Hearing Aids FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no one best brand - fortuntely there are some great choices and various styles that may suit some wearers. It can be a case of personal choice.
When we recommend a centre or audiologist the aids are bundled i.e. the complete after care is included in the cost for the warranty period of the aid. An unbundled hearing aid has additional costs for items like, cleaning and adjustments.
With full care you are assured that if a problem occurs you can have it adjusted - also there is an incentive to get the fitting right to avoid having problems in the first place.
Absolutely - many audiologists and centres will allow you to trial an aid. Not every style of hearing aid is suitable to every client or type of hearing loss.
Some audiologists suggest a hearing aid should last from 5-7 years. Hence choosing wisely, having a trial of at least one aid and a choice of various brands do make a big difference. For example one brand of aid may suit a certain profile of hearing loss and lifestyle better.
Most hearing aid suppliers are quite generous with providing cost effective repairs when aids are out of warranty. Warranty in Australia is usually 3 years. If the aid has been purchased in Australia getting repairs and servicing is a straight forward process. Many repairs are around the $100 - $400 mark.
One of my Brisbane audiologists mentioned she would not take another test for granted. The equipment needs to be correctly calibrated - and often the fitting is actually the most important aspect. A good audiologist will do an acurate test and fit.
There is a difference between a screening test and a proper diagnostic test. Some screening tests may be free - sometimes audiologists will charge for a full test and refund that off the price of the aids if you continue to purchase.
An audiologist is higher qualified usually a masters degree. An audiometrist is trained in assessing hearing and correcting this.

Both audiologists and audiometrists provide a similar service with respect to fitting hearing aids. Audiologists can be good if they recognise a problem that may be treatable with medical attention. Audiometrists can be very effective at fitting aids and testing your hearing.
Depending on your extras cover you could receive up to $1000 per aid with a time limit of 3-5 years depending on the fund. As the health funds have various plans, check what benefits are paid out directly.
Being a health expense Hearing Aids may be claimable on your income tax in Australia. Check with your accountant.

Check examples of Hearing Aid Rebates from Private Health Insurance in Australia
The first sign of noise-induced hearing loss is often the difficulty to hear high-pitched sounds, such as consonants (e.g. 't', 'd', 's') and the voices of women and children. When more than one person is speaking or there is a background noise, the problem becomes worse.

Noise-induced hearing loss occurs gradually over a long period of time and unfortunately, hearing loss is permanent. See image below from SafeWork SA
Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Notice the area most effected are the higher frequencies in the speach range - this is why the high-pitched sounds are difficult to understand by people with Noise Induced Hearing Loss.
Will I get Feedback when wearing a motor bike helmet and a hearing aidSome aids now come with sophisticated feedback control mechanisms. For example in this review of the Unitron Quantum 12 CIC Hearing Aid the wearer says he does not get feedback when wearing the aid under his motor bike helmet. This would also be beneficial to miners or anyone needing a hearing aid that does not give an annoying squealing sound when enclosed.
Noise causes sound waves that make our ear drums vibrate. These vibrations are received by hair cells in the inner ear, which flatten according to the frequency and loudness of the sound and stimulate nerves that pass messages to the brain.
Very loud sounds make the hair cells collapse and flatten temporarily, resulting in temporary deafness. This is referred to as a temporary threshold shift and may last hours or longer depending on the degree of noise exposure.
This temporary hearing loss may also be accompanied by a ringing sensation called tinnitus.
If this severe noise exposure is repeated over many years, the hair cells in the inner ear become permanently damaged resulting in permanent hearing loss.
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This site is part of a network of sites that are upfront about the Cost of Hearing Aids. The catylyst for these sites was being overcharged by a hearing centre for a hearing aid and finding someone 100 metres away $2000 cheaper for exactly the same product.
Audiologists who do the right thing by clients should be rewarded with more clients in our view.