FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of tests used by an audiologist to assess hearing. Pure tone audiometry measures the sensitivity of a person’s hearing across the range of sounds important for speech understanding. This should be carried out in a sound-proof booth.

A hearing screening test is a basic test of hearing levels using pure tone audiometry. If you are considering hearing aids, or have concerns about your hearing, a full diagnostic hearing assessment is needed.  This will include:

  • an evaluation of the health of your ears, indicating whether your ears/hearing require medical care 
  • pure tone audiometry
  • a speech discrimination test to assess your ability to hear speech clearly
  • an evaluation of your ability to tolerate loud and impact sounds 
  • an assessment of your communication needs and whether hearing aids will be of benefit to you 

Hearing aids are programmed on the basis of your hearing assessment results.  A full diagnostic assessment will enable your individual hearing and communication requirements to be assessed in depth, allowing accurate and personalised programming. 

Avoid loud noise for 16 hours prior to a hearing test. 

The hearing assessment requires concentration and time.  If you’re distracted or not feeling well, you’re more likely to miss very faint test tones.

Medicare will only provide a rebate on hearing assessments if patients are referred by their GP as part of an EPC program or if referred by their Ear Nose and Throat Specialist or Neurologist under specified referral item codes.  

There is no Medicare rebate on hearing aids.  Eligible patients may be covered under NDIS or under the Hearing Services Program.  

Ideally, every 12 months – unless there is a need for more regular monitoring.

No – unless you are seeking a Medicare rebate, when you will need to be referred by your GP as part of an EPC program or referred by your Ear Nose and Throat Specialist or Neurologist under specified referral item codes.

Hearing protection should be considered for any noisy activities, for example when using power tools, for recreational shooting, motor sports, loud music – damage relates to ‘how loud, for how long, how often’.

There is a legal requirement for venues to provide protection when volume levels reach a certain level What are the noise dose limits? (Hearing protection at work page)

If you have to shout to be understood when listening to music, the likelihood is that the volume level is potentially damaging.  The risk of damage varies from person to person.

Yes! As long as the volume is brought down below to a safe listening level. This requires correct insertion of the ear plugs and a volume level that is able to be reduced to safe levels.

There is a range of filtered ear plugs that have been designed for musicians.  These are available in custom or non-custom forms. The filters have a flat attenuation (dampening) response across the frequency range, which significantly reduces the high frequency distortion found with solid plugs, and can provide varying levels of protection. 

Learn more about hearing protection for musicians

Most hearing tests offered free of charge are a basic screening test.  If you are considering hearing aids, or have concerns about your hearing, a full diagnostic hearing assessment is needed.  This will include:

  • an evaluation of the health of your ears, indicating whether your ears/hearing require medical care 
  • a detailed hearing test
  • a speech discrimination test to assess your ability to hear speech clearly
  • an evaluation of your ability to tolerate loud and impact sounds 
  • whether hearing aids will be of benefit to you 

Hearing aids are programmed on the basis of your hearing assessment results.  An inadequate hearing assessment will restrict the accuracy of the hearing aid programming and the benefit obtained.  A full diagnostic assessment will enable your individual hearing and communication requirements to be assessed in depth, allowing accurate and personalised programming. 

All this takes time, and there are costs involved. We prefer to keep our charges transparent and do not absorb the assessment costs into our hearing aid prices.

Hearing Aids

A hearing aid is a miniaturised amplifying device worn at the ear to assist people with a hearing loss. Hearing aids are part of a hearing rehabilitation program and require personalised fine tuning and ongoing maintenance support to achieve optimal results.

A hearing aid receives sound through a microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals.  These signals are analysed, adjusted and customised by the processing chip and amplified to your level of hearing loss. The amplifier then sends these signals to the ear through a speaker.

The choice of hearing aid style will be determined by the technology required for your communication needs and level of hearing loss; by your preferences with regard to the appearance and visibility of the hearing aids; by your manual dexterity ability; and by the size and shape of your ears.

The level of technological sophistication should be matched to your communication needs and budget.

Learn more about choosing what hearing aid is right for you.

Hearing aid technology levels are set by the manufacturers to separate hearing aids into different performance and price categories.  These differences are largely based on noise processing features – the ability to detect and highlight a dominant speech sound in a noisy environment.  

People who rarely communicate in groups or significant levels of background noise may not need a sophisticated and expensive level of hearing aid technology. 

There is no Medicare rebate on hearing aids. Eligible patients may be covered under NDIS or under the Hearing Services Program.  

There is no Medicare rebate on hearing aids.  Eligible patients may be covered under NDIS or under the Hearing Services Program. 

There is no Medicare rebate on hearing aids or hearing aid maintenance, including batteries. Eligible patients may be covered for hearing aid provision and maintenance under NDIS or under the Hearing Services Program.

