Our Hearing Tests
Allow between half to one hour for an appointment with one of our hearing care professionals.
You will be asked a number of clinical questions about your hearing and what areas of life you are experiencing difficulties.
Your hearing will be tested in a sound booth to ensure the most accurate results. The test will involve listening and responding to sounds of varying pitch to determine the softest sounds that you can hear. This will help us find your hearing threshold so that we can determine if there is a loss, the degree of any loss and the type. In addition to pure tones, the assessment may also include a speech test to determine your ability to discriminate the sounds of words without visual cues.
Our practitioners can provide your doctor with test results if needed and advise you on whether hearing aids would be helpful in improving your hearing. Be assured that our staff will not tell you that you need hearing aids if we do not think you would benefit from them. If you decide to proceed with hearing aids, we will go through all your options and discuss what device would be best suited to your clinic needs, lifestyle requirements and budget. If you are eligible to receive Government assistance with the devices, we will explain your entitlements and assist you with the application process.
Hearing loss effects millions of people worldwide. In Australia the statistics suggest that about 1 in every 6 people have some form of hearing loss. Hearing loss is a general term that describes some level of inability to hear. Hearing loss can be the result of a number of different causes.
Types of hearing loss:
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL) – This is the most common form of hearing loss, with a number of different causes. Sensorineural hearing loss refers to the loss of hair cell function within the cochlea. The cochlea’s primary role is to convert sound from a mechanical vibration into a neural signal that is sent to the brain by the auditory nerve. Ageing is the most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss, however there are other causes, such as viral infection, ototoxic medication, congenital loss, ruptured cochlea, VIII nerve tumours, Menieres disease and high level noise exposure. While noise induced hearing loss has lessened with greater regulatory control in the workplace, leisure based noise induced hearing loss could see an increase over the next few years with the advent of MP3 players and the like.
- Conductive Hearing Loss refers to hearing loss which is caused by the inhibition of sound travelling through the outer and middle ear. Again, as with SNHL, there are a number of causes. Ear infection (outer or middle ear), exotoses (advanced swimmers ear), ruptured ear drum, ossicular chain disruption or fixation, cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, traumatic insult to the ear, wax, foreign bodies, abnormal development of the ear canal, or even post surgical outcomes.
- Mixed hearing loss describes a hearing loss that has both a sensorineural component and a conductive component.
Signs & Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of hearing loss can vary immensely. For most people there are a number of common complaints regarding their hearing. It is common for the person with hearing loss to report the following:
- “People don’t speak clearly anymore” – not all of the speech is heard clearly
- “If only they would look at me when they are talking to me” – the need for visual queues
- “Family tell me the TV is too loud – they tell me the whole street can hear my TV”
- “I often reply with the wrong answer. I’ll say yes, when the answer should have been no”
- “I avoid conversations so I don’t make a mistake”
- “I rely on my partner to fill-me-in later”
- “I just smile and nod and hope that was right!”
- “I don’t hear the blinkers on the car going – my wife tells me to turn them off”
- “My Grandkids are beautiful, but I just can’t understand what they are saying….”
- “I can hear a ringing or buzzing sound in my ear/ears.”
- “Why can I hear background noise, but I can’t hear conversation?”
- “I have stopped going to places, because I just can’t hear”
- “I am fighting with my wife now, more than ever. She just won’t look at me when she is speaking”
- “My ears feel blocked”
- “Discharge comes from my ears”
The testing at Telex will help identify the type of hearing loss and whether medical opinion is required. If the hearing loss is a mixed or conductive loss it will require medical opinion first. Very often, ENT review (Ear Noise and Throat Surgeon) may be needed and so your GP will refer you to someone. In some cases referral is also required for a sensorineural loss.
Amplification is often a very important part of the rehabilitation process, particularly if there is no medical solution to the problem. Telex will help guide you through the process of choice, training and care of the devices, what to expect from them and how to get the most out of them. However, hearing aids are not the only form of amplification and in some cases it is more beneficial to use an assistive listening device (ALD’s). These come in many different forms including TV listening systems, Amplified phones, FM and Bluetooth systems for streaming audio.
This area of treatment to assist with communication includes, among others, lip reading (speech reading), assertive listening techniques, questioning techniques and admission techniques. It is important that clients learn some basics in this area. It is also very beneficial to have the important people in your life aware of these strategies to improve communication. Having others understand and help explain to the rest of the family how to more effectively communicate with you, can be enormously helpful and can help reduce any tension that arises through lack of understanding.
Implantable and Semi-implantable hearing devices
This category of hearing device is reserved for either very severe or profound hearing losses where conventional amplification is no longer helpful. In this case a Cochlea Implant may be considered. There are specialist clinics that deal with this category of client and if someone is identified as being in this category they will be referred onto the appropriate place. Additionally, BAHA or Bone Anchored Hearing Aids are sometimes used for people with unilateral hearing loss (Hearing loss in one ear) or for people with conductive or severe mixed hearing loss. Again we can advise on this and refer where needed.
For some people this is the preferred method of treatment! While we don’t recommend this option, we also understand that for some people it comes as a shock. It is not unusual for it to take some time to absorb such information. We understand these feelings, and can help you through this stage until you are ready for the next step.
What Do I Do Next?
If you haven’t already done so, you could start by taking the SELF TEST by clicking here.
If you answered yes to any of the questions, the next step is to ring and have your hearing tested.
Simply phone one of the numbers below for a location near you and make an appointment. Our practitioners will complete thorough testing and discuss with you if you have a hearing loss, hearing aid options if needed and provide information on whether you might be eligible to receive free hearing services through the Australian Governments Office of Hearing Services program.
For an Appointment please phone:
- Gosford: (02) 4323 4141
- Kincumber: (02) 4323 4141
- Killarney Vale: (02) 4333 1366
- Kanwal: (02) 4393 5558
Or go to the Contact Us page.
Prevention is better than Cure
Some causes of hearing loss can be prevented. The most common of these is noise exposure. Limiting your exposure to noise or using protective equipment when you are exposed to noise is a great start. It is important as adults that we teach our children to value their hearing and to take care that they don’t listen to music and other sources of noise that is too loud. It’s important that they understand that permanent damage can occur if they are not careful. If someone experiences a temporary shift in their hearing or develops a ringing or buzzing sound (Tinnitus) in the ear/s, it is a warning that you may have been over-exposed. In most situations the tinnitus will diminish over the next few days, but there have been many cases where the tinnitus continued.
It is good to have your ears checked periodically by your local Doctor, Audiologist or Audiometrist to ensure there is no build-up of wax. In extreme cases it may lead to infection.
Sinus problems, allergies, and colds can lead to ear problems, especially in children. Monitoring is recommended so that early intervention is possible.