Hearing & Balance Doctors

Three Things to Know Before Purchasing a Hearing Aid

Purchasing a hearing aid can be an intimidating process. There are many options, and no one wants to make a bad decision on something as important as their hearing.

When advising people, I always give them three points of advice.

  1. Find a good local clinic. Make sure you are comfortable with the audiologist and the staff that will be helping you. Look at the credentials of the professional with whom you are dealing. A doctor of audiology (the highest credentialed professional that deals with hearing aids) will have the letters “Au.D.” following his or her name. Masters level audiologists and hearing instrument specialists (H.I.S.) are other professionals that deal with hearing aids. To find a provider, it is often a good idea to ask friends and family members, ask your family doctor, or even look online for reviews.
  2. Have a longterm service plan. Hearing aids need regular servicing. Traditionally, the long-term service of hearing aids has been included in the price. Recently, some audiologists and some health insurances have separated the cost of the service from the device itself. This makes the up-front cost lower but also means you will pay for the service over time. Neither method is right or wrong, but it is important to plan for long-term care.
  3. Choose the right device. This is an important factor for success, but it comes third. Selecting an appropriate device requires trusting your audiologist to help you choose something that meets your audiologic needs and your individual anatomy. It is also important to select a product and service plan that meets your budget. You may want to discuss optional features for your hearing aids such as Bluetooth, rechargeable batteries, or water resistance.

Our clinic, Hearing & Balance Doctors, is staffed entirely by doctors of audiology who help our patients select appropriate devices and create long-term individualized treatment plans. Call us today for a free consultation (435) 688-8991.

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Dr. Ryan Whitaker

Dr. Whitaker joined Hearing & Balance Doctors of Utah in 2009. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brigham Young University in 2005 with his Bachelors of Science in Audiology and Speech Pathology. He then received his Doctor of Audiology from the University of Arizona where he minored in Cognitive Neuroscience (the study of how people perceive sound). While at the University of Arizona, he specialized in evoked potentials, specifically researching Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials and the Acoustic Change Complex. He gained clinical experience at Tucson Ear, Nose, and Throat; St. Joseph’s Hospital Balance Center; Arizona Hearing Specialists; and the Center for Hearing Impaired Children. Dr. Whitaker was raised in Orem, Utah with three older sisters and a younger brother (who is also an audiologist). His grandfather was a cartoonist for the Walt Disney Studios where he drew Donald Duck and many characters in Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland before starting the BYU Motion Picture Studio. Dr. Whitaker is married and has three sons. He is passionate about college football and also enjoys hiking in Southern Utah, reading, and traveling. He has traveled extensively through South Asia including Thailand, India, Nepal, and a church mission to the Philippines.

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