Why do people hate their hearing aids?

Uff. Occasionally a person comes in a dismisses the entire profession of audiology and it bums me out. The person was mad that I didn’t just sell a hearing aid without including all the office visits. They felt those should be separate. I could see that it really didn’t matter what I said. They just saw me as a shyster.

It’s kind of like being mad at an orthodontist for charging you $6,000 for a bunch of wires and thinking their education isn’t really that important.

I think the thing that helped the most when I said, “Treating hearing loss isn’t just slapping on a hearing aid.” You spend an hour choosing the aids. You spend an hour or two fitting them. And then you spend an hour educating patients and family about how hearing works. And then hearing changes and you have to fine tune it some more. And the ear canal changes, so you have to change the shell or the dome. And then wax gets in the speaker, the wire breaks, the bluetooth gets disconnected…. People come in all day for follow up. I have to emphasize to patients that they’re not bothering me. That’s just how it is with hearing aids. They need regular checkups and tweaks. If I charge for all these little maintenance visits, people don’t come in. This is why so many people hate their hearing aids. Not enough testing, fine tuning, education, or follow up.

As an aside, I was told once that a dispenser said that audiologists and dispensers take the exact same test to get their state license. True. But like I tell my kids, a certificate or associates degree teaches you how to do something. A university degree teaches you how things work, in depth. That way if something weird happens, you have half a chance at figuring out why and how to fix it.