Approximately 60% of sixty year olds, & 70% of seventy year olds, have a permanent hearing impairment. Early detection of hearing impairment is important to be able to preserve auditory function. Basically, if you don’t use it, you lose it!
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
There are many symptoms of hearing loss, for example, family may complain that the TV is too loud, you may have trouble hearing on the phone, you may feel that children or people you communicate with are mumbling, you may have difficulty hearing in noise, you may feel tired or anxious in noisy environments, you may withdraw from social events, you may constantly ask people to repeat themselves, or you may have trouble hearing people coming from or talking behind you.
Hearing loss can occur very slowly, so you may not realise that you have an issue. However, the people around you may notice the changes. Early detection of a hearing loss can be helpful and prevent rapid changes. Undiagnosed hearing loss can lead to withdrawal, depression and even the perception from family that someone is losing their ability to think independently or dementing. At Hear Check, we believe that regular checks of your hearing will allow for early detection of a hearing loss enabling you to avoid all the typical debilitating symptoms of an undiagnosed hearing loss. Don’t let you family think you are losing you faculties, when instead you have a hearing loss!
The following services are offered for adults;
You may be eligible for free hearing services through the Office of Hearing Services which assists eligible clients. You are eligible to apply for a Hearing Services Voucher if you are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident 21 years or older and you are:
- a Pensioner Concession Card Holder;
- receiving Sickness Allowance from Centrelink;
- the holder of a Gold Repatriation Health Card issued for all conditions;
- the holder of a White Repatriation Health Card issued for conditions that include hearing loss;
- a dependent of a person in one of the above categories;
- a member of the Australian Defence Force1; or
- part of the Australian Government funded Disability Employment Services (DES) – Disability Management Service and you are referred by your Disability Employment Services case manager.
You are eligible to receive hearing services through the Community Service Obligations (CSO) component of the program if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you are:
- younger than 26 years;
- an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander who is over 50 years;
- an Indigenous participant in the Remote Jobs and Community Program;
- or, a former Indigenous participant in a Community Development Employment Projects Program, who received hearing services before 30 June 2013.
In addition, National Disability Insurance Scheme participants may access hearing services through the program if referred for services by their National Disability Insurance Agency Planner.
For more information, please visit the Office of Hearing Services website; www.hearingservices.gov.au
Hear Check are happy to assist you with an explanation about the program, we can also help you with applications for free services. Please just ask us how.
Hear Check provides hearing aids through the Office of Hearing service program. Hear Check also can provide individualised and highly specialised services for clients wishing for a discreet and private health option.
Feel free to ask us how this might work. We are also happy to answer questions about your hearing or hearing aids. Hear Check will endeavour to assist you with any enquiry.
Hear Check provides thorough and objective advice to patients. Hear Check Audiologists are salaried, not on commission, and Hear Check hearing aid prices are VERY competitive with local commercial providers. Hear Check hearing aid prices include a comprehensive package of services that includes:
- Comprehensive hearing assessment
- Individual prescription and fitting of hearing aids
- Office visits with the audiologist as needed
- How to best manage your hearing loss training
- Hearing aid cleaning
If you are not satisfied with your hearing aids, you may return them within the first 15-30 days of use, and most of the purchase price (about 90 percent) will be refunded.
Procedures for obtaining hearing aids through Hear Check are simple. No doctor or specialist referral is necessary. Appointments can be arranged by calling 07 5493 9001 or 0499 005 905. A recent hearing test will need to be performed.
At Hear Check, we perform a comprehensive range of hearing assessments. Each test will look at a different part of your hearing system, pin-pointing where your hearing difficulty may lie within the auditory system.
Hearing tests are painless and involve determining and measuring what you can and cannot hear, across varying pitches. Results are plotted onto a graph called an audiogram, where we can tell you the degree (mild, moderate, severe, profound) and nature (which part of your system) of the hearing loss.
