Ask Dr. Ann

What is the most significant change you’ve seen in your industry over the past year?

With advancements in technology, audiology and hearing aids can now be offered as a fully mobile service. From the initial consultation, testing, diagnose to treatment, Doctors Hearing can fully take care of a patient in the comfort of their own home.

What about further in the future?
Treatment for tinnitus (ringing in the ears) has significantly advanced over the last 10 years. Previously, patients were told, “I am sorry, but there is nothing we can do for you. You will just have to learn to live with the ringing.” Current tinnitus treatments are highly effective in reducing ringing in the ears. However, I am excited to see what the next 10 years hold for advancements in tinnitus treatment.

What are three key challenges your industry is facing?
The three key problems facing Audiology, in SWFL, can be summed up in one phrase, “Sales, sales, sales!” Unfortunately, just about on every corner and even in big box stores, hearing aids have sadly turned into a retail industry. Since when do people shop for medical treatment in retail? And most patients are not informed that there is a difference. In fact, in Collier County I could count on one hand the number of Doctors of Audiology. Yet to most outside of the field, it looks like there are dozens of medical professionals. In reality, there are dozens of sales people. My advice to patients searching for proper medical care is to look at the credentials and work with a Doctor of Audiology. Just like a dentist is the doctor to see when one has problems with teeth, a Doctor of Audiology is the professional to see when one has problems with hearing loss, tinnitus or balance.

What is your “superpower?” What strength or talent that has contributed most to your success?
I worked in private practices in Naples for 7 years before opening my own practice. I would hear the same complaints from patients over and over, “I cannot drive…I do not have transportation until next week… The office is so far away” In SWFL there is a demand for aging in place. Many older adults want to keep their independence for as long as possible. In opening my practice, I knew that I wanted to meet this previously unserved need.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Doctors Hearing, Dr. Ann Rasmussen.