Hearing & Balance Doctors

What Hearing Aids Should I Choose?

What Hearing Aids Should I Choose?

As doctors of audiology, our patients often implore us to “tell me about your hearing aids.”

Our patients are commonly under the false assumption that we have one specific hearing aid at our clinic that we recommend to all of our patients. This is not the case and requires a deeper discussion of hearing aids and what type of hearing aids we recommend for our patients.

Manufacturers

There are 6 major worldwide manufacturers of hearing aids: Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Signia, Starkey, and Widex.

These 6 manufacturers each have many different models of hearing aids. Then there are many smaller manufacturers each of which also have many different models of hearing aids.

The 6 major manufacturers dominate the hearing aid market in large partly because they have much more money for research and development. They simply have the newest technology and generally superior products.

There are differences between these major manufacturers — they each have their own strengths and weaknesses — but overall, they are fairly comparable. The smaller manufacturers are typically playing catch-up and are a few years behind on technology.

How We Stay Up to Date

At our clinic, we strive to stay current with all 6 of the major manufacturers and with many of the smaller groups as well.

We attend regular trainings and professional conferences. We also conduct our own in-house research comparing various models of hearing aids.

We use this information to help select the most appropriate devices for each individual patient. We have at our disposal hearing aids from all the major (and many of the smaller) manufacturers.

Long-term Care

Although we have literally hundreds of hearing aids to choose from, it is critical to understand that more important than the device itself is the clinic where it is obtained. A hearing aid, or any tool, is only as good as the professional using it. It is possible, for example, to get a great hearing aid but have it programmed poorly, fit improperly, and not regularly cared for in the long term.

At our clinics, we take great pride in doing things the right way. In other words, we take care to select appropriate hearing aids for our patients (usually from one of the “big 6” manufacturers), program the hearing aids accurately, fit the aids properly, and care for these aids over the long term.

Hearing & Balance Doctors Can Help You Make Your Decision

At our clinics, we employ only doctors of audiology – the most highly trained professionals that deal with hearing aids. If you or a loved one has further questions about hearing aids, our doctors would love to provide you with answers. Please contact our clinic at (435) 688-8991 to schedule a free consultation with one of our doctors today.

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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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