Looking for a new Audiologist

I have appointments set up with two local Audiologists to discuss me being a new customer with Widex Hearing Aids I’ve used for almost four years. I am not satisfied with my current Audiologist. I don’t think I was ever fitted using Real Ear Measurements or ever had a Sensogram. My HAs have been okay but since they were my first pair, I have nothing to compare them to. I still have problems with some speech recognition but figured that was normal. I would like to update to a newer model of Widex in the Spring maybe and want to make sure I am with the right fitter.

Is it possible for me to ask for a verification (using REM) of my latest hearing prescription with my current HAs? I would hope they are not locked. Can anyone give me an idea of how much they may charge for the Verification and any needed adjustment? My insurance (medicare) does not cover it.

Yes absolutely you can, any audiologist clinic would do that for you, as for cost, I’ve heard of up to $300, shop around and get quotes.

Highly unlikely that your last fitter would have done that.

I did the same with my HA’s that I got in Jan. Brand new audi, and while I like her well enough, she does not do REM, and didn’t really think they were all that important.

But it was very high on my list and so after I got the new instruments I went to a diffrent audi and just paid them to do the REM. After the REM test was done, she said the the results weren’t super far off from my existing settings but let me the hear the difference, and I kept the new settings.

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Well I visited the first “Audiologist” on my list today. It was HearUSA through AARP. It was a little disappointing when he he said he thought the new Signia AX was great and that he didn’t like Widex HAs because they were too complicated. Customers had trouble with their apps and poor connections. He said he would readjust my Widex Unique Fusion 220 at no cost but that he would probably need to have a Widex Rep walk him through it. He said Real Ear Measurements were “Baloney” and just set the HAs at their maximum and ended up being too loud. It was then that I figured the Widex was too complicated for him and not necessarily his customers.

I did ask him about pricing and what he told me about Signia was comparable with Widex. I asked him about AARP Discounts and he said he didn’t bother with that because they only jacked up the prices to compensated for the discount. He was a nice enough person but, needless to say, I thanked him and left.

Next week I see an “Audiologist” that deals exclusively with Widex. I keep the “Audiologist” in quotes because I think most in my area are Hearing Aid Specialists and dispensers. I probably have to travel to “The Big City” to see a bonafide Audiologist.

When you call to make an appointment can you ask what Brands they prefer to work with? I really don’t want a sales pitch on one particluar brand.

You are learning quickly that like with most service areas there are people who are more or less skilled/competent.

Absolutely fine to ask on phone what brands are offered. Many Members here believe that a good connection with the fitter and their listening to your needs and adjusting HA to them is more (or far more) important than the brand of HA. While each MFG has their own approach AND some have a characteristic “sounds” that for some (certainly not all) the fitter is more important than the brand. Some fitters are very competent with the software for multiple manufacturers; some even if they offer multiple brands might be some or a lot more skilled with one software over another. At all places you should be able to audition 1 or 2 brands/models before signing a contract.

If you are no more than a 3 or 4 hour drive from a city with a Costco hearing center, some members have found that the enormous cost savings was very worth the time, expense, effort in driving as the cost savings was often >$5K and that the skill and service were fine.

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That’s a poor state of affairs.

Widex software isn’t particularly complicated; the inbuilt Sensogram is always a good intermediate verification for both the in-situ performance of the aid and the initial audiogram.

When he said REM’s were ‘baloney’ you could have just walked out then tbh. We don’t run them on every annual check, but on new fits and physical changes like dome size/venting they’re pretty useful.

Take your time. Consider seeing an independent audiologist. If nothing else for the comparison. Going to an audi that only sells one brand certainly limits your options

I had the same situation and went to my university hearing clinic for a 2nd opinion. I figure that the teach this stuff and will employ best practices. They were superb and found that my hearing aid was underperforming by a lot.

