Frequently Asked Questions
The most common questions we’re asked are listed below. If you’d like to ask a different question, use the form below. We’re here to answer your questions.
How is hearing loss treated?
Treatments will vary according to what the reasons are for your particular hearing loss. Some ear problems will require medication or surgery, while others will be managed with hearing devices and counselling. It is therefore crucial to get the diagnosis right. In view of this, we feel it is very important to perform comprehensive diagnostic assessments on all our clients. Without a correct diagnosis, you can’t be sure the treatment recommended is the most appropriate.
What are the signs of hearing loss?
While a history of hearing loss in your family or exposure to high noise levels may cause hearing loss, the easiest way to identify hearing loss is to notice how your daily life is affected by your hearing.
Some signs to look out for:
- Family and friends report that you aren’t hearing as well as you used to
- You find it difficult to communicate with background noise
- The television volume needs to be higher for you than other family members prefer
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves
- People may seem to mumble on a regular basis
- You have difficulty hearing on the phone
- There is a communication breakdown and relationship strain with your partner
- You withdraw from social situations
- You are tired or stressed from trying to hear
- It may be easier to understand others when you are looking directly at their faces
- You make inappropriate responses because you did not understand someone’s question
- You find that turning one ear towards the speaker helps you to hear better
If you have any concerns, please give us a call to arrange your hearing assessment.
What if I don't believe I have a hearing problem?
This is commonly suggested by someone who is experiencing a gradual decline in hearing. Loss of hearing progresses slowly over many years and is often not realised. A hearing test is an important first step in identifying whether you actually have hearing loss. We will also determine what management strategy would be most appropriate for you.
What causes hearing loss?
Hearing loss can be caused by various factors including:
- Genetic factors
- Prolonged exposure to loud noise
- Ototoxic medications including some antibiotics
- Meniere’s Disease
- Ear infections
- Trauma and head injury
- The normal ageing process (presbycusis)
What is aural rehabilitation?
This includes informational counselling – preparing the hearing aid user with what to expect and how to react to their new hearing environment. It also involves fine tuning the hearing aid and adjusting the adaptation to suit and meet the patient’s needs over a period of time.
Hearing Aid Questions
How do I get my hearing aids repaired?
Noosa Hearing is equipped to carry out minor repairs and cleaning while you wait. Alternatively, you can drop them off and pick them up at your convenience. We can also arrange more complicated repairs via the manufacturer of your hearing device.
What type of hearing aids do you supply?
We supply all kinds of hearing devices as we are 100% independent which means we are not bound to any hearing aid manufacturer.
Furthermore, we are free to recommend the hearing devices we know are best suited to each of our patients. These may be the latest, miniature and invisible devices all the way through to larger powerhouse technology. We have significant experience in a wide range of hearing devices from all major manufacturers.
What type of hearing device is most suitable for me?
Following your hearing assessment, our Audiologist will discuss the most appropriate options with you based on your degree of hearing loss and your personal lifestyle factors. There have been significant advances in hearing instrument design over recent years. Devices are becoming smaller and more discrete. The social stigma associated with hearing loss has also reduced significantly since these technologies have become more readily available.
Can hearing devices completely remove background noise?
No matter what you see advertised, there is no device that can completely remove background noise, nor would you want it to. A person with normal hearing can hear background noise, so why would a hearing device cut it out completely. You need some background noise for safety reasons as well, like hearing a reversing truck beeper or a bus coming up behind you! What hearing instruments can do is apply greater emphasis to sounds in important areas, such as the speech range, and less amplification to sounds identified as noise, making those background sounds less obvious, but still audible.
How do I use my new hearing aids successully?
You should start your training program in familiar surroundings, such as in your own home. After you have read the operating instructions carefully and have familiarised yourself with your hearing aids, you can put them on and start a simple face-to-face conversation with someone you speak to on a regular basis. Thereafter, you can add to the complexity of your surroundings in stages. For example, having a low noise in the background or speaking with someone whose face is turned away. Very noisy environments should be avoided initially.
The goal is to train your brain through constant, controlled stimulation, until you are at a stage where you can wear your hearing devices throughout the day without noticing them. Remember, it is important to wear your hearing aids at home too, not only when you are out and about. This will enable you to hear the telephone ringing or someone knocking on the door. Ideally, your hearing aids should become a natural extension of your body, like glasses or contact lenses.
Wearing hearing aids and suddenly hearing a greater range of sounds may tire you, and even irritate you in the beginning. Therefore it is important to make allowances for these effects of fatigue. In the event of this happening, give yourself a break. Train, rather than force yourself to get used to your hearing devices. A positive attitude and a desire to better understand what is being said are key factors to your success.
Will I have a problem adjusting to my hearing aids?
All hearing losses are different, and each client’s needs are different. Therefore, hearing devices require some initial fine-tuning to best match your individual hearing and listening requirements. These adjustments are performed by the Audiologist and are included as part of any hearing device purchased from Noosa Hearing. We also include an aural rehabilitation program.
Like any change, getting used to your new hearing aids takes time. By following the direction of the Audiologist, you can train yourself to wear your hearing aids for longer periods of time, and in different surroundings.
