UCB Parents Medical Recommendations

Audiologists

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Eleanor 7/99
Can anyone recommend a good audiologist in the Orinda, Moraga, Walnut Creek area? Has anyone had experience with Better Hearing Aids in Walnut Creek? My mother lives in an assisted living facility in Moraga and needs to get her hearing aid fixed or get a new one. I have spoken to Better Hearing Aids and they said the broken one can be fixed by the manufacturer, but they recommend getting a newer, more powerful hearing aid. Technology has improved, but her hearing aid is only three years old and the replacement cost is five to nine times the repair cost depending on the programmability. I want to make sure there will be enough benefit to warrant the expense.
7/99
I don't know any audiologists in the East Bay, but I have a couple of suggestions. First, there is a great website, www.hearingcenter.com, that has lots of general information. They also have audiologists who will answer your questions. I was getting conflicting recommendations from three audiologists, and wrote to ask for their opinion. They responded quickly, seemed to know all the relevant issues, and had a reasonable solution.

You could also call the Audiology department at Mills-Peninsula Hospital, (650) 696-5538, for a recommendation. They are independent audiologists, and don't have the same kind of financial incentive to steer you towards higher-end equipment that you might not need. However, they are very comfortable with the latest and greatest. I have been very happy with them.

The new technology is pretty amazing, but the incremental benefit over the older technology really depends on the configuration and degree of hearing loss. You should be able to have a trial period with the hearing aids they recommend. Also, I was told to expect my daughter's digital programmable hearing aids to last for only 3-5 years, so the hearing aids may need to be replaced anyway. Good luck!


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