Why would you go anywhere that only carries one brand? Or better yet why would an audiologist only carry one brand. That makes even less sense

I chose this particular “Audiologist” that only dealt with one brand (Widex) because

  1. That is what I am currently wearing (Widex Unique Fusion 220 ~ my fist HA ~ and
  2. have decided to just do a comprehensive/adjustment check without buying new HAs right now.
  3. He does REM and offers LACE.
  4. He is listed as only 1 of 2 audiologists in my area that is on Hearing Tracker’s Provider list.

My appointment is tomorrow and I’m looking forward to someone not trying to sell me a new HA… I may be ready to buy new HAs next year or the year after but right now I have Widex accessories that work, a dubious Android hybrid flip phone and I’m not in the market for a new iphone.

This forum has greatly helped me to understand what is out there and what I should be aware of as a HA wearer and consumer. The amount of knowledge that I was not privy to before is overwhelming.

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This is not uncommon, it happens because those clinics are owned by the manufacturer.

Hearing Industry Map Download

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Not that I’m making accusations but that’s exactly what I was thinking about an audiologist that carries one brand

I think you have to dig a little deeper. Yes on the surface it looks like a big concern if they deal with only one brand of HA. But then you do your homework. How long have they been in business, What kind of education and experience, how many employees in their clinic/office, what kind of advertising? I would think he/she would be an expert by now on the one brand they have. He/she can probably answer most all your questions and has the proper equipment and best practices…Especially if they are on the Hearing Tracker provider list.

Just my opinion. This forum is alerting us to the pitfalls so I thank you for your input.

Several times daily someone posts “It’s not the HA, it’s the fitter (audiologist, HIS, or whoever)”. So a person who’s ‘specialized’ in only one brand would likely be adept at fitting that one brand to everybody. (I believe I have read several posts from a provider that sells Starley exclusively, prehaps he could expound on my hypothesis).
Auto manufacturers have done this for years with apparent success.
I think that we (Americans at least) feel that we have to have options. Choices are all important so that we can be sure that we got “The Best Deal”, or"The Best Product". So naturally we gravitate to a dealer with 6 or 12 brands, he entre lines of each, and a full range of accessories- glass showcases atrfully arranged with attractive manufacturer displays, the “Best Buy Sydrome”.
As to if this really helps us or not I don’t know, out brains can only handle so much input and we’ll either end up trusting the person behind the counter or make an informed decision on the didplay material, a friends recomendation, or even a forum favorite.

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Wrong. We go with the best hearing aid that lets us hear the best. I’ve learned that not all hearing aids sound the same and not all aids work the same or has software that handles thing the same. There no such thing as one aid works for everyone. I already agreed with the op that he should do what he’s most comfortable with. But I don’t have to have all the latest accessories. As a matter of fact I have none. But I have learned that to think one aid can be adjusted for my loss and will then work just as well as any other aid is ridiculous. I’ve tested oticons and resound and phonak and no aid sounded the same. And while I explained how I didn’t like the sounds of the oticons or resound others have stared that they liked them and that’s fine
The op stated he liked the Audi and he liked the aids he has and that’s great. But we shouldn’t label anyone who needs to try different aids or needs a high end aid or the accessories that are available. Maybe they need them to get by. I spend a lot of money on my aids and don’t like it. It’s not because I want to walk around with the best aids . It’s because they’re the ones that work the best for me. After being allowed to trial as many aids as I want. Lucky me . On this forum I’m always shocked when someone who has a hearing loss makes a statement that I expect from someone that doesn’t know anything about hearing loss or hearing aids. Ok. I’m done venting. And I fully support the op and the decisions he’s making. Any comments I made were to help and not criticize

The audiologist does have a great impact on how well you can hear.

I got some Phonak Naida S V back in 2011. I really struggled to hear with them so I paid a private audiologist to program them. It took 2 hours but my word, no hearing aid has done as well as the Naida S V with the right programming from an experienced audiologist.

I really wish I still had them and hadn’t upgraded as no hearing aid has preformed as well.

