When it comes to your hearing health, you want to make sure you visit the right professional to take care of your needs. An audiologist is a medical provider who not only provides comprehensive hearing evaluations, but also diagnoses and treats hearing loss, in addition to other conditions of the ear. If you’re ready to take the plunge and get your hearing tested, consider the three tips below to help find the right audiologist for you!

1. Ask for recommendations

Ask your friends and family members if they know of any good (or bad) audiologists in your area. Discuss with them what it was exactly that made their experience positive or negative; as these might be factors you wouldn’t consider yourself. Even if the audiologist they recommend is well outside your search area, you can look for local audiologists with similar positive qualities.

2. Ask for a referral

If you think you may need to see an audiologist, talk to your primary care physician. For starters, they will be able to rule out any resolvable problems that could be affecting your hearing, such as infections and blockages, before validating your decision to see an audiologist. Getting a referral from your doctor is usually a wise move anyway, as many insurance providers will not cover the cost of testing without a doctor’s referral. Also, you can be sure that your doctor will only refer you to reputable practices.

3. Conduct an internet search

Using the internet to search for local audiologists is a great way to shine the spotlight on anybody who may not have come up in your recommendations or doctor’s referral. The easiest way to look for an audiologist in your area is to search “Audiologists in (your town)”, or you could search for hearing care providers in your area using a specialist search facility such as the one on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) website. Their database allows you to narrow your search based on the location, qualifications and specialties of certified audiologists.

Once you have followed these steps and compiled a short-list of potential audiologists, hold off from making your final decision until you have talked with each of them to get a feel for their practice and bedside manner. Once you have talked with the potential audiologists on your list you can make a decision based on the notes you took during the consultation.

Remember, you may be dealing with this person quite frequently over the coming months and years, so it is important they make a good impression on you at this stage. Good luck and happy hearing!