What to Expect During a Hearing Test

Older woman or female pensioner with a hearing problem make a hearing test and may need a hearing aid, in the foreground is a model of a human ear

Realising you have some level of hearing loss can be stressful, and making an appointment for a hearing test even more so because you might not like the results. However, once you know you need professional help, putting it off only adds to your stress and anxiety, and it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Here’s how to prepare for a hearing test.   

The Questionnaire 

When you arrive for your hearing test, we’ll ask you to fill out a form that tells us how you’re coping with your hearing loss. 

Everyone’s life is different, and by answering the questions, we can determine the level of impact your hearing loss has had on your everyday life. For example, someone who stays home a lot might not need as much help as someone who is very active and loves to socialise. 

Medical History and Hearing Test 

The next step is to check your ear canal to make sure it’s clear and healthy-looking and not full of ear wax. If a problem is found, it will be necessary to see your doctor for further treatment before we can continue, however, most people don’t have any problems. 

Next, we discuss your medical history so we know whether you’ve had hearing problems before and maybe even determine what caused your hearing loss. They may be small, unimportant details to you, but when we put them all together, we can get a bigger picture of your particular circumstances. 

Now comes the hearing test where you sit in a sound booth with headphones on. Sometimes the test only takes 5 – 10 minutes, but if there are other concerns, it could take around 15 – 20 minutes. 

Once the test is complete, we’ll go through the results with you and tell you the level of your hearing loss and at what frequencies. Often, it’s only the higher frequencies that are affected, which is why you can still hear, but not as clearly as you once did. 

Choosing the Best Device for your Needs 

Once we know what type of hearing loss you’re suffering from, we can begin to choose the right device to help you hear more clearly. You can choose from hearing aids that fit behind your ear or almost invisible hearing aids that fit into your ear canal. We’ll show you pictures of the different styles and discuss the pros and cons, and costs of each one 

When you’ve chosen the level of technology you want in your device, we’ll place the order with the manufacturer, and in some cases, we might need to take a mould of your ear for a better fit. 

Fitting Your Hearing Device 

Once your new device has arrived at our clinic, we’ll call you back in to fit it. Your new device is customised and set up for your particular type of hearing loss, and we check that everything is working properly before you arrive. 

The Follow Up 

A week or two after you’ve had your device fitted, you’ll come back for a follow up appointment where we’ll do some fine tuning to make sure you’re completely happy. We also check that you’re putting your hearing aids in correctly and cleaning and maintaining them properly, as well as answer any questions or concerns you have. 

Book a Hearing Test 

At Health and Hearing we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors, university students and working Australians. We understand that seeking help for your hearing problems can be embarrassing and stressful but we’re here to help you with this sensitive issue. 

Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

Hearing Aid Maintenance and Cleaning

Macro close up of a matched pair of tiny modern hearing aids with case and brush on wooden bedside dressing table

Your hearing aid is an investment in your quality of life and plays an important role in helping you do all the things you love to do like chatting with friends and family, having fun on outings, or just being able to hear properly when you need to. 

Hearing aids can be expensive little devices with amazing technology, so it pays to know how to clean and care for yours so they give you many years of trouble-free service

Different types of hearing loss require different types of hearing aids, so with that in mind, here are some tips to help you keep your particular hearing aid in good condition. 

General Cleaning  

No matter what type of hearing aid you have, it can become dirty from wax, oil and dust, and it’s important to have the right tools to properly clean it.  

The first thing you’ll need is clean hands and a soft, dry cloth. When you receive your new hearing aid, it should come with a tool kit that includes a soft brush and wax picks or loops for removing ear wax. 

Wipe your hearing aid with a soft cloth to remove oil and dust whenever you take it out or put in back in, and store them in a cool, dry place. Ensure you keep your hearing aid dry and avoid dropping it. 

Daily Cleaning 

Here at Health and Hearing, we use and recommend hearing aids from Starkey and Resound because of their technology and suitability for a wide range of people. With either brand, you should clean the oil and dust off daily with a soft cloth or brush and use the proper tools to clean off any ear wax. 

Never use water, alcohol swabs or cleaning solvents when cleaning hearing aids as they can be damaged easily. 

