Yes, if you are starting to notice difficulties it’s important to have a full hearing test. We don’t just test which sounds you can hear, we also check how clearly you can understand speech, in quiet and in background noise.
Some common indications that you may have a hearing loss are:
- Turning the TV up
- Frequently asking for repeats
- Not being able to hear properly on the telephone
- Difficulty in noisy situations such as restaurants
- Missing out on important parts of the conversation
Often your partner or a close family member may be the first person to notice that you are having difficulty hearing.
Yes. About half of those that we see do choose to get hearing aids. Some people have a little bit of hearing loss that we just need to talk about, and continue to monitor.
Yes. Pick a seat in a restaurant where you can see the faces of the people that you are talking to. This can make it easier to follow what they are saying. With the television, if you’re not ready for hearing aids, we can get a set of cordless headphones. These can be one of the best options for hearing the TV clearly.
Yes. Sometimes a hearing loss can be caused by ear wax blocking the canal.
Most people don’t need the most expensive hearing aids, fully loaded with all the bells and whistles. It really is patient specific. You don’t always need the absolute top-of the-line hearing aid technology, if the features that you need are available in something less expensive.
At Chelsea Hearing, we always offer you a range of options, and it is up to you to choose something that you are comfortable with. You should never feel pressured to proceed with hearing aids that you don’t feel ready for.
Generally, the style of the hearing aid does not have very much impact on the price. There are very good, small hearing aids available at all price points. Larger hearing aids are not necessarily less expensive either. The good news is that the very small, comfortable hearing aids are suitable for most people these days.
Most people who are on a Centrelink pension (such as an age pension or a disability pension) are eligible for the Hearing Services Program. This enables them to choose from a range of hearing aids that are “free-to-client”. These hearing aids have improved significantly over the past few years, and a lot of people are pleasantly surprised at how natural they sound, and how small and comfortable they can be. Pensioners can also choose to contribute to more expensive hearing aids if they wish. Conditions apply under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program.
Chelsea Hearing is an independent clinic. We fit hearing aids from all of the major manufacturers. Our recommendations are made after we have tested your hearing, looked in your ears, and had a discussion about the things that you want to hear well. We also take the time to consider your preference for style and size of the hearing aids, as well as your budget. We will recommend the most appropriate hearing aids for you, and we will always give you a range of options to choose from.
If I wouldn’t do it for my Mum or Dad, I don’t do it for a patient. When I’m making recommendations for a patient, I think “if this was my mum or dad, with this hearing loss, and these difficulties, would I be making the same recommendations?”. If the answer is “yes”, then I know I’m doing my best for a patient.
The patient comes first. The patient is your customer and you want to have the healthiest, happiest patient that you can. That makes me happy as well. To know that we are helping that patient is rewarding.
It’s really nice to be able to make a difference for people. Often the partner of the person with a hearing loss may have been repeating themselves and having to speak louder for years. When we help with a hearing loss (often with hearing aids) it’s often the family members who notice the benefit first. Suddenly they don’t have to repeat everything, and they don’t get so tired from speaking loudly all day. It can make a big difference for the whole family.
My number one rule is to take things at the right pace of the individual patient. Some people come in here, and they know they want to get hearing aids and they want to get it all happening as quickly as possible. Other people come in, and they are having some difficulties hearing, but they don’t know if they have a hearing loss. They may need a little bit more time to understand their hearing loss, and the options available. It doesn’t help anyone to push someone in to getting hearing aids before they are ready for them, or to pressure someone to purchase hearing aids that cost more than they are comfortable with. Sometimes the best thing to do is explain what’s causing the problem, and what solutions are available. It can also be helpful to bring your partner or a close family member to your appointment with you.