Complete Hearing Care
Gateway Medical Centre Level 2, 1 Mona Vale Road, Mona Vale, NSW, 2103
Hearing Solutions & Assistive Listening Devices - Mona Vale
Hearing Solutions Provided by Complete Hearing Care
There are basically two types of hearing aids on the market; hearing aids that sit on the ear and hearing aids that sit in the ear.
Below you’ll find a list of the five different types of hearing aids available:
1. BTE - Behind the Ear
2. ITE - In the Ear
3. ITC - In the Canal
4. CIC - Completely in the Canal
5. Open Fit Hearing Aids
What Does Open Fit Hearing Aid Mean?
An open fit hearing aid is a specific type of behind the ear aid.
There are two options with behind the ear hearing aids. The regular option is when the audiologist uses a custom-made mould which goes into your ear canal and the hearing aid goes behind your ear.
However, with an open fit hearing aid, the mould is replaced by a thin tube, or a small receiver, which delivers the sound into the ear. With this setup, the hearing aid also goes behind your ear.
The open fit/receiver-in-ear-canal hearing aids are very common, they are one of the most commonly advertised types of hearing aids.
The reason for their popularity is because they're most suitable for people with hearing loss due to older age or because they've been exposed to significant noise in their work environment. This particular portion of the population lose more hearing in high frequencies and hearing in low frequencies.
When people with this kind of hearing loss use moulds, they report that they get a blocked feeling. For example, when they speak they can hear their own words echoing in their ear.
However, when they use an open fit hearing aid with the tube/receiver, they don't get this blocked feeling.
This is the main difference between an open fit hearing aid with a tube/receiver and a behind the ear hearing aid with a mould.
Keep in mind that open fit hearing aids can only be useful with a certain level of hearing loss. When hearing loss is very significant, you will need to have a mould for your hearing aid.
Custom Fit Hearing Aids
One of the benefits of purchasing your hearing aid with Complete Hearing Care is that it will be custom-made to suit the shape of your ear.
While it’s possible to purchase hearing aids online, it’s recommended that you visit an audiologist to discuss your options.
If you prefer to wear a discreet mould solution in the ear because you don't want to wear a behind the ear hearing aid, that's option for you too.
You might look at the list of five different types of hearing aids and feel overwhelmed by the different styles to choose from.
Is there a more popular mid-range option, that's a combination of being both discreet and affordable?
Open fit hearing aids are one of the most popular on the market. This is because they can come in small sizes and the tube is also clear, so it's quite a discreet hearing aid solution. Open fit hearing aids also come with various technology options.
The price tag for an open fit hearing aid starts at around $1,000 which represents good value for money. In general, the price range for a hearing aid is between $1,000 and $5,000.
If you choose an open fit hearing aid, you'll be paying at the lower end of the price range for a popular and discreet product.
Hearing Aids for Kids
In Australia, independent audiologists can’t recommend hearing aids for children. This is because the hearing aids are provided by a government initiative called Australian Hearing (https://www.hearing.com.au/).
Your Complete Hearing Care audiologist will establish the hearing levels of your child and determine whether they need a hearing aid. If further services and products are needed, they’ll refer you to Australian Hearing.
Australian Hearing have a section for children’s hearing testing and hearing rehabilitation, which includes hearing aid fitting.
Choosing a Hearing Aid
What's the process for adults choosing a hearing aid?
Complete Hearing Care does a hearing assessment and will then advise you as to which style of hearing aid will be suitable for you, based on your results.
For example, the type of hearing aid you need might be open fit, or you might need a behind the ear hearing aid.
The audiologist will also establish other areas of your hearing needs. They will determine what specific environments you’re having hearing difficulty with.
Social locations aren’t very hearing-friendly. For example, some clients will say “I have a lot of problems when I go out to restaurants”. Places like restaurants or other social areas where people gather can be very challenging locations. People may be talking loudly or hard floor surfaces in certain areas reflect sounds which can be uncomfortable.
However, someone living in a retirement village might not go out as much, and if they do go out, it might not be to very busy or particularly noisy places.
Individuals in these two scenarios will need hearing aids with different types of technology.
Price Range of Hearing Aids
The prices of hearing aids vary depending on the different levels of technology.
For example, if your hearing needs are more complex or demanding, you’ll need more advanced technology which is more expensive. Whereas if you have a lifestyle that isn't as demanding, you can have a hearing air with more basic technology and therefore is less expensive.
Hearing Impaired Devices and Phones
Assistive Listening Devices
Individuals can benefit from assistive hearing technology without having to use hearing aids. Assistive listening devices are designed for various purposes and include telephones, alarm clocks and other devices.
It is also possible to use a combination of assistance listening devices and hearing aids.
When people have significant to profound hearing loss they’ll need to combine their hearing aid with other assistive listening devices.
Hearing Impaired Phone
If you have a landline phone, you may find that it’s not loud enough. Standard landline phones aren’t designed with loud volume settings for the hearing impaired. Your audiologist can provide you with a hearing-impaired phone that has louder settings.
The assistive landline phones also have bigger numbers, bigger dials, and bigger screen. The larger parts of the phone are useful for elderly people who have arthritis and less mobility in their fingers.
Another example of this assistive technology are special alarm clocks that have louder volumes. These alarm clocks also have a feature you can put under your pillow, so when the alarm rings, it also vibrates.
These alarm clocks and other devices are for people who have advanced hearing loss.
