By Amy Bamrick

Highly affordable over-the-counter hearing aids are readily available. However, people often purchase these hearing aids without proper guidance from a professional. As a result, many people purchase hearing devices that are either too weak or too strong for their needs. They may also be required to set up their devices without any help, except for confusing instructions that come in the package. Sometimes devices do not include the features that were advertised, or patients are unable to manage certain features.

Research and analysis conducted by the American Academy of Audiology reveals that services provided by an audiologist significantly increase consumer satisfaction with hearing aids. For example, an audiologist performs important measurements, verifies hearing aid features, and conducts a formal lifestyle assessment to determine the unique needs of each individual.

The value of the results that people experience when it comes to their hearing depends upon the professional care they receive.

At Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, we embrace a holistic model that includes a review of an individual’s daily activities, lifestyle, and goals. Selecting a hearing aid that will accommodate their needs, and that is easy for them to manage, is essential to their success. Transparency in pricing is also important. This means that professional service codes and medical equipment must be priced separately, while still offering one package price for follow-up care, if needed or desired. The end result is significantly lower prices that include highly individualized professional care and recommendations.

Hearing aids are not cheap, however, they are an investment in your health. The quality of evidence-based care you receive in properly diagnosing and treating your hearing loss is important. Audiology appointments can be lengthy in order to make an accurate determination of your needs. They also include patient education and training, proper device care, and more.

Whether you are considering hearing aids, or have already purchased them, make an appointment with a qualified hearing professional to help ensure your success. Audiologists make the difference when it comes to hearing aid benefit and satisfaction, according to studies which reveal that patients with below average success are less likely to have received personal counseling from a hearing health professional.

Regardless of where you obtain your hearing aids, seek the help of an audiologist to make the most of your hearing health. Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center clinics are located in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, West Seneca, and Williamsville. Learn more at or call 716-885-8318.

Amy Bamrick M.S. Ed CCC-SLP is the Director of Clinic and Community Services at Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center.