Q. Are Two Aids better than one?
If you have a hearing loss in both ears it is recommended that you wear a hearing instrument in each ear as we would with lenses for eyes. Two ears are better than one. Stimulating both ears is also important to keep them functioning optimally.
Q. Will wearing a hearing aid restore my hearing to normal?
Hearing aids will not restore your hearing to normal, but they will make most sounds available to you at your comfortable hearing level and improve your quality of life. Researches show using hearing aids will prevent auditory deprivation which means your speech discrimination won’t deteriorate much if you use hearing devices.
Q. Can I afford a hearing aid?
Hearing aids have a wide range of investment levels starting from fee for eligible pensioners under the OHS scheme. Your lifestyle and communication needs inform the technology you require. Some health funds provide benefits for hearing aids. A health expenditure tax rebate is also available when your expenditure exceeds a threshold determined by the Tax Office. A discussion with your Audiologist regarding suitable technology and the investment required is the best place to start.
Q. Is there a hearing aid that can remove annoying background noise?
Tremendous advances have been made in signal processing technologies over the last decade. Many hearing instruments lessen the effects of a non-speech noise while some hearing instruments can boost the sounds in front of you while decreasing those behind you. Narrow beam forming microphone technologies and ear to ear communications are further advances in signal processing that show great promise.
Q. Can I be assured of success with hearing aids?
Everyone's hearing loss is unique. Although someone you know may have had a negative experience with hearing instruments, you may not have the same experience. Family support is important in success with hearing aids. Hearing aids and technology vary considerably and a wise choice at the beginning is important and your Audiologist is best placed to give this advice.
Q. What is the "best" hearing instrument on the market?
There is not one "best" hearing instrument on the market. Everyone has different needs. Each major manufacturer makes a product that is highly comparable to other manufacturer's product.
Q. What is the noise I hear in my ear?
Q. What happens if my hearing aids get wet?
Currently manufactured hearing aids have an international IP57 rating which ensures a high standard against dust and moisture ingress into hearing aids. Nano coating for water resistance, gauze matting to protect microphones and tight seals are contribute to your hearing instrument enjoying a long and trouble free life. The hearing aids are water resistant and rain and brief immersion should not cause significant difficulties. Simply dry them off naturally and usually they will start up again. Deep immersion for a period is another matter and it is best to take the instrument to your Audiologist for advice.
Q. How can I hear better in noise?
You need to help your brain control for the noise by using two hearing aids simultaneously so that you active a natural process of “binaural squelch” thus reducing the impact of noise. You must also position yourself so that you can see the face of the speaker to obtain lip-reading cues. Address the level of the background noise if you are able by reducing the level of recorded music being played and endeavour to avoid environments with large hard reflective surfaces. Don’t be shy to tell a venues manager as to the poor quality of acoustics. If enough complain then one day they will finally get it! Even normal hearers have difficulty in these environments. Finally, high quality hearing instruments with noise control and high microphone directivity will assist. In some situations a lapel microphone worn by a speaking companion can transmit directly to your hearing aids defeating the noise environment completely. Narrow focus directional microphones are also of valuable assistance.
Q. How do I maintain my hearing instruments?
Regularly cleaning the hearing devices with a soft cloth and small brush are particularly helpful. Wiping your sound coupling system with an alcohol swab daily is also advised. Ace Audiology recommends an annual Aid Adjustment appointment to fine tune your hearing aids. At this time a service will be conducted to suction your microphone ports, check and cleanse battery contacts, dehumidify the devices and replace any wax filters and tubing connections.
Q. Does my hearing get worse if I don’t wear a hearing device?
A hearing aid increases the loudness of incoming sounds into a comfortable zone for you, calculated on the degree of loss at each frequency and weighted for the relative loudness of speech components so that all bands of speech are equally loud. You will be able to hear at softer levels with a hearing device. If you do not wear a hearing device then any change in your natural thresholds will be determined by the factors that caused your loss originally. It may progress or it may stay the same. If you don’t use a hearing instrument however you may develop what is known as “auditory deprivation”. This means that whilst the sensitivity for hearing is unchanged the clarity may diminish over time. Imagine covering up one eye for six months then removing the patch. You would not see as clearly as you did before due to the lack of use.
Q. What is an Audiologist and what is their training?
Audiologists are University Graduates with a specialist qualification in Audiology. All have a foundation degree followed by post graduate studies, usually at a Master’s Degree level or Doctorate. Your Ace Audiology practitioner has both qualifications, having graduated with an Au.D from America.
An Audiologist has a broad skill set enabling them to work across many specialities inclusive of education, paediatrics, industrial noise, compensation, balance investigation diagnosis and treatment, cochlear implant rehabilitation, research, electrophysiology and tinnitus treatment just to mention a few.
Q. Can I have a free hearing assessment?
ACE Audiology is happy to assist you with a FREE hearing screening assessment for adults. Should the hearing screening test be indicative of a hearing problem then we can advise what further assessments may be required. You may contact ACE Audiology on 03 9850 8888 or lodge a request online for an appointment.
If you are a Pensioner or Veteran eligible to receiver Office of Hearing Services entitlements any further diagnostic assessment required can be funded by OHS after completion of an online voucher application. ACE Audiology has a portal to the OHS website and we can organise this from our office usually instantly. New applicants however need either a letter from their GP or an OHS application form signed by them requesting hearing services.
In some circumstances you may be eligible for a diagnostic hearing assessment to be funded as part of an Enhanced Primary Care Plan that can be prepared by your treating doctor.
Should you be referred by an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist or a Neurologist then a number of assessment procedures can also be funded under Medicare arrangements.
Some private health funds may sometimes fund hearing services but mostly they only fund hearing aid devices themselves. You would need to check your particular fund to be certain of the funding arrangements for a diagnostic hearing test.
Q. What are typical signs of early hearing loss?
- You have difficulty hearing female voices or children
- You find yourself confusing words or making silly mistakes misunderstanding conversations, such as dates and times of events or misinterpret requests.
- Others complain you have the television too loud
- You have difficulty hearing in groups or modest background noise
- You may develop tinnitus, indicative of outer hair cell loss in the cochlea.
- Other people, or family members, think you have a hearing loss
Q. What are the different kinds of hearing loss?
There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.
- Conductive hearing loss occurs from loss of sound sensitivity resulting from abnormalities of the middle and/or outer ear. Medical or surgical treatment can sometimes assist.
- Sensorineural hearing loss results from abnormalities of the inner ear and/or nerve paths to the brain. Damage to auditory cells and nerves are usually permanently and cannot be treated medically or surgically.
- Mixed hearing losses are those that have symptoms of both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses. Medical and surgical treatment can potentially assist the conductive component with the risk/benefit needing careful consideration