed decision regarding your hearing healthcare needs.
Please remember that we do not know you as well as your local provider. Our recommendations are based solely on the test you upload and the questions you ask. There may be aspects of your social life that drive one need higher than another. A second opinion is for information purposes and will give you questions to ask at your next appointment.
Get a FREE second opinion today, download the Hearing Adviser App