Monthly Cleaning 

A monthly or regular clean of the receiver tube and receiver dome with a damp cloth will keep it in good order. If there’s a wax filter, check it and replace as necessary. Check the condition of your microphones and give them a good clean. 

Your Hearing Aid Maintenance Checklist 

Your hearing aids are delicate and require careful handling to protect them from damage. Here are some maintenance tips to help you keep your hearing aids working as they should: 

  • Always work over a soft surface in case you accidentally drop your hearing aid 
  • Don’t wear your hearing aids in the shower, while swimming or in saunas or heavy rain 
  • Never leave them near heat or in sunlight such as in the car or near a window 
  • Remove your hearing aids when applying cosmetics and toiletries as the oil and grease can damage and clog them 
  • Always consult a professional for advice about cleaning hearing aids 

Find the Right Hearing Aid for You 

At Health and Hearing, we offer a range of hearing aids to help you improve your hearing and get back to enjoying your life. We can provide expert advice on cleaning hearing aids to protect your investment so you get the most from it. 

Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and hearing aid maintenance, or to book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

The Effects of Hearing Loss on Mental Health

Side view of senior man with symptom of hearing loss. Mature man sitting on couch with fingers near ear suffering pain

The correlation between hearing loss and mental health problems can’t be ignored with increased stress, anxiety, cognitive disorders and depression among those with impaired hearing. 

Much of it is a result of the social isolation that occurs when hearing impaired people, especially older adults, deliberately withdraw from their friends and family because they’re embarrassed or don’t have the energy to try to keep up with conversations they can’t hear clearly. 

Hearing Loss and Anxiety in Adults 

When you can’t hear clearly, especially conversations among the group of people you’re with, you start to worry that you might have missed something important or that people will laugh or make fun of you. 

Saying the wrong thing because you didn’t hear the question properly can happen often enough that you start to become anxious in company and go to great lengths to avoid it. 

This perpetuates a cycle where you’re anxious when you stay home, and you’re anxious when you go out, for different reasons. 

Hearing Loss and Stress 

Stress and anxiety often go together so your constant anxiety is going to make you stressed. Worrying about not being able to hear warnings, traffic, phones or smoke alarms will make you even more stressed because you’re putting yourself and others in danger. 

If your hearing loss is still untreated, you’ll also be stressed about going for a hearing test, needing hearing aids and what others might think of you. 

Hearing Loss and Depression 

Your daily stress and anxiety can start to affect your life so much that it leads to depression. Isolating yourself from other people because you feel awkward or embarrassed only makes you feel worse, and you may lose interest in your hobbies and activities, have trouble sleeping, and suffer other health problems. You might be performing poorly at work, taking too many days off, and even lose your job, which will affect your self-esteem even more. 

Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline 

Poor hearing is also associated with cognitive decline, particularly in older people. It’s still not clear whether hearing loss is the cause of cognitive decline and dementia or whether it’s just a risk factor. 

It’s thought that the strain and stress of trying to hear and understand conversations can become too much for the brain and weaken it, resulting in short term memory and problem solving skills deteriorating. 

Book a Free Hearing Test and Consultation 

At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors and working Australians. We understand that seeking help for diminishing hearing can be stressful, but we’re here to help you with this sensitive issue. 

If your ability to hear properly is reduced know that you’re not alone and help is available. Reduced hearing is a common concern and increased awareness of the problems it can cause has resulted in more resources becoming more easily accessible. 

Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

How to Minimise Hearing Loss with Training

lack man wearing athletic wear sitting in the park exercising yoga

Our sense of hearing is one of our most important to help us get through life safely and give us a feeling of connection to our friends and family. Hearing loss has a big impact on our day-to-day living and can be the cause of physical and mental health problems, and a decline in our living standards. 

Many people worry about losing their hearing through getting older or other causes, but there are steps you can take to minimise the risk and protect your hearing well into your twilight years. 

So, how can you train yourself to hear better? Try these easy and fun hearing exercises and learn how to improve hearing for life. 

Practice Your Hearing 

It sounds silly when you’re constantly hearing whether you want to or not, but focused hearing practice can sharpen your ability to hear clearly and goes a long way to preventing hearing loss. 

When you’re out and about, practice locating the source of different sounds, especially in noisy environments or where there’s a lot of background noise. 

