LT | FAQ - Hearing Loss

About Hearing Loss

How many people have hearing loss?

Hearing loss is more common than you might think - 3.5 million Australian adults are affected. As we get older, the incidence of hearing loss increases from 58% (aged between 60-70) to 75% (70 years or older). Across all age groups, men have a higher incidence than women.

What are some causes of hearing loss?

There are many causes that can accumulate over our lifetimes. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Extended exposure to loud noise (gunshots, music, industrial, power saws, lawn mowers)
  • Heredity
  • Certain chemotherapy and radiation treatments
  • Head trauma
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Earwax buildup
  • Ear infections
  • Viral infections

What are the different kinds of hearing loss?

There are three primary types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive Hearing Loss: Results from a problem with the conduction of sound from the outer ear (the part you can see) to the inner ear (where the nerve is located). This can result from wax buildup, ear infections, trauma to the ear or other problem with the eardrum or bones that conduct sound through the middle ear. Those with this type of loss have a problem with volume rather than understanding ability.
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Involves some sort of deterioration of the inner ear or the hearing nerve. The aging process, noise-exposure, some cancer treatments, illness, and other degenerative processes could cause this loss. This type of hearing loss sometimes impairs understanding ability.
  • Mixed Hearing Loss: Occurs when there's a problem in the inner ear and outer or middle ear. It's a combination of a conductive and sensoineural hearing loss.

What are some symptoms of hearing loss?

Everyone's hearing is unique, so everyone experiences hearing loss in different ways. Here are some of the common symptoms:

  • You often miss certain words or find yourself confusing words or misunderstanding conversations.
  • You frequently ask the speaker to repeat what was said.
  • Your family members or friends have expressed concern about your hearing.
  • You avoid certain social situations (e.g. the theatre, restaurants, parties) because it's difficult to hear.
  • You have difficulty understanding telephone conversations.
  • You turn up the volume on the radio or television to levels that are too loud for others.
  • You have difficulty following conversations in groups or in the presence of background noise.
  • You have difficulty hearing outdoor sounds such as birds or the wind.
  • You have ringing or buzzing in your ear.

LT | FAQ - Hearing Tests

About Hearing Tests

How often should I have my hearing tested?

​It's widely recommended that adults be screened at least every decade through age 50 and at 12 month intervals after that. The sooner a hearing problem is detected, the better it can be treated. National Hearing Care always offers free hearing screenings. Set up your free hearing screening today at a National Hearing Care clinic near you. If you already own a hearing aid, they should be checked and cleaned 3–4 times a year to keep them working at peak performance.

Is a hearing test painful?

​Not at all. A hearing test is painless and easy. It's important to detect a loss as soon as possible as this can help minimise further hearing loss.

How long is the entire process from evaluation to hearing aid delivery?

​A hearing evaluation takes about 60 minutes. If it's determined that you need hearing instruments, it may take a bit more time so that you and your clinician can decide which hearing aids are best for you. Once your hearing aids have been ordered, your next appointment will be about two weeks later.

LT | FAQ - Hearing Aids

About Hearing Aids

Will a hearing aid restore my hearing to normal?

While hearing aids can't fully restore normal hearing, they can help immensely. At National Hearing Care, we have implemented an acclimatisation program to help you adapt to your hearing aids.

What is the "best" hearing aid on the market?

​The simplest answer to this question is: The one that fits, feels, and works best for you. There are a variety of factors you and your National Hearing Care clinician will discuss that help determine the exact model and programming that works best. In the end, you'll have a hearing device that's been created just for you to address your specific needs. Some of the factors determining which hearing aid is right for you include: your type of hearing loss, your lifestyle, comfort level, and price.

What different types of hearing aid features are available? And how do I know what is best for me?

​Advances in digital technology make modern hearing aids work better, adapt faster, and feel more comfortable than ever before. They're like mini–computers performing thousands of calculations a second. The amount of new features available is amazing—rechargeable batteries, automatic feedback reduction, and remote controls to name a few. The amount of features your hearing aid has depends on your needs and personal choice. National Hearing Care clinicians' will help you determine which ones will help you hear better and easier.

Do I need two hearing aids?

​If you have a hearing loss in both ears it's recommended that you wear a hearing aid in each ear. We were all born with two ears for a reason: it helps determine the direction of sound and boosts loudness. Two hearing aids will help you more than one.

Is there a hearing aid that can eliminate background noise?

​No hearing aid can completely eliminate background noise, but they can lessen the effects of non-speech noise. National Hearing Care can help you determine which hearing aid is the best fit for your listening needs.

How do I know what size hearing aid I need?

​Selection of hearing aid size depends upon your personal preference, your ear canal size, and your hearing loss. The smallest hearing aid is a Completely In the Canal (CIC) and fits deep into your ear canal. It's removed by pulling a small, nearly invisible cord. The next size is an In The Canal (ITC) hearing aid, which fits into your ear canal and is usually only visible from the side. An In The Ear (ITE) hearing aid fills your entire ear and a Behind The Ear (BTE) lies on top of your ear and goes behind it.

My friend didn’t have a positive experience with hearing aids. Will the same happen to me?

​Everyone's hearing loss is unique. Although someone you know may have had a negative experience with hearing aids, you may not have the same experience. Especially if you choose to come to National Hearing Care. We work hard to make improving your hearing an easy process from start to finish.

How long does it take to adjust to new hearing aids?

​It can take several weeks to completely adjust to your new hearing aids. Hearing tends to deteriorate gradually over time, so when sounds are reintroduced to the brain quickly, it can be a bit disorienting at first. This adjustment period is essential to get the maximum benefit from your hearing aids, and that is why National Hearing Care has an acclimitization program to help you through. 

What type of warranty comes with a hearing aid?

​The warranty for your hearing aid is typically up to 2 years – and is set by the manufacturer. Small repairs and part replacements are not always covered, - but we do have care plans available.  Speak to your National Hearing Care clinician about this. 

Can I afford a hearing aid?

​Hearing aid prices vary depending upon the model and style, but also upon the degree of your hearing loss and any special options or services you may choose to personalise your instrument. National Hearing Care offers payment plans that include interest free options. You may also be eligible for benefits for some services and hearing aids via the Office of Hearing Services or your private insurance company.

Am I entitled to government funding or insurance?

If you meet the eligibility criteria for the Office of Hearing Services program, then you will be able to access subsidised services.

If you are a typical private paying client, your hearing assessment and or/hearing aids can't be claimed on medicare.  Some health insurance plans, however will assist with the cost of hearing aids. Contact your insurance company to see if they provide you with hearing aid benefits.

How long do hearing aid batteries last?

​This depends – the harder your hearing aid has to work to process the sound, the more power it will require.  Anything from a couple of days to a week would be expected.  If it is less than this, then let us know. Your hearing aid may need to be repaired.

What happens if my hearing aid malfunctions while I am travelling?

​National Hearing Care has more than 190 locations nationwide.  That means wherever you travel in Australia, you're likely to be near a National Hearing Care clinic that will be happy to help you.  If you are travelling overseas, then you are in luck! Amplifon (National Hearing Care's parent owner) is the world's largest retailer of hearing aids, and you are covered by our worldwide global coverage.  You're covered, in the US, Brazil, selected European countries, Egypt, Israel, India & New Zealand – wherever life takes you!