Hearing Aids & Hearing Loss

When choosing Hearing Aids at our practice

  1. The patient should inform his/her audiologist how much he/she would like to spend on hearing aids.
  2. The patient should understand the advantages and disadvantages of each hearing aid style.
  3. The patient should be able to trial test hearing aids.
  4. The patient should choose the STYLE and COLOUR of the hearing aid/s.
  5. The patient must understand the process of fitting and adjusting the hearing aids.

Hearing Aid Myths

  • The smaller, or in-the-ear hearing aids, are MORE expensive.
  • Hearing aids are VERY expensive.
  • If I cannot afford a hearing aid, I cannot get one.
  • I never have to change the hearing aid batteries.
  • Hearing aids last FOREVER.
  • Hearing aids will restore my hearing to NORMAL.

Hearing Aid Facts

  • Hearing aids must be serviced annually.
  • All hearing aids require zinc-air or rechargeable silver/zinc or lithium batteries.
  • Hearing aids must be cleaned and filters/tubing/domes, etc must be replaced.
  • Hearing aids are electronic devices and dislike sweat, humidity and water.

Causes of hearing loss

The primary goal of my practice is to IDENTIFY the cause of your loss of hearing sensitivity, since many hearing losses can be treated medically and even reversed.  This is called DIAGNOSTIC AUDIOMETRY.

  • Noise-induced and age-related hearing loss are the most common causes of permanent hearing loss. Middle ear infection is the most common cause of hearing loss amongst children and if treated, should be of a temporary nature.
  • Examples of noise exposure include: listening to loud music especially when wearing headsets, shooting, machinery noise, recreational noise such as motorbikes/racing cars, explosions.  The use of hearing protectors is strongly recommended.  Hearing sensitivity decreases either gradually or suddenly depending on the type and intensity of the sound.
  • Age-related hearing loss occurs gradually in both ears and affects the inner ear (cochlear) and or auditory nerve (NVIII).

Other less common causes of hearing loss

  • Viruses due to mumps, measles, chicken pox and the cytomegalovirus.
  • Syndromes such us Down, Allport, Usher’s, Waardenburg, Treacher Collins.
  • Accident or blow to head/ear.
  • Toxicity to the inner ear due to certain medications, for example cancer treatment drugs.
  • Perforation/hole in the eardrum.
  • Earwax occluding/blocking the ear canal.
  • Abnormalities of the middle ear bones (otosclerosis or fixation).
  • Abnormalities of the inner ear/cochlea (Ménière’s disease, auto-immune disease, diabetes).
  • Abnormalities of the auditory nerve (tumours, growths, blood supply problems).