Please find attached additional information to some frequently asked questions or areas of concern. Due to the complex and vast amount of information this section will be added to as time goes on. If you have a question that this section or the website does not answer please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to assist you.
Hearing Tests & Hearing Aids
Do I need a doctor’s referral to have a hearing test?
How long does a hearing test take?
What happens at my first appointment?
Prior to conducting a hearing test, you outer and inner ear will be examined using a light called an otoscope. The audiologist will be looking for any abnormalities in the ear canal and ear drum, and any build-up of ear wax. Following this, a pressure test is conducted to inform the audiologist whether you your eardrum is working correctly and if your middle ear is clear of fluid. These tests aren’t painful and help provides the audiologist with a greater understanding of what is happening with your hearing.
Hearing tests are performed in a sound proof room or testing booth. During your hearing test the audiologist will play various tones at different volumes (pure tone audiometry)through some headphones, and your responses are recorded on an audiogram. In conjunction the audiologist will also will also test your ability to hear and understand speech either in quiet or in noise.
This testing regime will assist the audiologist in determining the nature of any hearing problems you are experiencing and decide on the correct hearing loss treatment for your condition. The results of these tests are used to determine your suitability for various method of treatment, including the fitting of hearing aids. The Audiologist will discuss these results with you.
What happens if I need a hearing aids?
I have decided to proceed with a hearing aid. What happens next?
- If you have decided on ‘custom’ or ‘in the ear’ hearing aid the audiologist will take an impression of your ear, which will be sent to the manufacturer for the hearing aid or mould to be made. The hearing aid/mould will be ready for fitting in approximately 10 working days.
- ‘Behind the ear’ or ‘receiver in the ear style hearing aids’ may be able to be fitted on the same day or within only a couple of days depending on the availability of the hearing aids & audiologist appointments.
How many appointments will I need?
When is payment for my new hearing aids required?
Can I pay my hearing aids off?
Should I insure my hearing aids?
Can I get a refund for hearing aids from my private health insurance?
Can I get a partial tax refund for my hearing devices?
What if I change my mind about hearing loss treatment?
If you wish to return hearing aids during the 30 day trial period a $350 return fee is payable.
How do I know if I have a hearing problem?
- In most cases hearing loss and hearing problems begin so gradually that they go unnoticed. In fact your loved ones (the one’s not being heard) are more than likely to notice long before you do.
- Here are the top warning signs that’ll help you determine whether hearing loss and hearing problems are present:
- People seem to mumble more frequently
- You hear, but have trouble understanding conversations
- You often ask people to repeat themselves
- Talking on the telephone is difficult
- You can’t hear sounds around the house like a clock ticking, a tap dripping or people talking in the next room
- It’s difficult to have a conversation without seeing the speaker’s face
- People say you speak too loudly or shout
- People say you play music or have the TV up too loud
- There is ringing or buzzing in your ears
- You find it very difficult to have a conversations in a large group
- You find it particularly hard to hear in crowded places like restaurants and shopping centres
- You have a hard time hearing and understanding the voices of women or children
- You have trouble following conversations with more than two people
How much do hearing aids cost?
- The cost of hearing aids will vary depending on the level of technology & features you choose. Generally speaking a higher priced hearing aid will provide you with more comfort greater benefits.
- At Affordable Hearing our hearing aids range from $2900 – $10 900 a pair. These prices are often at least $4000 cheaper than our competitors.
- In Australia, if you are the recipient of an aged or veterans pension you may be eligible for free hearing services & hearing aids. Read more here http://www.hearingservices.gov.au/ or call us on 1300 658 742 to find out how.
How can hearing aids enhance my quality of life?
- Hearing aids can improve your quality of life in a variety of ways. For example:
- Self-confidence, stress & mental health
Experiencing a hearing loss can affect your self-confidence because you may feel ‘out of the loop’ due to communication difficulties with your family, friends and colleagues. Further preliminary studies have indicated that adults with untreated hearing loss are more like to report depression, anxiety & paranoia and were less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared to those who wear hearing aids.
- Personal Relationships
Personal relationships depend on successful communication, and successful communication is impossible if one party if mishearing and the other is not feeling heard. Further, the strain of a loud TV and having to constantly repeat & shout can be very stressful for a loved one.
- Job performance
Hearing aids eliminate the need to constantly ask “What?” or “Can your repeat that?” and keep you on top of your game. They also assist greatly in meetings and other workplaces.
- General Safety & Wellbeing
You don’t want to miss hearing a smoke alarm, the house being broken into, a dog barking at a stranger, an oncoming car when you’re walking, or an ambulance when you’re driving. Further research is exploring whether the timely fitting of hearing aids has the added benefit of other medical issued including the slowing cognitive decline and/or reducing the likelihood of falls and other balance issues.
- You will find a hearing aid has a dramatic effect on the quality of life you enjoy.
I might have a hearing problem. What should I do?
- If you think you are experiencing hearing problems and you are 18 years of age or older, you should make an appointment with an Audiologist or Hearing Care Professional to determine the type and amount of your hearing loss. Depending on the hearing test results, they may also recommend that you see your physician or an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist prior to getting fitted with hearing aids. If your child might have a hearing loss, it’s best to talk with your pediatrician who can refer you to a pediatric audiologist for testing and treatment.