This graph can then be provided to your GP and/or specialist.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can occur for many reasons across our lifespan. Generally speaking, when you have a hearing loss, there has been some damage to the outer, middle or inner ear or sometimes in the auditory nerve pathway to the brain.
Sometimes hearing loss is present from birth. In other circumstances, hearing loss develops over time as a result of the normal aging process, exposure to loud noise, as the result of an illness, an accident, and even exposure to toxic drugs and chemicals.
Types of Loss
There are three general types of hearing loss. These are known as conductive, sensorineural or a mixed hearing loss (a combination of both).
Conductive hearing loss is caused by problems that occur in the outer and middle ear. This can prevent sounds from progressing through to the inner ear. The most common causes of a conductive hearing loss are a build up of wax in the ear canal, a perforated ear drum, fluid in the middle ear space, and damaged middle ear bones (ossicles).
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the tiny cells or nerve endings in the inner ear get damaged. This hinders the sound from effectively being transmitted sound. The causes of sensorineural hearing loss include; exposure to ototoxic drugs (drugs with side effects that affect hearing), Meningitis, Meniere's disease, excessive noise exposure and most commonly the natural process of aging. In most cases, this condition is permanent.
Do you have a hearing loss?
Loss of hearing can happen so slowly that many don’t realise that the world around them is becoming quieter. For this reason, hearing loss often goes unnoticed. Some people with hearing loss think that sounds are just as loud as ever.
Hearing loss is difficult for the average person to detect, this is because some sounds, like a lawnmower or a dog barking, remain audible while other sounds like footsteps and more importantly clear speech become increasingly difficult to hear.
Stay informed and know where your hearing is at! Look out for the following common signs;
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
- Turning up the TV or radio volume too loud for others who are nearby
- Difficulty following conversations that involve more than two people
- Believing that others are mumbling or speaking too softly
- Difficulty understanding the voices of women and young children
- Problems hearing or mis-hearing in noisy places
The effects of hearing loss are more than physical. While your hearing loss may seem insignificant now — something you can deal with by simply turning the TV louder or asking friends to repeat themselves — it impacts more than you think:
- Hearing loss can have a negative impact on your ability to learn, socialize and enjoy life.
- Untreated patients are more likely to miss important information in meetings and phone calls, and make mistakes at work.
- Hearing problems can lead to avoidance or withdrawal from social situations, social rejection and loneliness.
- Friends often avoid talking to people with hearing loss because of the difficulty communicating.
- People with uncorrected hearing impairment earn less than people who hear normally.1
To make matters worse, studies have shown that the effects of hearing loss are cumulative. Just as muscles grow weak from lack of use, the brain loses its ability to process sounds and recognize speech without regular auditory stimulation. By the time you finally acknowledge your hearing loss is real, you may have already lost the full appreciation of sounds and music you once enjoyed.
Everyone has different reasons for why they put off seeking help for hearing loss, from price issues and vanity concerns to preconceived and often outdated ideas of how hearing aids perform.
The good news is that today’s hearing aids — like all high-tech devices — have come a long way in terms of looks and performance. And independent research shows that hearing aid usage has a positive effect on1:
1 Source: www.betterhearing.org
Once you suspect your hearing has declined, it's time to take action. Call Hear Check to assist you with all your hearing care. Hear Check professional Audiologists will give you a thorough evaluation and help with solutions for your hearing care.
What to expect when deciding on hearing aids
The process is simple — most evaluations consist of four steps:
- Hearing analysis
Your ears will be visually examined with an otoscope, and you'll be tested with state-of-the-art equipment to determine the type of hearing loss you have. Your results will be illustrated in an audiogram that the hearing professional will walk through with you.
- Lifestyle discussion
Your hearing professional will want to know the types of sound environments you frequent, the activities you enjoy, and will ask other lifestyle-related questions to help customize the best solution.
- Hearing aid options
If it's determined that hearing aids can help, your hearing professional will show you the best solutions to fit your unique needs and lifestyle.
- Budget discussion
You and your hearing professional will discuss pricing and payment options.