Some individuals will get limited benefit from relying on hearing aids alone, when you have the right kind of assistive listening set up, your quality of life will improve.
Assistive listening also includes Bluetooth technology. Most modern hearing aids have built-in Bluetooth technology.
This technology allows you to stream sound from your technology devices, such as your phone or TV, directly to your hearing aid.
Complete Hearing Care can install this functionality on your hearing aid for you. The audiologist will attach a Bluetooth streamer, which is digitally links your hearing aid to your phone and other devices.
Some people with hearing loss have poor speech perception. This means that even when they wear a hearing aid, they still can't hear things clearly. This problem can be solved with a microphone.
The microphone sits on a table in front of the speaker, or can be held by the person who is speaking. When the speaker is close to the microphone, the signal is very clear so there is less noise. This sound is then transferred to Bluetooth hearing aids.
This microphone is called a satellite microphone; the microphone talks to the Bluetooth streamer, and the streamer talks to the hearing aid.
The same thing can be done with a landline phone or the TV. The sound coming from the landline phone or TV is transferred to the Bluetooth streamer which is transferred to the hearing aid.
Bluetooth technology works best in a quiet environment where background noise can't interfere with the sound quality.
When using a Bluetooth streamer with your phone, the Bluetooth streamer is worn around your neck and the hearing aid will be on your ear as usual. You’ll also be able to move around and do things as normal when wearing the Bluetooth streamer.
Hearing Protection and Prevention
Hearing protection can also be described as hearing loss prevention. You can prevent hearing loss for yourself and your children by using protective hearing products.
Complete Hearing Care provide custom-made ear plugs for swimmers, musicians, and other uses.
If you or your child frequently get middle ear infections, you might want to consider getting fitted for custom ear plugs. The Complete Hearing Care team make custom-made ear plugs that will stop water getting into the ear, which decreases the chances of infection.
Musicians who play in bands are constantly are exposed to loud sounds coming from sound systems that their instruments are plugged into. Complete Hearing Care can provide custom noise reduction ear plugs for musicians.
These ear plugs contain music filters that filter out certain levels of sound that are common in this environment. This allows the musician to still play music, but the sound levels are lowered to reduce the chances of hearing loss.
All custom-made ear plugs are made with safe materials. The ear plugs are produced by large companies that conduct research in accordance with approved standards.
Ear plugs are made from either a hard or soft acrylic material, each with its own unique specifications depending on the use of the product.
Custom-Made versus Pre-Made Ear Plugs
There are disadvantages to pre-made ear plugs that you can buy at chemists, sports and music stores and elsewhere.
Generally, pre-made ear plugs aren’t going to stay in your ears as they are not custom made to fit your ears. They can often be uncomfortable, and you can't use them for long hours.
Pre-made ear plugs also have poor ability for noise cancelling and water leakage can occur if wearing pre-made plugs in the water.
Custom-made ear plugs provide a far better fit, improved comfort, and better noise reduction.
If you’d like to get fitted for custom earplugs, the Complete Hearing Care team take an impression of your ear canal to send off. Once your ear plugs are ready, you’ll come back to the office and are fitted by the team
Hearing Aid and Ear Plug Delivery Times
Generally, the delivery time for ear plug is two weeks and for hearing aids, the delivery time is one week.
If you’re applying for a hearing aid under the free scheme, the same delivery time applies. However, with the free scheme there’s one extra appointment involved; you need to get a particular form issues by the audiologist which has to be signed by your GP to complete your hearing aid order and be issued with a hearing services voucher.
You can download the form from the Office of Hearing website (http://www.hearingservices.gov.au).
When you’re fitted with a hearing aid, your brain needs to go through a process of adjustment.
If you’ve had hearing loss for many years and you start wearing a hearing aid, it will take some time to get used to it.
Sometimes people are unhappy with the performance of their hearing aid because they haven't been told how to go about using it properly.
Becoming accustomed to your hearing aid is a step-by-step process.
Complete Hearing Care will guide you in how to get the most out of your hearing aid.
For example, when an audiologist is providing you with a hearing aid, they should let you know not to go out into a noisy environment straight away as you may find the environment is too noisy to hear properly. You’ll need to go through a process of getting accustomed to different noises and sounds in the environment.
A hearing aid isn’t going to solve the hearing problems in every scenario you encounter. It's not as simple as putting a hearing aid in and suddenly get your hearing back again. Hearing is a bit more complex than that.
Complete Hearing Care will provide you with strategies you can use to get the best performance out of your hearing aid.
For example, you may frequent crowded places, where you're surrounded by 50 or more people, you could be having dinner at a restaurant, or enjoying a show at the theatre.
Complete Hearing Care can give you strategies as well as tips about how to use assistive hearing technology available in public, such as a hearing loop, to your advantage.
Using a hearing aid doesn't have to be a frustrating experience, you simply need to learn how to manage your hearing aid.
Hearing Aid Repairs and Batteries
If you're using your hearing aid regularly as directed, it will need servicing and repairs as necessary. Complete Hearing Care can take care of this for you.
If you own a hearing aid that you purchased elsewhere external to Complete Hearing Care, the team will still be able send it to the manufacturer within Australia.
If not under warranty, the manufacturer will provide a quote before repairing the hearing aid which will be forwarded to you.
You can also purchase batteries for your hearing aid directly from the Complete Hearing Care clinic. If you need to purchase batteries for your hearing aid, simply specify the battery size, and the batteries can be provided over the reception counter.