Hearing Tests in Sydney, Northern Beaches & the Central Coast
Listen - Audio Blog, What Makes A Good Hearing Aid Assessment?
Not All Hearing Tests Are Created Equal
Some hearing centres will offer a “free” hearing test to get you in the door. Often this is what is referred to as a ‘screening test’ which involves (hopefully) someone doing a visual inspection of the ear canal, and then doing a ‘hearing test’ under headphones. And before you know it, you are being recommended a hearing aid, even though you may have just attended for a check up.
At Focus Hearing we do not entice people to come and see us with the promise of it being “free” (after all is anything really free). We are set up to service those people who are seeking an independent and professional evaluation of their ear and hearing health. And if a hearing loss is diagnosed, they will receive a complete understanding of all of their options and whether they need to be reviewed further by their GP or ear specialist.
Yes, we charge for our professional services. A full diagnostic hearing test is $110 (rebates may apply for those with a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card or a DVA card holder). But what would you prefer, a ‘free’ 15 minute hearing screening or a thorough 1 hour appointment with a University trained audiologist to provide you with a clear understanding of the best options to suit your particular results and requirements.
The Focus Hearing Difference
At the beginning of your 1 hour consultation, you will have the opportunity to explain to the audiologist any hearing issues you are experiencing and what are your particular listening needs. Remember two people may have the same hearing levels but they could have very different listening needs as they spend their time in different situations
The audiologist will then take a thorough history of your ear health, highlighting any past medical concerns that may contribute to the results.
First, the audiologist will visually inspect the status of the ear canal to ensure there is no physical blockage such as ear wax, which could prevent you from hearing well. This will also identify the health of the ear drum and advise if there is any infection in the ear canal that may need some further attention from your GP.
If significant wax is present the audiologist at Focus Hearing has been specifically trained in the safe and effective removal of wax, and in most cases this can be done on the spot.
Then the function of the middle ear (ear drum and middle ear bones) will be measured. This will help to identify if there is an underlying problem with the middle ear that may be able to be treated medically. In which case, the audiologist will write a report to your GP or ENT specialist recommending further medical evaluation.
We then perform a full diagnostic audiogram using equipment calibrated to the latest Australian standards. An audiogram is a measure of the softest sounds you can hear at all the frequencies which are important for speech understanding.
This is done under headphones and when necessary, also bone conduction equipment which can further identify any medical problems that may need further reviewing by the GP.
A measure of your speech perception (how clearly you hear words) is then determined which allows us to determine whether you may benefit from amplification, and where necessary, hearing aids.
But We Don't Stop There
Focus Hearing also uses the QuickSIN speech in noise test. This test is delivered under headphones which mimic real world situations where someone is trying to hear a person speaking in the presence of background noise (other people talking).
A hearing test on its own measures your sensitivity to sound. Whereas the speech in noise test measures your functional hearing. This is a critical piece of information when being able to recommend the most suitable level of hearing aid technology and it also allows the audiologist to accurately determine how successful a hearing aid will be for you.
We have seen on numerous occasions where a patient has come to see us after being recommended ‘top of the range’ hearing aids following a ‘free’ screening test, but the speech in noise test performed at our clinic proves they would do just as well with lower end hearing aid technology, therefore saving them significant amounts of money.
- Swim plugs
- Musician earplugs
- Noise protection
- Cerumen (ear wax) removal