Try to identify each sound and whether it’s close or farther away. Do this with a friend because you might find that you both hear things differently and have some fun at the same time. 

You can also close your eyes and have someone move around the room while they speak so you can practice pinpointing their exact location. 

Meditate Outside 

Meditating outside such as in the park can also help you locate the source of different noises and help you become better at deciphering and isolating sounds when they’re all mixed together. 

Any form of meditation is good for your brain and improves your mental health and concentration; this just takes it up a level with hearing exercises.  

Take a Yoga Class 

Yoga offers a host of benefits for your mind and body, and there are even some poses that can help with your hearing. The aim is to increase blood flow and circulation in your brain and ears which improve nerve function. You can take a class with a friend or find some YouTube videos online to help you practice at home. 

Online Programs and Apps 

There are many apps for your smart phone and online programs that show you how to hear better. You can find daily training programs that simulate a noisy environment and help you develop ways to hear more clearly in busy and noisy places, as well as providing different and challenging accents to listen to and decipher. 

There are also games with children’s hearing exercises so you can start them early and build lifelong good hearing habits. 

How to Hear Better 

At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors, university students and working Australians. We understand that seeking help for your hearing problems can be embarrassing and stressful but we’re here to help you with this sensitive issue. 

If you’re having trouble hearing for any reason, it’s important to have a hearing test and get the appropriate treatment. Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

5 Common Causes of Hearing Loss

A closeup of a female doctor inspecting a patient's ear at a clinic

Hearing loss is an umbrella term that describes a person’s inability to hear certain sounds clearly, and there are many causes of temporary and permanent hearing impairment

Your hearing loss can be hereditary or caused by old age, trauma, disease, constant exposure to loud noises such as industrial deafness, or wearing earbuds with the volume too loud. It can also be sudden, usually caused by infection or very loud noises such as an explosion or gunshot. 

Here are five of the most common causes of hearing loss

Ageing 

Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is one of the most common causes and it happens gradually as you get older. The first signs are often an inability to hear higher frequencies. Many people don’t realise their hearing is affected until they start to have trouble hearing clearly with background noise. 

All hearing loss is life-changing, but older people are often ashamed that they can’t keep up with conversations and withdraw, stay home more and become socially isolated at a time in their life when they really need to connect with other people. 

Infection and Disease 

There are a few diseases that can cause diminished hearing such as Meniere’s disease, otosclerosis, and meningitis, and even some drug treatments can adversely affect your ability to hear clearly. Infections of the middle ear and viral infections such as measles and mumps can also affect hearing.  

Sudden Loud Noises 

Explosions and very loud noises next to your ear can cause temporary or permanent deafness or reduced hearing ability. The noise can rupture the ear drum or damage the tiny bones in the ear and can also cause noise-induced tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ear. 

Noisy Environments 

Industrial deafness or noise-induced hearing loss happens when you’re exposed to loud noise from factories or heavy machinery over a long period of time. The hearing loss is gradual and much of the damage has already been done by the time you notice it. Gradual hearing loss can also happen if you listen to music too loud through head phones or earbuds, or attend a lot of live rock concerts. 

Ear Wax 

build-up of ear wax can also cause temporary hearing loss. Some people produce more ear wax than others and it can cause problems when there’s too much or it becomes impacted. Fortunately, it’s easily treated with ear drops and a trip to your doctor or hospital if needed.  

Brisbane’s Most Thorough Free Hearing Test 

At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors, university students and working Australians. We understand that seeking help for your hearing problems can be embarrassing and stressful but we’re here to help you with this sensitive issue, or offer our expert advice on the causes of hearing loss. 

If you’re having trouble hearing for any reason it’s important to have a hearing test and get the appropriate treatment. 

Call us on (07) 3152 4056 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation.

Coping with Cookie Bite Hearing Loss

Deficiency hearing problem. Empty space on the left

There are many different types of hearing loss, and people from all walks of life can experience sudden or gradual hearing loss caused by a variety of factors. 

One rare form of hearing loss is called cookie bite, named for the curved shape of the audiogram result which resembles a cookie with a bite taken out of it. It can also be called soup plate or U-shaped hearing loss. 

What is Cookie Bite Hearing Loss? 

