You hear all the time how you are supposed to support local farmers and food producers by buying from markets and prop up our waning high streets by shopping with local traders. But you rarely hear about shopping locally when it comes to your hearing care.
Apart from the wonderful feeling you’ll get from supporting a local business you will also stand as a recipient of fantastic benefits from using your local independent hearing care provider. In areas ranging from knowledge of staff to comfort of facilities, a nationwide survey of hearing aid users placed local dispensers at the top, ahead of the NHS and other high street retailers (‘Which’, 2014). Let us name a few of the things those consumers learnt about buying local:
If we asked you to close your eyes and picture a hearing aid you would probably conjure up the image of a chunky device tucked rather conspicuously behind the ear in that unique beige colour. While this might be the case with NHS-provided care, it is a different story when it comes to local dispensers.
Through the great working relationships they have with manufacturers, local hearing aid dispensers, like Interhearing, are able to stock a wide range of hearing aid brands and models for a patient to decide between. We stock hearing aids that can interact with your smart phone and act as a hands-free device, that can link up to iPads and televisions to be used as headphones, as well as some that fit so snugly inside the ear they are invisible to the unknowing acquaintance.
Having this variety to choose from, allows local audiologists to advise you on, and provide you with, the best hearing aid to meet your individual need. This is important as hearing loss varies from person to person as does a person’s lifestyle. As a hearing aid will become such an integral part of your life it pays to get the right one.
Quick and Accessible Service
With an independent local dispenser there is no need to visit your GP or be put onto a long waiting list before receiving care. If you feel like you have hearing loss you can book an appointment with your local audiologist and be seen, in most cases, within a week.
Local dispensers are not just a one stop shop either, they will provide attentive and high quality follow-up care to ensure your hearing aids are working for you. Instead of being hidden behind the walls of a faceless organisation, local independent audiologists are accessible and able to deal with any issues quickly when they arise. They provide a friendly and familiar face and build fantastic relationships with their patients over time. Our senior audiologist John said “Meeting new patients and getting to know them over time is one of my favourite aspects of the job. Its very rewarding be part of the very real and enriching changes proper hearing care gives to their lives”.
Putting You in Control of Your Care
In a recent survey by ‘Which’ local dispensers were rated by consumers as significantly and consistently better than government services and corporate providers at explaining to patients their hearing problems, clear verbal and written communication, and dealing with questions and concerns (Which, 2014). Local independent dispensers are not under the same corporate and funding pressures as their competitors so are able to offer a bespoke and personal service for each patient, rather than simply signing patients up to a prescribed process.
At Interhearing we like to put the patient in control of the whole process. Our aim is for each of our patients to fully understand their hearing issues, so they can make informed decisions themselves. Being independent of any corporate obligations we can give completely neutral advice and provide the hearing aid that is right for you, irrespective of brand.
Overall, your local hearing aid dispenser is in the best position to help you find the hearing aid solutions that are right for you and the nature of your hearing loss. They can provide personalised ongoing care to ensure that you get the most out of your hearing aid. We believe, with something as important as your hearing, it is important to get the right care that is convenient and the best for you.