Hearing aids are highly sophisticated miniaturised devices that adapt to changing auditory environments and highlight a dominant speech sound in a noisy environment. The cost of hearing aids has been attributed to the amount of research and development required by the manufacturers to constantly improve their function and performance.   

Hearing aid prices vary from clinic to clinic depending on the ongoing support and service included in the cost.  We consider extensive follow-up Audiological support essential for a successful outcome. This allows us to support your adaptation to amplification and complete the fine-tuning of your hearing aids, so they are optimally matched to your individual communication and listening requirements.

We would not recommend purchasing hearing aids without follow up Audiological service being included in the cost.  It can be difficult to know when or even if this is needed, if it is not being offered or made readily available.

If you have a hearing loss, then hearing aids will be effective in both the management of your hearing loss and your tinnitus.  

Hearing aids, by amplifying external sounds around you, will result in your internal noise, or tinnitus, becoming less noticeable.

The average life of a hearing aid across the industry is about 5 years. With careful at-home maintenance and the maintenance support provided by our clinic, many of our clients are able to get longer with a life of 7+ years quite common.

Hearing aids are vulnerable to damage from moisture and need to be removed before having a shower, a bath, a swim or at the hairdressers. If they get wet, dry them carefully.

Our vacuum suction cleaning device at the reception counter draws moisture from hearing aids and may be able to restore them.  You will need to arrange a repair if they are not functioning. 

Every time you remove your hearing aid/mould/dome from your ear, you will need to wipe off any wax/debris with a tissue.

For fully behind-the-ear hearing aids, you will need to clean the output hole in your ear mould/dome to keep it unblocked and clean the tubing as needed with your whisker. Remove wax or debris from the air vent (if present) in your ear mould using the tool provided.

Learn more about everyday hearing aid maintenance.

As you “normalise” to the amplification provided by your hearing aids, you will become more reliant on your hearing aids and find it more difficult to cope without them.

Don’t worry about this – it doesn’t mean that your hearing has got worse or “lazy” – it simply means that the bar has been raised with regards to improved hearing. You have got used to hearing better and have got out of the habit of concentrating hard to compensate for your hearing loss.

Your hearing aids are now doing all this work for you – the job they are designed to do! 

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the term used to describe any sounds heard in the ears or the head which are not present externally. 

There are two main types of tinnitus:

  • Subjective tinnitus
  • Objective tinnitus

Subjective tinnitus is most common and can only be heard by you. Objective tinnitus is rare and, although faint, can be heard by others.

A hearing loss or a change in hearing is the most common cause of subjective tinnitus. However, tinnitus can develop without a measurable hearing loss. Tinnitus can be caused or aggravated by head, neck and jaw movements – this is known as somatosensory tinnitus. Certain medications, neurological conditions and head injuries can also cause tinnitus.  

Pulsatile tinnitus, where the heartbeat is heard, may indicate a vascular condition and needs to be medically evaluated.  Objective tinnitus usually arises as a result of muscle contractions. TTTS-associated clicking tinnitus is a form of objective tinnitus and can be heard by others.

Neuroscience research has identified most cases of tinnitus as a neurological phenomenon, arising in the first step in the central auditory pathway – the series of locations in the brain where sounds are processed.

There is, as yet, no specific treatment to stop this process. Evaluating and treating any identifiable cause for the tinnitus can help.  For persistent tinnitus, treating any associated anxiety and distress, and aiming for a satisfactory level of tinnitus habituation to be achieved are the most effective treatments.

Tinnitus can be a temporary result of exposure to loud noise/music and fade away overnight or after a few days.

If there is a treatable cause for the hearing loss leading to tinnitus, then treating the cause can treat the tinnitus. If the tinnitus is associated with a persistent hearing loss or has been present for more than 6 months, it is likely to remain.

For most people, the tinnitus spontaneously moves into the background of their awareness over time. 

If tinnitus persists, an audiological assessment to evaluate hearing levels, ear health, possible causes and to support tinnitus related anxiety and distress is a good first step.

Tinnitus therapy aims for tinnitus habituation to be achieved, where the tinnitus is in the background most of the time and causes little annoyance when noticed.  

Tinnitus is most commonly heard as ringing, hissing, buzzing or clicking, and can be a single sound or a number of different sounds. 

Tinnitus can be intermittent or persistent, and often fluctuates in volume.

Wax blocking the ear canal or sitting against the ear drum can affect the hearing and cause tinnitus.

Hearing aids, by amplifying external sounds around you, will result in your internal noise, or tinnitus, becoming less noticeable.

Hearing aids can be programmed to produce a sound in quiet environments so the tinnitus is less noticeable at those times. This may be in the form of white noise or streaming via an app.

The effort of straining to hear a conversation when a hearing loss is present and the resultant communication difficulties frequently lead to frustration, fatigue and stress. These are all major aggravating factors in tinnitus awareness and annoyance.   

Ear drops do not directly treat tinnitus.

Ear drops might be used to treat an outer ear infection or to soften ear wax, both of which can be causes of tinnitus. 

