The Best Hearing Aid Dealers in CA Sonoma County Are the Ones Proven Safe To Spend With
Hearing aid dealers in Sonoma County CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol are the hearing aid dispensers that have exceeded the minimum California regulatory standard. They are the hearing aid providers proven by our independent research to have passed the Top Ten requirements for value and competency, and for whom our staff has called previous patients to verify high satisfaction with them as dealers of new hearing aids in Sonoma County CA, including digitial hearing aids, hearing aid fitting, hearing testing, hearing aid repair, and more.
Updated December 17, 2018
The Best Hearing Aid Dealers in CA Sonoma County Are the Ones Proven Safe To Spend With
The state of California requires providers of hearing aids in Sonoma County CA to be licensed by the California State Board of Audiologists either as Hearing Aid Dispensers or as doctors of audiology (AuD) in order to conduct hearing tests, hearing aid fitting or hearing aid sales which requires passing an exam.
But even the state license is no guarantee that any particular provider of hearing aids in Sonoma County CA is doing business honestly, providing value, or satisfying clients or patients.
This makes it all the more significant that all providers of hearing aids in Sonoma County CA who bear The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have been cleared by our research staff as passing all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten status such as survey phone calls to previous patients to verify high satisfaction, good complaint record, verified liability insurance, verified license (as either hearing aid dispensers or as audiologists in Sonoma County CA), best business practices, and more.
Providers of Hearing Aid in Sonoma County Perform Numerous Services
For many, hearing loss is just another part of a progressing life. But these days, a lot can be done to help. Over time, new clearer and smaller hearing aid technology has become available to the hearing-impaired. The mid-1990s saw the introduction of digital hearing aids along with new cochlear implants and smaller devices that are virtually invisible. These and other devices, as well as the necessary maintenance and fitting, are available at the hearing aid centers in Sonoma County.
Hearing aid providers in Sonoma County are specialized centers of hearing loss treatment. Patients are generally referred by a general practitioner when preliminary testing shows hearing deficiencies, from mild tinnitus to complete deafness. The hearing aid dealer might be staffed by board certified specialists and audiologists. These professionals can conduct in-depth testing and customized diagnosis and fittings for a large client base, including children, adults, the elderly and occupational health cases.
Based on a doctor's recommendations, hearing dealer technicians may run audiometric evaluations, measurements of hearing sensitivity for air and bone conducted sounds, speech discrimination ability, speech reception thresholds, and assessments of middle ear function (impedance audiometry).
The results of such hearing tests may warrant the purchase of any of several different hearing aid devices. Hearing aid dealers in Sonoma County often accept government and private insurance. Hearing devices may be available for a free trial prior to the actual purchase, and follow-up warranties usually include in-house lab repairs and hearing aid refittings.
Providers of Hearing Aids in Sonoma County Sell Many Brands of Hearing Aids and Accessories
Hearing aid dealers and audiologists can often offer custom hearing aids are fabricated, fitted, and repaired on-site. The staff can educate patients and customers about the different options for their particular diagnosis, including pricing, clarity, durability, and other features. They'll be familiar with digital and analog hearing aids, bone conduction hearing aids, canal hearing aids, full-shell hearing aids, half-shell hearing aids, completely in-canal hearing aids, behind-the-ear hearing aids, wireless listening systems, and noise reduction circuitry.
These basic systems are better known as the following: ITE: in-the-ear units, ITC: in-the-canal units, MC: mini-canal, CIC: completely-in-the-canal, BTE: behind-the-ear, and PAC: post-auricular-canal-instrument.
Aside from the main speaker and microphone mechanism, hearing aid dealer employees can fit the core and tubing, curved tubing, custom ear molds, ear hooks, mushroom inserts, and straight tubing. Almost all hearing aid centers in Sonoma County take care of accessories and maintenance as well. They carry replacement hearing aid batteries, swim plugs, noise protectors, and hear-and-go aids. Sonoma County hearing test centers also carry several types of ALDs, or assistive listening devices.
They'll sell audio induction loops, infrared systems and FM modulated systems, TV listening devices, and telephone amplifiers. For specific hearing aid needs, investigate the available products and services of the hearing aid dealers in Sonoma County before you choose one.
Some Hearing Aid Centers in Sonoma County Are Better Than Others]
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these hearing aid centers in Sonoma County: Sears Hearing Aid Center Santa Rosa CA, Precision Hearing Aid Center Santa Rosa CA, Advanced Instruments Santa Rosa CA, Natural Ear Hearing Aid Labs Santa Rosa CA, Kenwood Hearing Center Santa Rosa CA, Millennium Hearing Services Inc Santa Rosa CA, Sonoma Valley Hearing Center Sonoma CA, In-Home Hearing Aid Service Sebastopol CA, Petaluma Valley Hearing Service Petaluma CA. Other providers of hearing aids in Santa Rosa CA that might still be in business include: .
