Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding hearing loss and hearing aids.

Do I need a doctors referral to have a hearing test?

A doctors referral is not required to have a hearing test performed.

How long does a hearing test take?

A hearing test will usually take between 45 minutes to 1hr. A thorough case history will be done prior to your ears and ear canals being examined. A middle ear test will be performed (tympanometry) prior to conducting a full hearing assessment. A full hearing assessment will include air conduction, bone conduction and speech discrimination testing.

Upon completion of all of the above, only then can we provide an appropriate recommendation to you – whether it be to monitor your hearing levels, refer you back to your doctor for further investigation or discuss appropriate hearing aid recommendations.

If you feel hearing aids may be required, please let our staff know at the time of your booking so that additional time can be put aside to discuss possible hearing device solutions for you (90 minute appointment). It is also recommended that you bring along your partner, significant other or friend if possible – they may think of other relevant questions to ask during the appointment.

If you have private health cover, you may wish to make contact with them prior to your appointment to see if you are eligible for any rebates for hearing aids.

What happens at my first appointment?

As a new Independent Hearing Solutions client, your clinician will ask you some specific questions about your hearing and any hearing problems you are experiencing including communication difficulties, previous noise exposure and lifestyle in addition to your general health and family history. The possible cause of your hearing problems may become apparent through this process.

Prior to conducting a hearing test, a light called an otoscope will be used to examine the outer ear and ear canal. Your clinician will be looking for any abnormalities in the ear canal and ear drum, and any build up of wax. This examination is followed by a pressure of your middle ear which informs the clinician if your eardrum is working correctly and whether your middle ear is clear of fluid. These tests aren’t painful and help provide a greater understanding of what is happening with your hearing.

Hearing tests are performed in a quiet room and require your active participation. Your hearing test will involve your clinician playing various tones at different volumes (pure tone audiometry), and your responses are recorded on an audiogram. In conjunction with pure tone audiometry your clinician will also test your ability to hear and understand speech either in quiet or in noise. This will help your clinician gain a thorough understanding of any hearing problems you are experiencing and decide on the correct hearing loss treatment for your condition.

The results of speech testing, pure tone audiometry, case history, ear anatomy and lifestyle are used together to determine your candidacy for hearing devices, or other methods of intervention. The results of your hearing test will be discussed with you.

What happens if I need a hearing aid/s?

Your clinician will discuss the various hearing loss treatment solutions available for you, taking into account your lifestyle, specific needs, cosmetic preference and of course, budget. Your clinician will work with you to find the best hearing device to correct your hearing problems.

I have decided to proceed with a hearing aid. What happens next?

Depending on the hearing recommended, an impression of your ear may be required. This will then be sent to the manufacturer to custom make a mould or hearing aid specifically for your ear. Some hearing devices may be available to be fitted on the same day.

Are your products genuine? Why are the prices so competitive?

Yes, our products are genuine and are purchased directly from the manufacturer in Australia. All of our hearing aids come with a minimum 3 years Australian Warranty.

Our prices are kept low and competitive. Unlike many of our competitors that are part of national chains, corporately owned, or operated by the hearing aid manufacturer themselves, our overheads are kept low by being locally owned and operated, not paying our staff commission on sales and having a small team of dedicated staff. We pass these savings on to you, our client.

How many appointments will I need?

After the first consultation, most clients will have a hearing device fitting appointment booked (45 -75mins) depending on the hearing device and accessories purchased, and a subsequent follow up appointment usually 2 weeks later to check your progress and make any necessary hearing aid adjustments. Additional appointments will be schedules as required.

If you are trialling devices prior to purchase, you will need more appointments to accommodate changes in device manufacturers, technology or style of hearing devices.

When is payment for hearing devices required?

We will not ask for payment of the hearing devices until you are happy with your purchase.

We will however, take a copy of your driver licence (or other photographic identification with your address) and a copy of a credit card for security purposes. We accept cash, cheque, EFTPOS, VISA and Master Card.

If you are trialling custom hearing aids, you will be asked to pay a processing fee of $125 per aid prior to its manufacturer. If you keep the device/s, this fee will be deducted from your purchase price. This fee is not refundable if you do not proceed with the hearing aids once they are ordered.

We do not sell hearing devices online.

Do you offer payment Plans?

Yes we do. Please visit MiFund to check you eligibility and repayment options.

Should I insure my hearing devices?

Yes! We strongly recommend that all our clients insure their hearing aids for loss and/or damage through their home and contents insurance. You may have to individually list your hearing devices on you policy to be covered for a specified amount that matches the correct hearing aid prices. We also recommend that you check with your insurance company if your hearing aids are covered for loss and/or damage outside of the house.

Can I get a refund for hearing aids from my private health insurance?

You may be eligible for a partial rebate towards the cost of a hearing aid or hearing device. Please contact your private health insurer for more detail as policies on hearing devices vary.