Tinnitus is often more noticeable in a quiet environment, particularly if there also are no sources of distraction. For this reason, many people with tinnitus are likely to be more aware of their tinnitus in a quiet bedroom at night.

The tinnitus will not be as obvious when surrounded by a constant low level neutral sound, whether you are trying to fall asleep or if you wake during the night. 

We carry stress in our jaw, which can manifest as jaw clenching or tooth grinding during sleep. This can be an aggravating factor for tinnitus.

Hyperacusis

When hyperacusis develops, loud/impact everyday sounds begin to appear unnaturally prominent and increasingly louder. 

Following exposure to these sounds, a temporary increase in tinnitus (if present) and/or hyperacusis may be noticed, and escalating sensations in the ear may develop due to TTTS, such as ear pain, a fluttering sensation or fullness/blockage in the ear.  

For many people, explanation and reassurance will allow them to desensitise their hyperacusis successfully. 

The factors resulting in hyperacusis are complex and outside a patient’s conscious control, so it is impossible to predict how long hyperacusis will last and desensitisation may not always be achievable

Significant hyperacusis can cause anxiety, distress, suffering from sound-induced pain and lifestyle constraints. 

Hyperacusis can be considered a disability for people affected by their hyperacusis in this way.

Desensitisation requires a personalised understanding of the mechanisms behind the development of hyperacusis and TTTS, such as:

  • effective treatment of sound-induced pain
  • belief in the prospect of change
  • management of auditory hyper-vigilance
  • the use of sound enrichment
  • the judicious use of ear protection.

Our Services

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the term used to describe any sounds heard in the ears or the head which are not present externally. 

There are two main types of tinnitus:

  • Subjective tinnitus
  • Objective tinnitus

Subjective tinnitus is most common and can only be heard by you. Objective tinnitus is rare and, although faint, can be heard by others.

A hearing loss or a change in hearing is the most common cause of subjective tinnitus. However, tinnitus can develop without a measurable hearing loss. Tinnitus can be caused or aggravated by head, neck and jaw movements – this is known as somatosensory tinnitus. Certain medications, neurological conditions and head injuries can also cause tinnitus.  

Pulsatile tinnitus, where the heartbeat is heard, may indicate a vascular condition and needs to be medically evaluated.  Objective tinnitus usually arises as a result of muscle contractions. TTTS-associated clicking tinnitus is a form of objective tinnitus and can be heard by others.

Neuroscience research has identified most cases of tinnitus as a neurological phenomenon, arising in the first step in the central auditory pathway – the series of locations in the brain where sounds are processed.

There is, as yet, no specific treatment to stop this process. Evaluating and treating any identifiable cause for the tinnitus can help.  For persistent tinnitus, treating any associated anxiety and distress, and aiming for a satisfactory level of tinnitus habituation to be achieved are the most effective treatments.

Tinnitus can be a temporary result of exposure to loud noise/music and fade away overnight or after a few days.

If there is a treatable cause for the hearing loss leading to tinnitus, then treating the cause can treat the tinnitus. If the tinnitus is associated with a persistent hearing loss or has been present for more than 6 months, it is likely to remain.

For most people, the tinnitus spontaneously moves into the background of their awareness over time. 

If tinnitus persists, an audiological assessment to evaluate hearing levels, ear health, possible causes and to support tinnitus related anxiety and distress is a good first step.

Tinnitus therapy aims for tinnitus habituation to be achieved, where the tinnitus is in the background most of the time and causes little annoyance when noticed.  

Tinnitus is most commonly heard as ringing, hissing, buzzing or clicking, and can be a single sound or a number of different sounds. 

Tinnitus can be intermittent or persistent, and often fluctuates in volume.

Wax blocking the ear canal or sitting against the ear drum can affect the hearing and cause tinnitus.

Hearing aids, by amplifying external sounds around you, will result in your internal noise, or tinnitus, becoming less noticeable.

Hearing aids can be programmed to produce a sound in quiet environments so the tinnitus is less noticeable at those times. This may be in the form of white noise or streaming via an app.

The effort of straining to hear a conversation when a hearing loss is present and the resultant communication difficulties frequently lead to frustration, fatigue and stress. These are all major aggravating factors in tinnitus awareness and annoyance.   

Ear drops do not directly treat tinnitus.

Ear drops might be used to treat an outer ear infection or to soften ear wax, both of which can be causes of tinnitus. 

Tinnitus is often more noticeable in a quiet environment, particularly if there also are no sources of distraction. For this reason, many people with tinnitus are likely to be more aware of their tinnitus in a quiet bedroom at night.

The tinnitus will not be as obvious when surrounded by a constant low level neutral sound, whether you are trying to fall asleep or if you wake during the night. 

We carry stress in our jaw, which can manifest as jaw clenching or tooth grinding during sleep. This can be an aggravating factor for tinnitus.