If someone told me that learning about hearing loss would be fascinating I wouldn’t have believed them and going into my meeting with the owners of Davis Family Hearing I fully expected a grand tour of their facility and lots of details about their state of the art equipment (zzzzz). I expected a conversation centered around what they do at work every day, filled with industry jargon that would be hard to understand as a person who has zero experience with hearing loss. While they do have all the best high tech equipment, are the only audiologists in the area with the ability to treat all ages (infants through seniors), and are certainly very well versed in the chosen career field, what I got instead was a lesson in the value of an audiologist and an understanding for the profound effects of hearing loss. The first lesson was interesting and the second came as quite a surprise.
Florida law allows for both hearing aid specialists and audiologists to dispense hearing aids. The difference? To put it simply, one is a doctor and the other isn’t. Being that they are doctors, audiologists are trained to perform a number of diagnostic tests and focus on diagnosing the underlying issues surrounding one’s hearing loss. A hearing aid specialist, however, does not have the same level of education and their interpretation and use of a hearing test is significantly more limited. Like many, I was under the (incorrect) assumption that hearing loss is something that affects elderly people. In fact, hearing loss does not discriminate by age or gender. It is also completely unique to the individual, with an infinite number of possible ways it affects one’s life. Dr. Davis characterizes hearing loss as a “hidden disability” because it is not a subject that is often talked about. Her stories about patients were heart wrenching and made me appreciate how devastating hearing loss can be. Stories about people who are embarrassed, who don’t want to annoy others by asking them to repeat themselves again and again, who eventually withdraw from social situations, who are characterized as having severe dementia when in fact they are just not hearing the correct words that others are saying. The similarity of every story was Dr. Davis’ ability to dig deep into her patient’s lives for a clear understanding of the effects that the hearing loss has had, and to counsel them (and their families) on correcting/coping with it.
For those with hearing loss, having an inappropriate hearing aid or having a hearing aid that is not programmed correctly means that they still cannot hear. Hearing aids are not one-size fits all and if they are not programmed correctly they don’t work. Imagine having poor vision and being given an incorrect prescription for glasses. In addition to having some major headaches you would feel disoriented, frustrated, and helpless. The loss of hearing drastically affects their lives, their relationships, and the people around them. Lots of people walk around with an issue that feels hopeless but could actually be easily corrected. Sad right? Speaking with Dr. Joanie Davis and Jim, her husband and president of Davis Family Hearing, their compassion for those who suffer from hearing loss is obvious. Anyone who meets with them will quickly and clearly see their genuine concern and their business practices mirror their patient-centered approach of wanting to help people hear better…not just sell hearing aids. Davis Family Hearing offers a full consultation, including an individual lifestyle assessment to discover each persons’ particular needs. Why would have a “basic” hearing test when you can have a full consultation with a Doctor of Audiology for free? If the diagnosis means that you need a hearing aid there is a 30 day free trial with weekly visits to make adjustments. If you don’t feel that the hearing aid worked for you then you return it and you’ve never given them one penny upfront. Why would you pay upfront for something you can try for free first? You only pay if you want to keep the hearing aid and included in the cost is routine maintenance every couple of months for the lifetime of the hearing aid. If you have already purchased a hearing aid elsewhere and feel like it’s not working for you stop in to Davis Family Hearing for the free hearing aid assessment…the issue may just be that your hearing aids are not properly programmed. Davis Family Hearing only charges a small one-time fee to adjust them and you get the same free routine maintenance every couple of months for the lifetime of the hearing aid! Also, just FYIhearing aid pricing can vary greatly, so call Davis Family Hearing first to ensure you are getting the best possible price and by law you have 30 days to return any hearing aid regardless of where it was purchased for a full refund if you were required to pay upfront (which is how many hearing aid specialists charge).
- Obtain a doctoral degree from an accredited institution
- Complete a supervised clinical practicum
- Complete 1 year of supervised professional experience
- Must pass the Educational Testing Services Praxis Series Examination
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
- Must submit an application, fees, and 3 letters of good moral character to the Department of Health
- Must meet the requirements of a six month training program and pass the International Licensing Examination (ILE) for the Hearing Instrument Dispenser
- Must submit proof of taking a two hour course relating to Florida Laws and Rules and a two hour course on the prevention of medical errors
10045 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613 or
11331 Little Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654