A hearing aid is a small computerized device worn at the ear to assist people who have a diagnosed hearing impairment. Hearing aids are part of an auditory rehabilitation program and require regular fine tuning to ensure they are performing to meet the individual needs of each person.
Hearing aid services
Our hearing aid services include:
- fully independent guidance, choice and selection of hearing aids. We select hearing and listening devices from all suppliers in Australia.
- fitting and fine-tuning of the latest hearing aids
- support while adapting to amplification: our approach to hearing aid fitting allows you to be gently eased into the level of amplification required for optimal speech intelligibility.
- independent evaluation and fine-tuning of your current hearing aids
- as many appointments as needed for 12 months after fitting at no additional cost
- hearing aid cleaning and maintenance
How do I know if I need a hearing aid?
We will advise you if your hearing test results indicate the need for hearing aids.
Regardless of the degree of hearing loss, if you are experiencing significant communication difficulties, there will be a hearing aid suitable for you. If you have tinnitus and a hearing loss, hearing aids will be effective in both the management of your hearing loss and reducing your tinnitus awareness.
Assistive listening devices are available for the telephone, television, doorbells and alarms and can be used either instead of hearing aids or in addition to hearing aids.
Steps to hearing aid success
We receive many enquiries with regard to effective hearing aid fitting from both hearing aid users and the medical profession. It seems that despite the rapidly changing improvements in hearing aid technology, too many hearing aids are used infrequently in the wider community, often with disappointment at the level of benefit obtained. This article has been written for both prospective clients and the medical profession focusing on various aspects of successful digital hearing aid fitting, including a contemporary update on hearing aid technology.
To ensure our clients obtain a successful hearing aid fitting we consider the following appointments and services essential:
- a detailed diagnostic hearing loss and communication assessment, to evaluate realistic hearing aid expectations and enable accurate hearing aid programming
- extensive follow-up Audiological support
- ongoing maintenance support.
Over the first months, we work closely with you to complete the fine-tuning of your hearing aids, so they are optimally matched to your individual communication and listening requirements.
Fitting hearing aids
Following the purchase of hearing aids, you will be provided at no additional cost with as many appointments as needed for 12 months after hearing aid fitting. This allows us time to carry out our approach to hearing aid fitting where you are gently eased into the level of amplification required for optimal speech intelligibility. Over this period, we work closely with you to complete the fine-tuning of your hearing aids.
Fine tuning hearing aids
As computer software and hearing aid technology have become more sophisticated, the skills required by the clinician to carry out effective fitting and finetuning of hearing aids have increased.
We have extensive training, experience and expertise in fine-tuning contemporary hearing aids to individual communication needs. This enables you to receive the best possible level of speech intelligibility from your hearing aids.
Adapting to hearing aids
Because of the gradual onset of most hearing losses, a person with a hearing loss may not realise their concept of "normal" hearing continues to change as their hearing loss develops. Additionally, our brain subconsciously selects and highlights sounds that are important to us. Unimportant sounds are heard, but not fully perceived, unless we consciously pay attention to them.
When you are being fitted with new hearing aids, your concept of "normal" hearing and the process of subconscious selection will need to be relearnt. If you are being fitted with hearing aids for the first time, you will hear sounds that you may not have heard for a long time. Environmental sounds can seem unnaturally prominent or noticeable for the first few weeks. It takes time for the brain to re-learn all these sounds, which is why we gently ease you into the level of amplification you need. Audiological support over this period is essential.
Research has shown that this adaptation or adjustment period may last a few months. We work closely with you over this period to provide support as you adapt to amplification and to complete the fine-tuning of your hearing aids, so they are optimally matched to your individual communication and listening requirements. Your aim is to have what you hear through the hearing aids become "normal".
Wearing your hearing aids most of the time will ensure that your concept of "normal" hearing will be successfully redefined. As a result, you will become reliant on your hearing aids and will find it harder to communicate without them. This is an inevitable part of a successful hearing aid fitting, and does not mean that hearing aid use has aggravated your level of hearing loss.
Hearing Aid Satisfaction Survey
The EarTrak survey is run independently of our practice and mailed to clients 3 to 6 months after hearing aid fitting. The responses obtained are confidential and remain anonymous, unless specified otherwise. The survey is designed to give us detailed feedback about our clients' satisfaction with their hearing aids and the services provided by our practice. This allows us to act on any comments made that will guide us to improving our services. It also allows us to compare how our practice is performing compared to the group average of the other participating audiology practices, both in Australia and overseas.
Survey results have shown that our clients indicate high levels of satisfaction with their hearing aids and the support services we provide. While we do not carry out this survey with all our clients, we are committed to carrying out this survey regularly.
Ongoing successful use of hearing aids
We recommend an annual review of your hearing levels to check for any changes in hearing. In this way, adjustments can be made to ensure your hearing aids keep matching your hearing loss. You are encouraged, however, to arrange a hearing assessment at any time if you suspect a change in your hearing has occurred.
A build up of wax in your ear canals can damage your hearing aids, as well as affect hearing aid performance. An increase in feedback from your hearing aid(s) may indicate that wax removal is required.
Hearing aid maintenance
We provide guidance to help you care for your hearing aids. Maintenance tools, including a moisture absorbent kit, are provided as part of your hearing aid fitting package.
We provide all our hearing aid clients with:
- free in-house hearing aid checking and cleaning, using pressurised drying and vacuum suction equipment.
- Minor in-house repairs
- hearing aid maintenance accessories at cost price
- bulk discount battery purchase
These services are available without an appointment between 9.00 and 5.00 pm.
Hearing aid repairs are arranged through the manufacturer, with loan BTE hearing aids available for use while your hearing aid is being repaired.