Yes, we advise periodic hearing tests as a matter of course, and also if you have any concern.
To get a bench mark ideally one as a baby (OAE), another before grade 1 at 5/6 years of age. If you are taking medication that can affect your hearing or balance. If you suspect a disease related to a hearing loss e.g. otosclerosis. If you have ringing in your ears. If you work in an industrial setting or are a musician.
Some people offer free screenings, be careful as they are often targeting people to sell a hearing aid. A diagnostic hearing evaluation is not for free and you should not fit a hearing aid on a screening test as there can be important information that you need for fitting a hearing aid that is often missed on a screening.
If there are no problems a hearing test can take 10-15 minutes. If you need a diagnostic test it can take half an hour to an hour and a half depending on the testing that is required.
Audiologists do diagnostic hearing tests.
West Coast Hearing
There are three classifications of hearing aids and all depend on the type of hearing loss, the degree of hearing loss, and the configuration of the hearing loss.
- ITE (in the ear)
- BTE (behind the ear)
- RIC (receiver in the canal)
BTE Hearing Aids
These devices are worn with the hearing aid on top of and behind the ear. All of the parts are in the case at the back of the ear, and they are joined to the ear canal with a sound tube and a custom mould or tip.
ITE Hearing Aids
These are custom-made devices, all of the electronics sit in a device that fits in your ear, and they come in many sizes including CIC (completely in Canal) and IIC (Invisible in Canal).
RIC RITE Hearing Aids
These devices are similar in concept to BTE hearing aids, with the exception that the receiver (the speaker) has been removed from the case that sits at the back of the ear. It is fitted in your ear canal or ear and connected to the case of the hearing aid with a thin wire.
Different hearing aids need to be cleaned differently and the audiologist will go through how to clean and store the hearing aid correctly.
Most hearing losses are the same on both sides but there are cases where there are hearing losses on one side and not the other. There are also cases where hearing losses are asymmetrical (do not look the same on both sides).
We hear with 2 ears. If there is a loss in both ears it is better to wear 2 aids.
Ringing in the ears or tinnitus can occur for many reasons and is often related to hearing loss. Tinnitus can also be caused by an increase or decrease in blood pressure, certain medications, infections, neck spasms, a vitamin deficiency, or stress, or infections and all these factors can make tinnitus worse.
A ringing noise in the head or ears.
Vertigo refers to a sense of spinning and dizziness. It is a symptom of a range of conditions. It can happen when there is a problem with the inner ear, brain, or sensory nerve pathway.
It can be related to a hearing loss but can also occur in isolation or as a symptom
of a range of conditions.
Some hearing aids use batteries, others are zinc rechargeable, the latest technology is using lithium ion rechargeable hearing aids.
Lithium-ion is an ideal battery for a hearing aid system because it allows for a full day of use even when streaming from accessories. There is no memory effect within the battery so it can be charged daily and there is no need to fully discharge the battery before placing it back in the charger.
If you find yourself using words like: ‘can you repeat that?’ or ‘what?’
There are different price points for hearing aids depending on the person’s budget, listening needs, and lifestyle. There are entry level, mid-level, and top-end hearing aids. A discussion during the hearing test will help to determine which manufacturer and what price point to go for.
Audiologists are healthcare professionals who evaluate, treat, diagnose, and manage hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders in newborn, children, and adults.
A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss. Hearing aids are classified as medical devices and are regulated. A hearing aid is not just a sound amplifier. It’s a highly sophisticated communication device that can be tailored to your hearing needs.
There are 3 type of hearing loss depending where on the auditory pathway the hearing loss occurs. Conductive, sensorineural or mixed.
Conductive loss occurs when the outer or middle ear cannot conduct sound properly.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs in the cochlear or inner ear where the hair cells of the cochlea are missing or damaged. This can have a genetic cause, or can be a result of head trauma, exposure to loud noise, or something else in the environment. Sensorineural hearing loss is also a common part of the ageing process.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. It results from problems in both the inner and the outer or middle ear.
There are different price points depending on the patient’s hearing loss, budget, degree of loss and configuration.
Some people can adapt easily and wear their hearing aids throughout the day from the initial fitting. Technology, cognitive factors and age may play an important role. Some people start with wearing the instrument for an hour or two and gradually increase the usage till they are able to wear the hearing aids throughout the day and night.
Yes, it can get worse. What is important is to have the sound stimulation to help to delay the deterioration and to exercise the brain. If you don’t use it you lose it.
Once fit with a hearing aid you should have your hearing aids adjusted and hearing assessed every year or at least every 2nd year. If a hearing aid comes back from a service it is recommended that the hearing aid is reprogrammed and adjusted.
Depends on how well you look after your hearing aid. It needs to be cleaned and stored correctly on a daily basis. Anything from 2 – 10 years.
This depends on the type of hearing instrument and the manufacturer.
No. A hearing test is performed in a sound proof booth. Headphones are placed on the head and sounds are presented through the headphones. The patient then has to indicate whether they have been heard or not. Speech testing is also conducted. A pressure test is used to indicate whether the middle ear is healthy. For newborn babies either probes or electrodes are placed in the ear or on the head.
Custom and non-custom (ear muffs) hearing protection are used to protect the ears from harmful sounds and are used in industrial settings, the music industry, for motorcyclists, and for shooting.
Normal conversation is about 60 dB, a lawn mower is about 90 dB, and a loud rock concert is about 120 dB. In general, sounds above 85 dB are harmful, depending on how long and how often you are exposed to them.
From 48 hours after birth you can perform a screening evaluation to determine whether there is a hearing loss or not.