How long will it take to assess my hearing?
30 minutes is allocated for each hearing test. If you have normal hearing it may take less than the allotted time.
How is my hearing tested? Will it hurt?
Standard hearing assessment will involve both a hearing test and tympanometry testing.
For children under 3 years of age we use two different procedures to assess hearing: VROA and OAE’s. Visual Reinforcement Orientation Audiometry (VROA) involves using a sound field speaker and teaching your child to look for a puppet in a lighted box each time a sound is audible to them. Using this test we are able to ascertain if they have adequate hearing for speech and language development.
The other procedure is called Otoacoustic Emission screening (OAE’s) which involves placing a small dome into a child ear canal opening and delivering a ‘clicking’ noise. The test procedure is not at all painful and if the child passes it indicates good cochlear outer hair cell function which is required for normal hearing.
For anyone over 3 years of age we will attempt to test them using Pure tone Audiometry. This involves wearing headphones while we present varying frequency tones to ascertain the softest audible sound you are able to hear. For children between 3-6 years of age, responses will be obtained by using a conditioned play task while older children and adults will press a response button to indicate when they hear a sound.
What is Tympanometry testing?
Tympanometry is a test of the middle ear function. The middle ear incorporates the eardrum, and middle ear Ossicles- the malleus, incus and stapes bones. Testing tympanometry allows us to ascertain if there is any dysfunction through this part of the hearing system.
What is the difference between DOCS Proplugs and moulded earplugs?
DOCS proplugs are a manufactured earplug that can be used to provide protection from getting water in the ears without causing a significant change in the hearing. They come in 8 different sizes and will be individually fitted to ensure they will be effective in keeping water out of your ears. COST: $32 per pair
Moulded Plugs: These are plugs that are individually moulded into the ears by taking a personalised impression. They can be used for water protection or hearing protection. Moulded plugs can be done and taken on the same day if we use Otoferm Protect material COST: $40 per pair, or can be sent to GN Resound for moulding into swimmers plugs , hearsaver plugs or musician earplug: the cost of these will vary depending on models ordered.
I need hearing aids. How do I know what hearing aids I need?
Before hearing aids can be prescribed a hearing assessment is required. Once a qualified audiologist has tested your hearing, they will be able to recommend the hearing aids which are most suitable for your hearing loss and tailored to your individual hearing problems.
How much do hearing aids cost?
Hearing aids can vary greatly in cost, starting at as little as $650 per hearing aid up to as much as $4900 per hearing aid. The features and benefits you receive will change as the cost of the hearing aid changes. Which is most suitable for you will depend on your lifestyle and listening demands.
If you are a pensioner, Veteran, or on a disability pension you may be eligible for Government funding towards the cost of Hearing Aids. You can find out If you’re eligible by visiting https:/hearingservices.gov.au
What are the signs of hearing loss?
It is common for your family and friends to notice your hearing loss before you do. Hearing loss is a normally a gradual process and you may not notice that you are missing out on things for some time.
The most common early signs of hearing loss are:
You need to increase the volume of the television to hear what is being said.
You find you have trouble understanding when there is competing noise or you are listening in a group.
You can hear but not always understand.
Do I need two hearing aids?
If you have two ears with hearing loss, you are recommended to wear two hearing aids.
Consider if you are at a restaurant with a group of friends. Would you be happy to hear only the person on one side of you?
A hearing aid in each ear, if you have hearing loss in both, allows your brain to process information from both sides. This helps distinguish what sounds are closer to you in comparison to competing noise in the background.
Hearing aid technology allows some hearing aids to communicate wirelessly with each other. Using this technology we can provide significant improvement in how your hearing aids are able to cancel annoying background noise which is not possible if you are wearing one hearing aid only.
Do I really need a hearing aid?
When you visit an audiologist they will assess your hearing using a standard pure tone hearing test accompanied by a speech discrimination assessment. This assessment helps the audiologist determine what speech sounds you may be having trouble hearing and how well you understand speech information presented in quiet and noise.
But this tells us only part of the story….
Whether you really need a hearing aid depends on a lot more than just your hearing test results.
As a general rule, if you are finding that there is a point in time every day or several times a week where you would like to be able to hear better, hearing aids will be beneficial for you.
If you are hearing quite well and only find you have difficulty hearing occasionally, you might not require hearing aids yet. You may find that talking with an audiologist about how to optimise your hearing will provide some benefit.
At Annandale Audiology we are happy to discuss the potential benefits of hearing aids for all levels of hearing loss but the decision to have hearing aids fitted is left to the client.
Pensions & Veterans Affairs
If you are on a Centrelink pension or hold a Veterans Affairs Gold/White/Pension card you may be eligible for free or subsidised hearing services including hearing aids. To find out more call 1800 500 726 or go to the Office or Hearing Services website
Private health Funds
Private health funds provide rebates on hearing aid purchases for eligible customers. Please check with your health fund if you are eligible for a rebate on hearing aids. In addition, you may be able to claim them as a health cost deduction in your annual tax return.