Why a hearing assessment?
Hearing is an important part of communication. Generally people lose their hearing slowly over time and therefore it’s difficult to realise hearing loss has occurred. Most of the time the initial signs of hearing loss appear as difficulties in communicating with those around you. Typical examples include feeling like people are mumbling, trouble hearing in groups and needing the TV to be a bit louder.
Recent research indicates that there are strong links between hearing loss and social isolation and depression. There is also evidence showing that untreated hearing loss leads to earlier cognitive decline (quicker aging of the brain) as we age.
What is a hearing assessment?
What are the different types of hearing loss?
A sensorineural loss is a permanent hearing loss. It is commonly referred to as “nerve deafness”. It occurs when the sensitive hair cells inside the inner part ear of the ear get damaged and no longer respond to sound in the way that they did previously. Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are noise and aging.
A conductive hearing loss may be curable or may be permanent, conductive refers to the fact that the sound is not being sent through (conducted) the outer or middle ear properly on its way into the inner ear. Typical causes of conductive loss include fluid in the middle ear from an ear infection, wax impaction in the ear canal and otosclerosis.
A mixed hearing loss occurs when a person has both a conductive and sensorineural loss at the same time.
What can I expect during a hearing assessment?
What causes hearing loss?
The aging process (presbycusis)
Falls or hits to the head
Diseases or conditions that affect the ear such as otosclerosis or Meniere’s Disease
How much does a hearing assessment cost?
- For adults over 26 without one of the above cards the initial assessment with Can:Do Hearing is free
- For anyone between 3 and 26 years an assessment is $80
- For children under 3 the assessment is $105
- Medicare will cover a portion of these costs if you are referred for an assessment by an ENT or neurologist, or if you come in on an Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPC) that includes audiology