- If you are the recipient of an age or veterans pension you may be eligible for free hearing services and hearing aids under the Office of Hearing Services scheme.
- To find out more about free hearing services or to book and appointment call Affordable Hearing on 1300 658 742.
What are some dangerously loud activities?
- Noise induced hearing loss is not just a result of noise volume but noise dosage. If you spend a lot of time in noisy environments it is important to consider some form of hearing protection.
- Some of the activities which may expose you to damaging noise levels include loud music (concerts & clubs), gun shooting, movie theatres, motor sporting events, motorcycles, motorboats, and lawnmowers.
- Even if you already have a hearing loss, it is important that you protect the hearing that remains.
What causes hearing loss?
- The majority of hearing loss cases involves damage to the inner ear. Most commonly, hearing loss occurs because aging and/or long-term exposure to loud noise has caused wear and tear on the part of the inner ear that sends sound signals to the brain. Scientific research has also linked hypertension and diabetes to hearing loss since it can cause damage to the inner ear too. This type of hearing loss can only be corrected with properly fit hearing aids, and it cannot be reversed.
- Some other causes of hearing loss are not permanent and may be treated medically. These include excessive ear wax (cerumen), infections of the middle ear, and malfunctions of the middle ear bones. A complete diagnostic hearing test can identify which type of hearing loss you might have and whether medical treatment can help.
Which professions carry a risk of hearing loss?
Some of the occupations at risk of causing hearing problems include: tradesmen, factory workers, firefighters, police officers, farmers, construction workers, military personnel, heavy industry workers, musicians, and other entertainment professionals. Be sure to wear hearing protection in instances of excessive noise and help protect yourself from hearing problems later in life.
Will hearing aids restore my hearing?
No hearing aid can restore your hearing to normal. However, hearing aids will let you to hear the soft sounds that you couldn’t hear before, helping any hearing problems you have had. Your hearing aids will also help you to better understand speech.
Current research is exploring whether the timely fitting of hearing aids has the added benefit of other medical issued including the slowing cognitive decline and/or reducing the likelihood of falls and other balance issues.
Will I need one or two hearing aids?
Most people that have hearing loss due to damage of the inner ear will have about the same degree of loss in both ears and will need to wear two hearing aids. If you only have a hearing loss in one ear, you might only need to wear a hearing aid in your bad ear.
Wearing two hearing aids has been proven to improve speech understanding in noise, localization (finding the source of sounds), and overall sound quality when compared to wearing only one hearing aid. Today, over 80% of all hearing aid fittings are binaural, or involve both ears.
This is something you can discuss with your Audiologist at your appointment.
Won’t hearing aids make me look old? Won’t they cramp my style?
Hearing aids today are smaller and more discreet that ever. Many hearing aids are virtually undetectable even close up. There are some hearing aids that are worn completely in the canal of your ear so as to be practically invisible when worn.
What is more likely to make you feel & look old is being unable to contribute to the conversation, mishearing your loved ones, missing the punch line of a great joke and an unbearably loud TV because you have an untreated hearing loss!
Tinnitus & Tinnitus Treatment
I have been told there is nothing that can be done for tinnitus. What has changed?
I’ve tried lots of things, spent lots of money and nothing has worked! Why should I believe that Neuromonics will work?
What type of treatment is the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment?
How can I fit in treatment around my busy lifestyle?
Can I have the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment even if I use a hearing aid?
Can I just purchase the Neuromonics device by itself?
What if the Treatment does not meet my expectations?
Why does the treatment take 6 months?
Why can’t I just use my MP3 Player?
- Although normal music may provide a distraction from tinnitus, it is not a treatment with long term benefits. With the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment, the music is spectrally modified and customized with an embedded neural stimulus based upon the patient’s audiological and tinnitus profile. Through research, we are aware of the importance of auditory stimulation at high frequencies; this stimulation is not possible with MP3 Players because the sound files stored in MP3s are clipped. Additionally, music on an MP3 Player is not customized for the individual’s hearing profile. Due to the customization of the Neuromonics device, it is able to provide acoustic stimulation to a wide range of auditory pathways at comfortable and safe listening volumes. Referral source:
Role of Hearing Loss in Triggering Tinnitus
Other Tinnitus Triggers
- In a small proportion of cases, tinnitus arises from a condition that requires medical or surgical intervention.Drugs that have been implicated in hearing damage and tinnitus include:
- antibiotics (aminoglycosides)
- antidepressants (heterocyclines)
- loop diuretics
- chemotherapeutic agents (cisplatin)
- In rare cases, tinnitus might result from an underlying medical problem, such as:
- arteriovenus malformation
- vascular tumor
- benign intracranial hypertension
- palatal or stapedial myoclonus
- eustachian tube dysfunction
- temporal mandibular joint problem
- acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma)
- Meniere’s disease
- It is widely accepted that tinnitus involves a series of neurological changes within the auditory system as well as systems in the brain that influence attention.
Although these other causes contribute to only a small percentage of tinnitus cases, their existence underlines the need for a thorough head, ear, nose and throat examination. Appropriate referral to an Otolaryngologist or Prosthodontist might also be required. Referral Source: http://www.neuromonics.com/?page_id=4