Consumer Info on Hearing Health

 “Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people.”
- Helen Keller

Your Hearing Seems to be Fading – Where do You Go to Find Out?

There are several different places to start. In BC, you can schedule an appointment directly with a Hearing Instrument Practitioner. They have the education and training to identify a hearing loss that can be helped with hearing instruments.

If your hearing is first screened by a Hearing Instrument Practitioner, and there are indications that medical attention is warranted, the Practitioner will refer you to your doctor before hearing instruments are considered.

How to Choose a Hearing Instrument Practitioner

When you walk into a Hearing Instrument Practitioner’s office, you’ll either meet with a Hearing Instrument Practitioner or an Audiologist registered as a Hearing Instrument Practitioner. Both are trained to evaluate your hearing and fit and dispense hearing aids.

Hearing Instrument Practitioners must meet continuing education standards and are required to be registered to dispense hearing aids in BC.

The most important thing  when choosing a Hearing Instrument Practitioner is that you feel a level of trust and rapport with the person you are dealing with. Be sure to check out things like return-policies and warranties. These are very important for your long term happiness with any hearing product.You don’t want to get stuck with a product that is unreliable and non-refundable at the same time.

Selecting the right Hearing Health Care provider for you is very important – in fact it is as important as the instrument, its size, or price, as you will likely work with this professional over many years.

  • Your Hearing Instrument Practitioner will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your hearing loss, your lifestyle and your listening environment in order to select the hearing aid options that best suit your requirements
  • He/She will instruct you in the appropriate use of instruments and provide ongoing follow-up care and adjustments.

Select a practitioner who is registered in B.C., who has testing equipment in a sound-controlled environment, who can offer a variety of hearing products, who demonstrates competence in fitting hearing devices and continually updates His/Her training, listens to your wants, and offers continuing support.

You can be assured that practitioners who are active members in good standing with their professional associations are committed to your hearing healthcare.

Selecting a Hearing Instrument

You’ve had your hearing tested maybe even talked with your doctor or family and are ready to buy a hearing aid – or perhaps a set of hearing aids. Where do you start?

Your next visit should be with a qualified, registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner. They’ll be able to help you select the brand and model that best suits your individual needs and fits you most comfortably.

A qualified practitioner will take into account your lifestyle, your occupation and your environment among other factors. They’ll also help you find something that fits your budget. The overall goal of having hearing aids properly fitted is for you to be able to communicate with greater ease, confidence and comfort.

Hearing aid prices are based on the technology in the hearing aid and services provided. Size is an important consideration, but not everyone is suited to the newer miniature styles. Your Hearing Instrument Practitioner is there to help you make the best choice by matching their expert fitting skill with your personal needs for hearing.


The average in-the-ear Hearing Aid lasts 3-5 years, a behind-the-ear instrument may last 4-6 years or more. The lifespan depends partly on the care and treatment it receives, changes in the hearing requirements, physical changes of the ear canal.


Hearing aids require ongoing service. Maintenance and repair needs may increase with the age of the instrument. Factory repairs to hearing aids are initially covered by the manufacturers warranty, typically 2 to 3 years.

Your practitioner will provide you with details of your hearing aid fitting and policies. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to contact HIPSBC, please ask your Hearing Instrument Practitioner.

Long Term Relationship

Remember, once you’ve decided hearing aids will improve your quality of life, you are entering into a long term relationship with your hearing health professional. You want to be sure you’re comfortable in that relationship so it’s important to find someone you can work with. Members of HIPSBC meet the necessary qualifications to start that relationship. Members of HIPSBC and consumers can work together to create the most effective treatment plan for their individual needs.

Should you ever have an issue with a member of our society, please use the Contact page to attain satisfactory results.