Advanced Hearing Aid Center | Hearing Center Interview
Tom Roth, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA always knew he wanted to work in a helping profession, so he originally began studying psychology in college. When he became more interested in how the brain processes speech and people communicate, it led him to audiology. As a result, he’s been a practicing audiologist since 1978.
After a few years working in the field, Dr. Roth founded Advanced Hearing Aid Center in Fort Worth in 1985.
“I wanted to be responsible for caring for people one-on-one and get to know everyone who comes in the door,” he said. “I didn’t want to open multiple offices for that reason.”
Part of what makes Advanced Hearing Aid Center unique is the care each patient receives. Dr. Roth keeps a log sheet on each patient in order to identify and address all communication issues. The staff recommends aural rehabilitation and provides six to eight weeks of follow up care.
“We advocate aural rehabilitation so patients learn to recognize the missing sounds they haven’t heard in a while. It’s a process, just like physical therapy,” he explained. “You don’t turn a person loose until they come back and say all of the problems have been taken care of. It’s that level of care that sets us apart.”
Dr. Roth said his favorite part of being a hearing healthcare professional is getting to know about his patients’ families and lives. “We take meticulous care of people,” he said. “We do extensive follow-up work so that when we’re done with a person, they will come back in and say everything is good. The whole office has a very personal touch. Most of our business is referrals from our customers.”
The most challenging aspect of his job is getting his patients to tell him all of their communication problems. It’s the main reason he keeps a log sheet on each patient.
“They think of the most apparent details initially, but there are different sound environments they don’t encounter on a regular basis they forget to tell me,” he explained. “I want to know what those are so I can make a difference in those situations.”
One of Dr. Roth’s favorite hearing device success stories involves fitting hearing aids on three non-verbal children living in a foster home. “They were sullen and couldn't talk,” he said. “When we saw them for a follow-up visit, they’d all blossomed. Now they are talking and singing. Hearing aids really changed their personalities.”
Dr. Roth said binaural synchronization of wireless products is the most significant change in hearing technology he’s seen since he joined the field. The new technology reduces background noise and provides better speech discrimination.
“That’s the biggest complaint I hear,” he said, “being able to understand speech in noisy environments. Patients with hearing loss get in noise and just sit there – everything just passes them by. This technology takes them from being detached to being involved.”