Cookie bite hearing loss affects the mid-range hearing frequencies, and people who suffer from it can often hear high and low frequency sounds well. The condition is permanent and no cure is available, but the right hearing aid can help. 

Unfortunately, the mid-range frequency sounds are what we’re most comfortable listening to and include normal conversation and the sound from TV and radio. That means that people with cookie bite hearing loss will have trouble following conversations and hearing ‘normal’ everyday sounds, which makes life very difficult. 

The Causes of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss 

Heredity plays a big part in cookie bite hearing loss and most people are born with it. However, it may not be diagnosed until the person is at least in their 30s because they haven’t noticed any symptoms until then. 

It can be picked up in children by routine hearing tests at school, and when it’s discovered, it’s usually suggested that the parents also have a hearing test, which can reveal one or both parents have it. 

In very rare cases, it can be caused by damage or disease, but it’s mostly genetic. 

Cookie Bite Hearing Loss Treatment 

Once you’ve been diagnosed with cookie bite hearing loss, a hearing aid can help you to hear more clearly by amplifying the mid-range frequencies. The hearing aid needs to only increase the mid-range sounds because the wearer can already hear lower and higher sounds, so increasing their volume could become unbearable. 

Hearing aid technology has improved much over the last decade, and specialist hearing aids for conditions like cookie bite hearing loss now enable the wearer to adjust their device for more comfortable listening. 

It’s important to seek treatment as soon as you’re aware of the condition because it can worsen with time and age and needs to be regularly monitored. 

Your Independent Hearing Clinic 

At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors and working Australians. We understand that seeking help for diminishing hearing can be embarrassing and stressful, but we’re here to help you with this sensitive issue. 

A hearing test performed by an independent hearing clinic such as Health and Hearing can diagnose and quickly get you started with the right cookie bite hearing loss treatment. 

Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

The Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss

Elderly woman looks sadly outside the window

Along with our sight, hearing is one of the most important senses to help us make our way through the world, but have you ever stopped to consider the impact of hearing loss on quality of life? 

It’s time to stop putting off that hearing test because you’re afraid of the results and you don’t want to wear a hearing aid. New technology in hearing aids means that they’re no longer the bulky, unattractive devices your grandparents wore. Modern hearing aids are small and inconspicuous, and you’ll be amazed at how much they can help you hear clearly. 

If you’re still not convinced, here are some of the effects of untreated hearing loss you may not have thought much about. 

General Safety 

We rely on our hearing to warn of us of impending danger, but your reduced ability to hear means you won’t be able to clearly hear shouts of warning at work or while you’re out and about, or hear a cry for help. 

Smoke alarms rely on sound to warn you of fire and give you time to get out of the building and call for help. 

Crossing the street becomes even more dangerous if you can’t hear approaching traffic, and driving becomes perilous for you and other road users. 

Not being able to hear warning sounds puts you at a significant risk wherever you are, awake or asleep. 

Socialising and Relationships 

As social beings, the impact of hearing loss on communication can be devastating. You’ll soon become frustrated and embarrassed by your inability to hear and follow the conversation of your friends and family, and they might feel annoyed at you. This, in turn, makes you want to avoid social situations which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

Left untreated, hearing loss reduces your ability to connect with people at a time when it’s vitally important for your mental health and wellbeing

Dementia 

Researchers have found a link between untreated hearing loss and dementia that suggests those with even mild symptoms of hearing loss may be twice as likely to develop dementia later in life. It’s the social impact of hearing loss that increases the risk because of the reduction in quality of life due to isolation, loneliness and even depression. 

The extra work your brain has to do in order to hear and understand conversation may also lead to changes that encourage dementia. It’s important to note that hearing loss is just a risk factor and doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop dementia. 

Balance 

Hearing loss can also cause dizziness and affect your balance due to the inner ear sending unequal nerve impulses to the brain. The brain perceives the information as distorted and sends messages to your eyes that create a spinning sensation which makes you dizzy and off-balance. 

Book a Free Hearing Test and Consultation 

At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors and working Australians. We understand that seeking help for diminishing hearing can be embarrassing and stressful, but we’re here to help you with this sensitive issue. 

Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

Industrial Hearing Loss – Causes and Symptoms

Worker Wearing Noise Reduction Ear Muffs. Loud Noises Job.