Dealing with Local Hearing Aid Centers in Sonoma County CA
Step 1: Get Your Hearing Tested for Hearing Loss
You have the option to skip the initial doctor's examinations and head straight to the hearing test, which can often be provided by the hearing aid dealer (as well as a licensed audiologist or otolaryngologist). But if there are underlying medical problems (especially those that are correctable) resulting in hearing loss, only a medical practitioner can detect and diagnose them. Additionally, it is more likely that doctor visits are covered by your insurance. So it's always best to start with a medical hearing exam to rule out contributing or other health problems.
Step 2: Research Hearing Aids and Assistive Hearing Devices
If you already know which type of hearing aid or hearing device you need, do some outside research to price different brands and features and check your insurance coverage to identify exactly which are covered. You may find that the assistive hearing technologies you need are covered by your insurance or that there are alternative hearing therapies and hearing aids available that meet your needs and are affordable.
Step 3: Interview Local Hearing Aid Dealers in Sonoma County and Your Area
Call several hearing aid dealers in Sonoma County and ask questions about their business practices. In addition to pricing information, there are several things you should know before you sign a contract with the hearing aid dealers who will sell you hearing aid devices and help you care for it in the future with hearing aid repair, hearing aid inspections, and hearing aid battery replacement. Use the list of questions below to guide your questions. Take notes for the final comparison and determination.
- How long have the hearing aid centers been in business in Santa Rosa or your area of Sonoma County?
- Do the hearing aid stores give hearing tests on site? Or will you need to go to your medical professional or another location for a hearing exam?
- Are on-site hearing tests conducted by a licensed audiologist, otolaryngologist, or licensed speech pathologist?
- What hearing aid brands and models do the Sonoma County hearing aid stores carry and specialize in?
- Are the hearing specialists familiar with analog and digital hearing aids?
- What does the base cost of the hearing device include? (Ask to see a written breakdown.)
- What are the costs of any additional features associated with the hearing aid or assistive hearing devices you're considering?
- Do the hearing aid stores in Sonoma County charge a restocking fee after the (FDA-mandated) 30 day trial period?
- Can your hearing aid be adjusted remotely? Or will you need to come in to the hearing aid center for adjustments?
- Is there a fully-covered warranty period (including adjustments and reprogramming) on the hearing aid or assistive hearing device you're considering? If so, how long is it?
- How do the Sonoma County hearing aid centers price hearing aid repairs?
- Can the local hearing aid centers provide hearing aid repairs in their own store? Or will they need to send the hearing devices out for service and repair?
- Is there a discount or trade-in policy for hearing aid replacement upgrades?
Step 4: Background Research on Sonoma County CA Hearing Aid Sellers
After a preliminary assessment of the hearing aid dealers you've interviewed, look at the qualifications of those you would consider working with. All hearing aid professionals involved in the testing and fitting process are required to have state licensure such as the following: Audiologists must have at least a Master's level education and a California State license, which can be verified at the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board of the State of California. More established and skilled practitioners have earned a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) from ASHA, which can be verified at the ASHA website. The ability to dispense hearing aids is a separate certification, which can be verified at the Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau of California. Also verify their BC-HIS (Board Certification in Hearing Aid Sciences) at the NBC-HIS by emailing your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 5: Choose a Good Hearing Aid Dealer in Sonoma County or Your Area
Based on the interviews and sufficient certifications, make a final decision on the best hearing aid seller for you. Arrange for an appointment (or a walk-in, if possible) where you will get a hearing aid fitting and evaluate merchandise and pricing. The hearing aid center should also be able to help you determine whether your insurance will cover part of or all of your hearing aid purchase, and they should be able to help you find the assistive hearing aid devices that are most affordable for your budget and insurance considerations.
Step 6: Sign a Contract and Buy Your New Hearing Aids
If pricing, products, services, or warranties are not up to your standards, you still have the option to seek hearing aid services elsewhere. But if you feel comfortable with a particular hearing aid dealer in Sonoma County or your area, and after you've approved of the warranty agreement, pricing, and professionalism, it is safe to sign a contract and purchase your new hearing aids or assistive hearing technologies.
Tips On Sonoma County Hearing Aid Providers
Do You Want An Initial Doctor's Visit?
The FDA allows you to waive a visit with a physician and head straight to a hearing test. If your hearing problems are the result of an underlying medical issue, consider a doctor's visit before you have a separate hearing test. Your doctor may be able to perform this test anyway, possibly under your insurance coverage. Having a recent hearing test can be a good way to start your visit to a local Sonoma County hearing aid center. While some hearing centers also provide hearing exams, going in armed with knowledge about your hearing levels and any issues can give you a better starting point with local hearing aid shops.
Licensed Hearing Aid Dealers in Sonoma County Are Specialists
Hearing aid dispensers in Sonoma County are licensed and regulated by the State of California SLPA-HADB (Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board). To be a licensed H.A.D. (Hearing Aid Dispenser), one must take and pass the state licensing exam to show a proficiency in the specialty of hearing loss and hearing aid dispensing, fitting, and adjusting.
