Frequently Asked Questions

 1. What is involved in doing a hearing test?

A full hearing test is a comprehensive diagnostic assessment that checks an individual’s hearing (auditory) system. This is best practice, involving a series of beeps and whistles, called pure tones, played through headphones or earphones and the individuals indicates when they can hear them.  In addition to detecting sounds, you may be asked to repeat a series of words to assess the integrity of your auditory pathway. An objective measurement of your ear drum pressure and movement is also completed. 

A comprehensive hearing test is vastly different from a hearing screen which is a shorter limited headphone check of a few sounds to see if they are within or outside the normal listening range. A hearing screen is designed to generate a pass or refer result for further diagnosis testing. 

 

 

2. How long does it take to assess my hearing concerns?

If you feel that your hearing is not what it used to be, or are concerned that a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss, take a couple of minutes to do the short self-assessment test provided here.

This hearing test is only a very basic screening tool. If you feel that you may have hearing difficulties, we strongly recommend that you call one of our clinics to arrange a full diagnostic hearing test where 45minutes is allocated. 

 

 

3.I have ringing in my ears, what can you do about this?

Tinnitus is the term used to describe the perception of sound, which is not present externally. It is commonly heard, as ringing, hissing, buzzing or clicking and can be a single sound or a number of different sounds.

Some common tinnitus triggers are:

  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Physical injury or head trauma
  • Ear or neural disease
  • Extreme stress
  • Circulatory changes
  • Muscle spasms
  • Ageing
  • Some prescription and non-prescription drugs

Tinnitus and the ringing in the ear/s can be managed, we have a number strategies we can advise you to help with the ringing. A hearing and tinnitus assessment can be provided by us to help with treatment.

 
 
4. Of what age do you need to be to have hearing aids?
There is no age limit of when hearing aids can be fitted, each person is addressed separately and fitted to their needs. The earlier the hearing issues are address, the better the long term quality of life outcomes are.
 
 
5. What do Hearing Professionals Specialize in and what are your services?
Hearing Professionals offer a full range of hearing services including:
  • Diagnostic hearing assessment for adults, children, and infants
  • Ear cleaning including micro-suctioning wax management
  • Hearing instrument prescriptions, including extended wear invisible options
  • Objectively verified hearing device fitting, accessories, and servicing of all makes and models
  • Auditory Rehabilitation including Auditory Training Programs and group therapy
  • Central auditory processing, evaluation, and management
  • Ear Protection including customized earplugs for musicians, swimming, and industry
  • Tinnitus assessment and management.
 
6. What are Symptoms Of Hearing Loss?
Recognizing hearing loss in yourself, or someone you know is the first step toward improving hearing.
 
Signs of Hearing Loss include:
  • Turning up the volume on the TV or radio to a level that disturbs others
  • Consistently asking people to repeat themselves, or speaking more loudly
  • Avoiding social situations such as restaurants or parties, where noise can make it difficult to hear the conversation
  • Complaining that people around you mumble. 
 
7. What Is Meniere’s Disease?
Meniere’s Disease (MD) is a disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes of dizzy spells (vertigo), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), a feeling of pressure in the ear (aural fullness), and fluctuating hearing loss. Patients do not necessarily have all symptoms and symptoms vary over time. A typical episode of MD is proceeded by fullness in one ear, acute reduction of hearing, or changes in tinnitus and generally involves severe vertigo, imbalance, nausea, and vomiting. 
 
The average attack lasts two to four hours. Triggers for attacks can be stress, fatigue, emotional distress, additional illnesses, pressure changes, and diets. 
 
MD can develop at any age but it is most likely to happen to adults between 40 and 60 years of age. Women are more prone to developing MD. It usually affects one ear, however, it often extends to involve both ears over time.
 
 

8. What Is Earwax?

Also known as cerumen, earwax is not actually wax. It is fatty secretions produced by the glands that line the outer part of the ear canal. Producing earwax is a healthy function of your ear.

 

9. Is earwax dirty? 

Earwax is actually a helpful part of your body’s defenses. It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It cleans, lubricates, and protects the ear canal and eardrum from dust, hair, small insects, and microorganisms. It also lowers the risk of infection, as well as irritation.

However excessive amounts of earwax impacted in the ears can cause distress and may lead to various problems.

 10. How Is Meniere’s Disease Diagnosed

Diagnosis of MD is based on medical history and inner ear tests to examine balance and hearing. The doctor will typically order hearing and balance testing, including a caloric test, electrocochleography (ENG), head impulse tests and vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) testing. The doctor may also order other tests such as head MRI or cranial CT scan to rule out conditions such as Multiple sclerosis (MS) or brain tumors that can cause symptoms similar to MD.

 

11. How do digital hearing aids reduce background noise?

Digital hearing aids can actually tell the difference between speech and background noise and do this individually for every frequency band. The hearing aid then amplifies the speech sounds and reduces the amplification of background noise.

 

12. Do I need both ears to hear?

We were born with two ears for a reason: it helps with sound location and provides much clearer ‘stereo quality’. Advanced features such as directional microphones are far more effective when applied with two hearing aids.

For these reasons, We strongly recommend that our clients are fitted with hearing aids in each ear affected by hearing loss, as this will lead to a vastly improved benefits and client satisfaction.

 

13. How Can Noise Damage Our Hearing?

For us to hear, sensory cells called hair cells in our hearing organ move in response to sound so

electrical signals can be sent to the brain, which we then interpret as sounds. Noise exposure damages these hair cells causing their eventual death. As they have no repair mechanism, once damaged these hair cells are gone permanently. Sound is measured in units called decibels. In general, exposure to sounds at or above 85 dBA can cause Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The louder the sound, the faster the hearing damage.

 

14. What are the signs and symptoms of hearing loss?

  • ringing, buzzing or roaring in the ears (Tinnitus) 
  • muffling or distortion of sounds
  • difficulty deciphering speech
  • associated dizziness following exposure to loud noises
  • difficulty hearing in noisy situations, such as crowded areas like restaurants
  • need for repetition
  • need to turn up the volume of TV or radio.


15. What Is Otosclerosis?

Otosclerosis affects about 1 in 200 people. Otosclerosis is the abnormal formation of spongy bone in the middle ear ossicles – the three small bones of the middle ear – causing them to become fused into position and unable to pass on sound vibrations from the ear drum through to the inner ear.

The ossicle mainly involved in Otosclerosis is the stapes (or stirrup) which becomes fixed to the oval window, the entrance to the inner ear.

 

 

16. What Is Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL)?

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL), as the name implies, is the rapid loss of hearing in the ear, occurring over a period of up to 72 hours. It typically effects one ear and can vary in severity. There is a low incidence of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, with 5-20 cases per 100,000 people. It occurs most often in people aged 30-60 years old. Both males and females are equally affected. 

 

17. What Is Auditory Processing Disorder(APD)?

A person with APD typically has normal hearing and intelligence, yet may be unable to recognise, interpret and/or remember sounds appropriately, particularly in difficult or noisy listening environments, e.g.:

  • forget or not understand oral instructions
  • mishear speech
  • be unable to separate speech from background noise
  • complain about noise
  • be described as a poor listener or inattentive
  • be slow at developing oral and written language.

 

18. Should I Clean My Own Ears?

The simple answer is “no”. Your ears’ natural self-cleaning mechanism works best when left alone.

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