When do I need a hearing aid?
It is quite normal as one grows older, to experience some form of hearing loss. It is usually the high frequency sounds that deteriorate first. In speech, this affects the consonant sounds. So typically what happens is one hears the vowel sounds, so that the listener knows that someone is speaking to them, but the speech is unclear. It is the consonants that give clarity to speech, and when missing or reduced makes speech sound muffled. The listener may say “stop mumbling”, or “speak clearly”, when in actual fact it’s their hearing that’s letting them down.
Why is it important to do something about a hearing loss?
Hearing loss can cause a person to become isolated and depressed. When you hear well, you feel more connected with people; communication improves, people don’t have to repeat things for you and in some cases where the person has become isolated, one will have the confidence to join in on the conversation. This is where we come in – hearing aids are a speciality medical device which is individually programmed for the intended user. In order to know what levels to set the hearing aids to, a hearing test is performed.
So what is involved in a hearing test?
A hearing test comprises of a few separate steps.
- We inspect the ears for wax or any ear pathologies
- Headphones are placed over the ears and a series of beeps are presented. It is your job to acknowledge when you hear the sound by pressing a button. Each tone is triple checked before moving onto the next sound. These beeps help to formulate the appropriate prescription for hearing aids if they are needed.
- The third and final step in the testing procedure is to ascertain the type of hearing loss as hearing loss is broken down in to 3 types:
- Sensorineural – This type of hearing loss is one that cannot be recovered – typically affects the cochlea and is a permanent hearing loss. The most effective remedy would be hearing aids, or in the case of a profound hearing loss, a cochlear implant.
- Conductive – This type of hearing loss is one that can possibly be recovered with medical intervention.
- Mixed – quite simply a mixture of the above two. With conductive and mixed losses the patient is often referred on for further medical treatment.
Hearing loss is measured by the following descriptions: Mild – Moderate – Severe – Profound
How do hearing aids work?
An audiogram is obtained through a hearing test, which is used as the prescription to set the sound levels for the hearing aids. Each device is customised to suit the person’s specific hearing level as obtained during the test. Follow up appointments are used to fine tune the hearing devices to best suit your comfort and lifestyle needs.
Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes – our friendly staff can best recommend the most appropriate device upon completion of the testing.
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