50 Million American Suffer From Tinnitus – So Why Aren’t They Flocking To Your Practice?
The market for treating tinnitus, a complex auditory condition often associated with ringing in the ears, may represent one of the newest opportunities for hearing health professionals. About 50 million Americans are believed to suffer from some form of the condition, and about 12 million of these are characterized as severe enough to require medical treatment. Currently, there is no single treatment regimen that has proven successful, perhaps owing to the multiplicity of possible causes—from noise-induced hearing loss to ototoxic medications to sinus infection—and the differing degrees of disability.
“People generally don’t seek help for tinnitus because they still feel like there’s nothing that can be done about it,” says Richard Tyler, a University of Iowa professor who specializes in tinnitus.
Although there is no one better to bust this myth than hearing care professionals. “It’s important for clinicians to utilize their counseling skills and prepare to help with not just devices, but also by providing some counseling,” Tyler says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for hearing health professionals to get involved and help these people.”
Give and gain support
One way to provide tinnitus support and find new clients is by starting a tinnitus support group in office or online. You could also open the discussion up on your practices social media page that can be run by a hearing therapist and are used to help tinnitus sufferers feel less isolated.
Not only are they beneficial to the tinnitus sufferers, but they are also useful for hearing health professionals who are looking to grow their business. Running a free support group in your clinic can help open your doors to several new clients.
But the challenge with groups is that they take up a lot of time, one way for a hearing care professional to save time and still offer support is to provide a place for a group to meet and find a client advocate to run it. Professionals can also be a guest speaker for an existing tinnitus support group to offer advice and information about their businesses.
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