Over the past two years, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth (virtual visits with doctors/professionals) has become more widely used than ever before. Teleaudiology (a virtual visit with your hearing healthcare provider) limits the number of face-to-face interactions needed to customize your hearing devices, however, does not eliminate the need for in person visits. Teleaudiology is used with a cell phone or tablet that is paired to your hearing devices. It is done via an app on your device. If you are interested in a virtual visit, ask your audiologist so he/she can walk you through the steps of preparing for your visit.
The first visit with your audiologist will include case history, otoscopy to determine if there is a build up of wax or other outer ear issues, a hearing evaluation performed in a sound treated booth and the demonstration of hearing devices if warranted. If hearing devices are warranted, you will return for a second visit for the fitting of the devices and an orientation on how to use them, insert and remove them and clean the devices. Unfortunately, these services cannot be provided virtually. It is very important that your initial visit for evaluation and fitting are in person in our office.
Once you have become comfortable with your devices, a Teleaudiology appointment may be helpful. During our virtual visits, we can connect to your hearing aids and make programming adjustments. If you notice difficulty in a certain environment (i.e. work, restaurant, church), we can set up a virtual appointment to make adjustments to your devices while you are in that environment so you can determine benefit immediately.
If wax in the ears, dirty hearing aids or a problem with cleaning or inserting the hearing aids is occurring, a virtual appointment will not be beneficial. For these issues, it is best to give our office a call for a face-to-face appointment with your audiologist. If you aren’t sure whether a telehealth appointment is right for you, give our office a call and our front office will guide you in the right direction!
Ashlee McCloskey, Au.D.