According to state law, no physician or audiologist who is not a licensed hearing aid dispenser may employ a hearing aid dispenser for the purpose of hearing aid fitting or hearing aid sales, except if affiliated with an HMO or PPO. Any arrangement that includes a fee or percentage of sales for the referral of hearing aids is illegal. Neither party can advertise the other's services; for example, a hearing aid dispenser cannot advertise "physician or audiology services available," and an audiologist cannot advertise "hearing aid dispenser on staff," unless he or she is a licensed hearing aid dispenser in Sonoma County.
The Binaural Advantage
Often, hearing loss is limited to one ear. However, this does not mean that a single hearing aid is the most beneficial solution to binaural hearing loss. Sound, like eyesight, requires balanced input to optimize the signal to the brain. One hearing aid can cause the other ear to strain and overcompensate, similar to the effect of wearing a single eye patch. Though the issue is still debated and circumstances may warrant special treatment, many dealers and doctors will advise against wearing a single hearing aid and suggest a pair of hearing aids, and with good reason.
Talk with your hearing specialist about the best course of action and products for your hearing loss situation.
Investigate Financial Aid
Hearing aids are expensive; there's no way around it. Many insurance companies offer at least partial coverage, but when it comes to a $500 to $8,000 price tag, most people need all the help they can get. Luckily, such help exists. HEAR NOW (1 800-648-HEAR) is a non-profit organization that might be able to offer financial support for individuals who are having a hard time affording their hearing aids and other assistive hearing technologies. For a listing of other related organizations, see the article, "Key Resources for Hearing Aids in Santa Rosa Area."
The Best Hearing Aid Providers Sell Good Brands of Hearing Aids in Sonoma County CA
Brands of new hearing aids available in Sonoma County CA include:
Starkey, Phonak, ReSound, Oticon, Siemens, Widex, Audicus, EarCentric, SimplySoft, Simplicity, Miracle-Ear, Zounds Hearing, Beltone, MDHearing Aid, Unitron, Binson's, Rexton, HearingPlanet,
Resources About Hearing Aids in Sonoma County CA
Associations & Licensing for Local Hearing Aid Providers and Hearing Aid Services
AAA American Academy of Audiology (www.audiology.org)
AAO-HNS American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (www.entnet.org)
AHAA American Hearing Aid Associates (www.ahaanet.com)
ALDA Association of Late-Deafened Adults (www.alda.org)
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (www.agbell.org)
ASDC American Society for Deaf Children (www.deafchildren.org)
ASHA American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (www.asha.org)
ATA American Tinnitus Association (www.ata.org)
BBB Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.com)
BHI Better Hearing Institute (www.betterhearing.org)
CAA California Academy of Audiology (www.caaud.org)
CICI Cochlear Implant Association, Inc. (www.cici.org)
CSHA California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (www.csha.org)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
Diamond Certified www.diamondcertified.org
HADBCA Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau of California (www.dca.ca.gov/hearingaid)
HLAA Hearing Loss Association of America-California State Association (www.hearinglossca.org)
HIS International Hearing Society (www.ihsinfo.org)
LHH League for the Hard of Hearing (www.lhh.org)
NAD National Association of the Deaf (www.nad.org)
NBCHIS National Board for Certification Hearing Instrument Devices (www.hearingnbc.org)
NHCA National Hearing Conservation Association (www.hearingconservation.org)
NIDCD National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (www.nidcd.nih.gov)
SHA Sight and Hearing Association (www.sightandhearing.org)
SHHH Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc (www.hearingloss.org)
SLPAB Speech-Language Pathology Board of the State of California (www.slpab.ca.gov)
Media & Web Resources for New Hearing Aids in Sonoma County CA
Hearing Health Magazine
Hearing Loss Magazine
If you need new hearing aids, hearing aid repair, hearing aid batteries or hearing tests, The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Hearing Aid Providers in Santa Rosa Area within the following zip codes:
95425, 95450, 95452, 95401, 94927, 95402, 95412, 95436, 95409, 95407, 95419, 95471, 95441, 94931, 95448, 94999, 95416, 94975, 95487, 95476, 94928, 95446, 94954, 95492, 94955, 95497, 95421, 95444, 94951, 94972, 94953, 95486, 94923, 95442, 95465, 95480, 95431, 95473, 94922, 95439, 95462, 95405, 95433, 95408, 94952, 95472, 95403, 95404, 95430 and 95406
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten hearing aid dealers in Santa Rosa Area within the following cities:
Agua Caliente, Alexander Valley, Annapolis, Asti, Bloomfield, Bloomfield, Bodega, Bodega Bay, Cazadero, Cloverdale, Cotati, Fallon, Forestville, Fort Ross, Freestone, Fulton, Geyserville, Glen Ellen, Graton, Guerneville, Guernewood, Healdsburg, Jenner, Kenwood, Lakeville, Larkfield, Monte Rio, Occidental, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Roseland, Russian River, Russian River Mdws, Salmon Creek, Santa Rosa, Schellville, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Stewarts Point Rancheria, The Geysers, Valley Ford, Windsor, Boyes Hot Springs, Camp Meeker, Duncans Mills, El Verano, Eldridge, Fetters Hot Springs, Rio Nido, Sheridan, The Sea Ranch, Villa Grande, Vineburg, Lytton, Mark West, Temelec and Two Rock