You think it’s time to have your hearing tested and want to find the right audiologist. Friends and family are a great help, but it’s equally important to do some research of your own. With everything right at your fingertips, the internet is a great resource. Most audiologists have comprehensive, up-to-date websites with information you need to make an informed choice. Here are some tips on using the internet to find an audiologist.

Search professional organizations

These organizations provide continuing education and certification for audiologists, and membership signals a commitment to the profession and high ethical standards. Many of these groups have search pages on their websites, providing the names and addresses of audiologists in your area. These include The Academy of Doctors of Audiology, The American Academy of Audiology and The American Speech-Language Association.

Search for local audiologists

A search for “audiologist in your town” gives you an idea of the number of audiology practices in your area. An audiologist’s website should offer lots of information, not only regarding their location and hours, but also biographies, additional resources about hearing loss, upcoming classes and reviews.

As you check out these websites, evaluate what you see. Do you like what they have to offer? Is the website content interesting? Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and seeing a friendly face prior to your appointment could help put you at ease. Audiologists want you to know what they do and why it’s important, and their websites are reflections of their practices.

Search the local newspaper and TV station websites

An audiologist may be quoted in a news story or may be the subject of a news story. By checking the local media for the term “audiologist” or names you found while searching locally, you can get a little more insight into the person, as well as the professional.

Your town may have a regional magazine that produces a “Best of” series annually. Sometimes readers vote for winners, sometimes the editors choose the winners. Either way, it’s another resource you can find at the magazine’s website.

Search review websites

There are many consumer review websites on the internet and many include reviews of professionals such as doctors, lawyers and audiologists. You’ll have a chance to read how others rate the audiologist and evaluate the reviews. It’s important to make sure you’re on a reputable review site and that the review is accurate. Take into account the number of reviews and the tone of the review.

Using the internet to find an audiologist is an important tool, but it’s also smart to check around for personal referrals and recommendations. There’s a very good chance that if you like what you find online, you’ll be happy with the services provided.