I never said the audiologist didn’t. But he can only do so much based on the aids capabilities. You can’t get a tiny Ite hearing aid made for a mild loss and adjust it for someone with a profound loss

@hass5744, You asked a question about as to why some audiologists who sell only one brand, I posted a rationale why SOME do so. You are certainly entitiIed to your opinin, but that’s all it is. Just checked my Bible, guess what, you aren’t God. Sorry, but you snipe at people here as if only you have all the answers. You have many fine answers, but you can’t tell people how to think. If a guy choses a particular mode to run HIS business that is his choice, you run yours but let him run his. If you will reread my post I did not say “hass5744 says…” I realize that to contradict anything you say results in a swift slapdown. I’m neither intimidated nor cowed.
I personally believe that equiptment of any sort will quickly gather a group who believes it is best for them, others who will swear it is the best, and some who don’t care - “whatever works”. A person with a more severe loss would very likely be more particular about his HA’s, IMO. Simply a case of less room for error. A person with minimal loss will, again in my opinion, have a wider range of suitable products.

Also, you intimate that I labled some people, I fail to see that in my post. I do see numerous typos (typical for any post I make) but not one instance of me placing a label on anyone.
And I stand by my first line - I do see many posts where someone states that the fitter is more important. True? False? Situational? I don’t have an opinion, I was only making a case why someone would carry only one brand . I wear Polo brand of pants and only khaki color. Day in, day out for 30 years. If you don’t, you aren’t wrong, and you get to dress yourself - but so does everybody else.
Your opinions on why an audiologist would carry only one brand were in no way meant to help the OP, they were meant to criticize someone. A third party no less!
You know what shocks me? My mother told me to say “I respectfully disagree, and here’s why…” or “That doesn’t work for me, have you tried…” but apparently that is not universal. Absolutely shocking!
Lastly, I fail to see how my expressing an opinion is cause for you to “vent” other than you simply cannot handle any disagreement, no matter how minor or well intended.

There’s a fairly white ranges of aids availabile for people with a severe to profound loss. If all hearings were made the same then yess an audilogist who sells one brand would probably be the best at adjusting the hearing aids. But all aids are not made the same. Consequently an audi who sells one brand means he has one aid available for say a profound loss and had to try to fine tune that aid to fit the buyer.i have never found anyone with identical losses so the adjustments at best are a compromise. With multiple aids available the buyer can decide what he feels is best and whether adjustments can be made so he hears best. With multiple aids there is choice. With one brand no choice. Just saying. You can try to fine tune till the cows come home. Been wearing hearing aids for 45 years. Have trialed an incredible number of different aids. Have yet to find two that sound exactly alike. And I’ve never bought an accessory because it’s cool

So I had my appointment with Riverside Hearing Services (the one man clinic that only deals with Widex ). I was quite impressed. I spent 4 hours with him and he did follow the “Best Practices” listed on this forum. He agreed to completely refit and reprogram my 5 year old Widex Unique Fusion 220 HAs. He performed an Otoscopy and then he cleaned my HAs and tested them and they were still in good shape with no defects. He then had a conversation with me with different background noise levels and I couldn’t understand anything he said. I was given a bunch of tests in 2 different testing booths and he studied the programming on my HAs. He concluded that changes were definitely needed.

He said that my HAs were set way too loud for me and I figured that’s why I was always lowering the volume all the way with the volume control program the last Audiologist set up for me. Also he did some physical measurements and told me that my HAs were not fitting properly and he eventually changed my receivers from size M1 to M3, and gave me different domes. My glasses stopped falling off. He explained the need for me to hear my own voice properly…and we even went outside and I could hear him perfectly even though we were next to a busy street. At my request he gave me the volume control program again and then added a music program and changed my Phone program (which only boosted the volume) to the T-Coil program which is what I thought I already had. We did not complete a speech mapping but will do that at my follow up visit. When I asked him why it wasn’t done, he felt with the Widex programs and his particular testing and my level of hearing loss (audiogram) that it wasn’t necessary but we can do it at my follow up visit if I wanted.
I was even able to pick up a Widex Com_Dex at a discounted price. I will be setting up a follow up visit if needed and have no problem seeing him at least once a year for an new Audiogram and any HA adjustments…until I get new Has. If I decide to get Widex again, I will go to him.

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