Industrial hearing loss, often called industrial deafness, occupational deafness or noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), used to be a common condition affecting people who work in very noisy environments such as factories and the construction industry. 

This irreversible, but completely preventable condition still happens far too often despite increased awareness of the terrible consequences, resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss or tinnitus, a persistent ringing in the ears. 

What is Industrial Deafness? 

Industrial hearing loss caused by loud noises in the workplace can be from repeated exposure over a long time, such as factory noise and machinery in a confined space, or sudden loud noises such as explosions. 

Long term exposure to excessive noise gradually causes hearing loss, so it isn’t noticeable until the damage is done; it’s also the easiest form of deafness to prevent. The constant loud noise damages the tiny cells in the inner ear which can’t be repaired, and the damage only worsens as the exposure continues. 

The Symptoms of Industrial Deafness 

If you’re constantly exposed to loud noises at work with no protection for your ears, it’ll take some time for you notice a significant reduction in your ability to hear properly. 

Often you may be the last to realise there’s a problem, but others will notice that you keep asking them to repeat themselves, or you’ll complain that people are mumbling or not speaking loud enough.  You might also notice that you need to turn up the TV or radio to hear it clearly, or you have trouble following a conversation when there’s a lot of background noise.  

How to Prevent Industrial Hearing Loss 

Preventing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is quite simple once you’re aware of the damage that occurs with constant exposure to loud noises. Workplaces can be tested for acceptable noise levels and steps taken to reduce the noise if it’s too high. Your employer is required by law to reduce your exposure to loud noise. You can also wear protective equipment such as ear plugs and ear muffs and ask to be moved to somewhere quieter if possible. 

Why You Should Get A Hearing Test 

If you work in a noisy environment and you suspect your hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, it’s important to reduce your exposure to loud noises and have a professional hearing test as soon as possible to assess the damage. If left untreated, your hearing loss can have an effect on your work performance and even pose a safety risk to yourself and your work mates. 

Once your hearing is damaged, it can’t be restored, but there are ways to help you hear clearly again. 

At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors and working Australians, and we’re here to help you with any problems you have with your hearing. 

Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

Do you Struggle to Hear with Background Noise Present?

Senior couple in nursing home watching tv

As you get older, your hearing can often diminish, and one of the first signs of hearing loss is the inability to hear clearly in crowded places or where there’s a lot of background noise. This can result in people becoming frustrated and too embarrassed to go out in public and socialise with friends, so they decline invitations and start to feel lonely and isolated at home. 

However, all that can be prevented by visiting your local hearing clinic and getting the help you need. You’ll also have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re doing everything you can to improve and retain your hearing. 

What Causes It? 

Often the person can hear well in quiet situations but cannot pick up the softer parts of speech with noise in the background, which means the brain can’t properly translate the sounds into something meaningful. This is because the tiny hair cells in the inner ear become damaged over time and die, which reduces your ability to pick up certain sounds, and filtering out background noise is a complex process that requires both ears to be working precisely. 

Even if we don’t always hear clearly what others are saying, our brains can usually fill in the gaps for us, which is why it sometimes takes a few seconds to understand what’s been said. 

Background noise tends to be at a lower frequency and can block out many of the important speech sounds you need to make sense of what you’re hearing. 

What is SNR Loss? 

The signal to noise ratio (SNR) is the gap between the other’s person’s speech (the signal) and the noise (the background noise), and people with perfect hearing are able to deal with a lower SNR. 

This means if your hearing is impaired, you need a higher SNR to hear clearly. The bigger the gap, the easier you can understand what’s being said – the signal is much louder than the noise. 

How Hearing Aids Can Help 

If you struggle to hear with background noise, it’s likely you have some signal to noise ratio hearing loss, and hearing aids can help. Hearing aids can determine the difference between speech and noise and separate the two so that the speech signal is amplified and the noise is suppressed, allowing you to hear much better. 

Book a Free Consultation 

It’s important to see a professional about any concerns you have with your hearing, especially if you’re struggling to hear with background noise, or you notice any sudden changes to your ability to hear. At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors and working Australians, and we’re here to help you with any questions you have with your hearing. 

Call us on (07) 3152 4056 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

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