Will I need one or two hearing aids?
This is largely dependent on the type and configuration of your hearing loss, and therefore it is important to have your hearing assessed by a qualified Audiologist for an appropriate recommendation to be made.
Research consistently shows that using a hearing aid in both ears has a positive impact on the wearer’s ability to determine where the sound is coming from. It also helps to hear speech in noisy environments and improves the overall clarity of auditory information. If you look at it another way, why would you only get one lens in your glasses when both eyes need help?
You may save a few dollars by purchasing a single hearing device rather than a pair, but you are depriving one ear from sound and causing the nerves on that ear to slowly weaken. Over time, that unaided ear is going to lose more and more functionality and when you do get around to buying a pair of hearing devices or adding a second one, that unaided ear will find it harder to adapt to sound.
Can I trial a hearing aid?
Absolutely. At Noosa Hearing, we would like our patients to be happy with their choice of hearing solution. After your assessment and device fitting, you have a 30 day, no-obligation period during which you can adjust to and become familiar with your hearing devices. The devices can be returned during this time for a refund or fully exchanged for another type or brand of device. Contact our clinic for full details.
Are all hearing aids the same?
Hearing aids all include similar components, such as a microphone to pick up sound, an amplifier to make parts of the sound louder, a receiver to deliver the amplified sound to the ear and an on/off switch to power the device. However, there is a wide range of hearing aids in terms of comfort, style, features, and functions.
The hearing aid that best suits you will depend on your lifestyle and listening needs, your type of hearing loss and your budget. Our audiologist can help you make an informed decision.
What are assistive listening devices (ALDs)?
Assistive listening devices are accessories that help you hear listening situations, such as when you are on the telephone, watching TV or when you are asleep. For example, Sennheiser manufactures television headsets that allow hearing device users to listen to a television via a wireless connection. This enables users to listen to their television at a comfortable volume, without disturbing friends or family members who may be nearby. Your specific needs and hearing loss will determine which ALDs are suitable for you. These headsets may be provided free of charge to eligible pensioners and veterans.
Does wearing a hearing device improve my hearing?
A hearing device is designed to rehabilitate your hearing by providing frequency-specific amplification where you need it most. It is used to achieve adequate clarity of auditory information. The clearer the auditory information delivered to the ear, the better the brain can process the sound to improve your communication ability. In some cases, however, medical intervention by an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist is needed. Therefore, it is important to have your hearing assessed by a qualified Audiologist to determine the most appropriate treatment option for you.
If you choose not to treat your hearing loss with amplification e.g. with hearing devices, the nerves of the hearing mechanism will not be used, and they will be deprived of stimulation and slowly weaken.
Do I need a referral for a hearing test?
No. You can make an appointment to see our Audiologist without a referral from a GP. However, doctor and specialist referrals are also welcome.
Please note that a Medicare rebate only applies for patients referred by an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist, Neurologist, or GP under a Chronic Disease Management plan.
Am I eligible for the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (HSP)?
There are several categories of eligibility for this program, all of which are subject to change. Our team at Noosa Hearing can provide assistance to find your eligibility status; alternatively, the Hearing Services Program can be contacted at 1800 500 726 (voice) or 1800 500 496 (text telephone).
Can I get a Medicare rebate?
Our principal Audiologist is registered with Medicare.
Medicare rebates are available if you are referred by an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist or a Neurologist. In addition, Medicare will also provide rebates for audiology services if you are referred by your GP under the Chronic Disease Management Program.
Private health insurance rebates?
If you have private health insurance, you may be eligible for a rebate on hearing assessments and/or hearing aids and devices. We recommend calling your health insurer before your appointment to determine if you qualify for any rebates.
What ages do you see?
We provide hearing assessments and examinations to adults and children, from the age of 5 years.
What can I expect during my hearing test?
Having a hearing assessment done is a painless procedure. A basic hearing assessment will usually happen in the following stages:
A visual examination of your ear canals and eardrums, to assess the condition of the outer ear.
A medical test that measures the function and movement of the eardrum and middle ear.
3. Puretone audiometry
Determines how loud a particular pitch or frequency must be before it is audible.
4. Speech discrimination
Determines your ability to repeat words at various intensity levels.
In conclusion, our Audiologist will explain your results in detail in order for you to understand what the results of the assessment mean.
Based on the results, our Audiologist will present and discuss your options going forward. This could range from medical intervention to treat underlying causes of hearing loss, to a custom solution from the wide range of modern hearing devices we offer.
What is an Audiogram?
An audiogram is a graph that measures the softest audible volume you can hear at a particular pitch or frequency. This is recorded in decibels, or volume (vertical axis), versus hertz and kilohertz, or low to high pitch (horizontal axis). It plots the progression of your hearing ability. Often, people with age-related hearing loss hear better at lower frequencies than at higher frequencies.
Audiograms are used by audiologists to program hearing devices to compensate for your specific loss. The hearing thresholds of both ears are plotted on the same graph, with the results for the left earmarked by an ‘X’, and the right ear by an ‘O’.
Have a Different Question?
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Or call — (07) 5231 8867