+How do I know if I have a hearing loss?
Hearing loss is common, particularly as you become older. In Australia, research has shown that one person in five over 60 years old will have a hearing loss; over the age of 70, one person in three. Most hearing losses develop gradually, making it difficult to self diagnose.
You may have a hearing loss if you have noticed the following:
- increased difficulty distinguishing speech in noisy environments
- a history of exposure to industrial noise without hearing protection
- a family history of developing a hearing loss
- family or spouse comments on your hearing difficulties
- frequently asking people to repeat themselves
- struggling to understand a whisper or softly spoken person
- struggling to hear conversation from a distance
- increased volume for TV and radio compared to others
- difficulties hearing on the telephone
- missing the telephone or door bell
What are the possible effects of a hearing loss?
- impaired communication with family, friends, at work
- fatigue and cognitive load from the effort of listening
- social isolation
- an increased awareness of tinnitus
- the emotional impact of all the above
We carry out a range of hearing assessments. The cost of the assessment will depend on the level of detail required and therefore on the time we spend assessing your hearing. You do not need a medical referral for a hearing assessment.
The results of your hearing assessment will be clearly explained to you, and a detailed report written if required.
A hearing screening test is a basic test of hearing levels, and requires a 15 minute appointment.
If the hearing screening test shows the presence of a hearing loss, or a drop in hearing levels compared to a previous test, a full hearing assessment is recommended. For a child, a half hour appointment is required. If you have concerns about the way your child is processing or making sense of sound, a central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) screening and evaluation can be carried out.
For an adult, a three quarter hour appointment is required for a full hearing assessment. If tinnitus (noises in the ears) is a dominant issue for you, please arrange a tinnitus evaluation appointment, which will often include a hearing assessment if this has not already been carried out.
If you are arranging a hearing assessment appointment with a view to the likely purchase of hearing aids, we request that a one and a half hour appointment is made, but will charge you for one hour. This allows time for:
- a detailed discussion of your communication needs, your hearing test results, suitable hearing aid options for you and the level of benefit you can expect from hearing aid fitting.
- if you wish to choose hearing aids at your initial appointment, we will have time to make ear impressions. Many people like time to consider their choice, and you will not be expected to make a decision at your initial appointment.
We have the training and equipment to remove a wax build-up using a probe, as long as it is not too deep in your ear canal. You will need to arrange a quarter hour appointment for this to be carried out. A build-up of wax can affect your hearing. It can cause reduced hearing aid performance; feedback (whistle) from your hearing aid; and damage to your hearing aid.
+Customised ear plugs
We provide a range of custom-made ear plugs to fit the unique shape of each person's ear. An initial quarter hour appointment is required to make customised ear impressions. The plugs will be ready in up to two weeks, with a quarter hour appointment required for the fitting of the plugs. This is to ensure they fit correctly and for you to be instructed in correct insertion. The cost of the plugs includes both these appointments.
Customised ear plugs are available to provide:
- hearing protection to high noise levels at work
- hearing protection for musicians
- as swim plugs for water protection. This is recommended for people with a history of ear canal and/or middle ear infection, or if a middle ear ventilation or grommet tube has been fitted. Swim plugs are designed to stop water getting into the ear while swimming at or near the surface of the water. They will not be effective if they are used 20 cm or more below the surface of the water, in rough surf, for diving, skin diving or vigorous water sports.