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1. Do I really need hearing aid(s)?

This depends on your hearing level. If you have a hearing loss, then you should consider hearing aids. Some people may not have any hearing difficulties in one-to-one conversations, but have trouble hearing in meetings or in the presence of background noise. If you are experiencing hearing difficulties in certain situations, it may be that hearing aids can help. For individuals with a mild hearing loss, it is not always easy to be clear on whether hearing aids are worth the cost and effort, therefore a hearing aid trial is highly recommended.

2. Do I need one or two hearing aids?

In general, two hearing aids are better than one, just as two ears are better than one. In quiet situations, one hearing aid is often sufficient. However, two hearing aids are better in complex, noisy situations. Two hearing aids can help you localise where sounds are coming from and reduce background noise.

Studies have shown that ears need stimulation to maintain hearing and speech clarity. The hearing aids also provide that stimulation to help maintain your overall hearing. In other words, use it or lose it.

3. How much do hearing aids cost?

Academic Hearing sells hearing aids starting at approximately $2800/pair, up to approximately $9500/pair.

This price includes all selection, fitting, review and adjustment appointments required for the duration of the warranty period (typically three years).

All hearing aids sold by Academic Hearing are fully digital hearing aids from the leading hearing aid manufacturers, and can be programmed to suit your hearing loss.  Even the lower-priced hearing aids have digital feedback cancellation and noise reduction technology (including signal processing and directional microphones as appropriate).

The style of the hearing aid (what it looks like) generally has little bearing on the price of the hearing aid. Rather, the large range in prices is due to different levels of technology, or different manufacturers.  In general, the more expensive hearing aids are designed to handle more challenging listening environments to better identify and reduce background noise than the less expensive hearing aids.

It can be difficult to predict whether you will require higher level technology or not, which is the reason for offering trials of hearing aids – both different styles of hearing aids and also different levels of technology can be trialled.

We do not believe it is necessary to buy the most expensive hearing aids in order to have a very satisfactory outcome.

4. Will very small hearing aids work for me?

Manufacturers have worked to reduce the size of hearing aids and to make them cosmetically appealing. Very small hearing aids are now suitable for most people with a wide range of hearing losses.

5. How often should I wear the hearing aids?

It is recommended that people try to wear their hearing aid(s) on a daily basis for at least 4 hours/day. This allows the brain to get use to the new sounds detected through the hearing aid(s). By stimulating the neural pathway, the hearing aids can also help reduce the rate of auditory deprivation.

6. Will my hearing aids whistle when I wear them?

A correctly fitted hearing aid should not whistle in normal use.  Modern hearing aids are much less likely to whistle than hearing aids available 10 or even 5 years ago.  The feedback cancellation technology varies significantly between manufacturers and hearing aid models, and is an important consideration in our recommendations.

7. I tried hearing aids years ago, and they blocked my ears too much. Will this be the case if I try hearing aids again?

With improvements in technology and design, many hearing aids no longer need to block ear canals. Therefore, the chances of a blocked or hollow feeling are greatly reduced.

8. What do I need to do to maintain them?

Hearing aids need to be cleaned regularly to ensure that wax and dirt do not clog up the sound outlet.

When you purchase your hearing aids, you are given an instruction booklet, cleaning tool/s, and a supply of wax filters (if appropriate).  It is generally quick and easy to clean a hearing aid (including replacing a wax filter).  We give you a chance to practice this at your appointment. How often you need to do this depends mainly on how much wax your ears produce. For some people, hearing aid(s) are best cleaned after each use. For others, weekly or even monthly cleaning is appropriate.

We also give you a drying kit/jar when you purchase your hearing aids from us.  This can be used at times of high humidity or whenever moisture may be an issue.  You can store your hearing aids in the drying jar/kit overnight, in order to remove any moisture from them.

9. Can I exercise with my hearing aid(s) in?

There are two issues:

Moisture can be a problem with hearing aids. Perspiration on hair or skin can cause corrosion in hearing aids.  For this reason, most manufacturers are developing moisture-resistant hearing aids, and several have developed ‘waterproof’ hearing aids.  Whilst not fully waterproof enough to allow indefinite immersion in water, these hearing aids can even be used when swimming! (some conditions apply). In general, some hearing aid models have better moisture protection than others, it is best to talk to your audiologist to find out whether it is safe to wear your hearing aids when exercising.

The other issue faced by hearing aid users when exercising is when the hearing aid moves around or falls out of the ear.  The anatomy of people’s ear canals varies greatly – for some people there is very little risk of any hearing aid accidentally falling out.  Some styles of hearing aids are more secure than others.  However, there are solutions for just about any hearing aid in order to minimise the risk of it moving or falling out.

Should I buy hearing aids online?

Investing in better hearing can be a huge expense and inevitably buying hearing aids online can seem to be an attractive option. There are a few questions to consider before buying hearing aids online. 

First, there are literally thousands of hearing aids available. How do you know which one is suitable for your hearing? A thorough examination into the health of your ears is important to look at whether the hearing loss is treatable (e.g. wax blockage) or whether it is something more serious. In some cases, medical clearance is needed before hearing aids can be fitted.

A hearing aid uses digital technology that should be set by a qualified audiologist. How can you be sure the hearing aids have been set up correctly? Everyone’s DNA is unique, similarly everyone’s ear anatomy is different; the sound from the hearing device interacts with unique sound characteristics in the ear. To ensure the hearing aid(s) are fitted correctly, the anatomy of the ears is assessed. A precise ear-specific measurement of the sound reaching into your ear canals is done to ensure the levels are safe and optimal. We believe everyone’s hearing is highly valuable and fitting hearing aids is not something to be taken lightly.

The hearing device itself is only one aspect of the rehabilitation program. Unlike getting new glasses, getting used to the new amplified sound can take time for the individual to adjust to. We often describe this as the ‘acclimatisation period’, which varies between individuals. Properly fitted device, counselling and adjustments are essential for optimal hearing care.

In terms of maintenance, how do you know whether the hearing aids are appropriate for you and whether it’s in fact functioning properly? What happens if the hearing aids break down? What if the hearing aids doesn’t fit your ears properly? Was it even adjusted correctly?

In summary, a great analogy from Starkey Hearing blog talks about buying hearing aids online being like “buying an orthodontic appliance online and expecting your teeth to straighten out by simply putting it in your mouth”. If only it was that easy.

Our Location

550 Swanston Street, 
Carlton   VIC     3053

Phone:  (03) 9035 5333
Fax:      (03) 9347 1535
ABN:     13 114 419 171