Can I get a partial tax refund for my hearing devices?

You may be eligible to claim part of the cost of your hearing or hearing device/s back through your annual tax return. Individuals should consult their accountant or other financial adviser to determine eligibility for a rebate on hearing devices as the threshold for medical expenses changes every year.

What if I change my mind about hearing loss treatment?

You are entitled to change your mind on your hearing loss treatment. Within 30 days of fitting, you have the following options:

  • If you now wish to proceed with better hearing aid technology, we will order the new hearing devices and you will pay the additional cost difference for the hearing aids
  • If you no longer want to purchase any hearing devices, we will refund your hearing aid purchase cost LESS $200 for administration costs. If you purchased custom hearing devices, you will be refunded the cost of the hearing aid purchase, LESS $200 administration fee, and, LESS $125per aid for the customisation of the devices

Are you able to see pensioners as well as private clients?

Yes, Independent Hearing Solutions is accredited to see Australian Government pensioners who are eligible to receive services under the Office of Hearing Services program as well as private clients who are still working or self-funded retirees. We can also test most children from 4 years and over.

Our after hours hearing tests and appointments are an added benefit to our private clients who cannot attend during regular business hours.
Private clients are what keep our prices low and competitive.

How do I know if I have a hearing problem?

Most of the time hearing loss and hearing problems begin so gradually that they go unnoticed. Here are the top warning signs that’ll help you determine whether hearing loss and hearing problems are present:

  • People seem to mumble more frequently
  • You hear, but have trouble understanding
  • You often ask people to repeat themselves
  • Telephone conversation is more difficult
  • You can’t hear household sounds like a faucet dripping or a clock ticking
  • It’s hard to hear without seeing the speaker’s face
  • You are told you speak too loudly
  • People say you play radio or TV too loudly
  • There is ringing or buzzing in your ears
  • Conversations are difficult in a large group
  • You have trouble following conversations with more than two people
  • You struggle to hear in crowded places like restaurants and malls
  • You have a hard time hearing women or children

How much do hearing aids cost?

Hearing aid prices vary widely depending on the technology incorporated in the hearing aids, the hearing device options selected, and the services included with the purchase. Your hearing aids will depend on your type of hearing loss and your specific needs. Many hearing professionals offer options to meet all budgets. You should also check to see if you qualify for free or discounted hearing aids from your employer, union, the Veteran’s Administration or health insurance provider.

To view our prices, please click on the prices tab in the top menu or click here

How can hearing aids enhance my quality of life?

Hearing aids can improve your quality of life by improving your self-confidence and lowering your stress level. It’s hard to be confident when you are unsure if you are hearing correctly.Hearing problems can make it difficult to communicate effectively too.

They also can improve your:

  • Personal relationships. After all, successful relationships depend on successful communication.
  • Job performance. Hearing aids eliminate the need to constantly ask “What?” or “Can your repeat that?” and keep you on top of your game.
  • Safety. You don’t want to miss hearing a smoke alarm, the house being broken into, a dog barking at a stranger, an oncoming car when you’re walking, or an ambulance when you’re driving.

You will find a hearing aid has a dramatic effect on the quality of life you enjoy.

I might have a hearing problem. What should I do?

If you think you are experiencing hearing problems, you should book an appointment to determine the type and significance of your hearing loss. Depending on the hearing test results, we may also recommend that you see your doctor or an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist prior to getting fitted with hearing aids.

If you suspect your child might have a hearing loss, and they are over the age of 4, we may also be able to test them. If they are found to have a problem with their hearing, they will be referred back to your GP and/or Australian Hearing for further investigation, treatment or hearing devices.

What are some dangerously loud activities?

Exercise caution with fire crackers, discos, music concerts, video arcades, gun shooting, movie theatres, motor sporting events, motorcycles, snowmobiles, motorboats, and lawnmowers. Even if you already have a hearing loss, it is important that you protect the hearing that remains. Excessive noise is directly related to hearing problems, so be aware.

What causes hearing loss?

The majority of hearing loss cases involve damage to the inner ear. Most commonly, hearing loss occurs because aging and/or long-term exposure to loud noise has caused wear and tear on the part of the inner ear that sends sound signals to the brain. Scientific research has also linked hypertension and diabetes to hearing loss since it can cause damage to the inner ear too. This type of hearing loss can only be corrected with properly fit hearing aids, and it cannot be reversed.

Some other causes of hearing loss are not permanent and may be treated medically. These include excessive ear wax (cerumen), infections of the middle ear, and malfunctions of the middle ear bones. A complete diagnostic hearing test can identify which type of hearing loss you might have and whether medical treatment can help.

See our articles on Hearing Loss and Causes Part 1 & Hearing Loss and Causes Part 2 on our Latest News Page

Which professions carry a risk of hearing loss?

Some of the occupations at risk of causing hearing problems include: tradesmen, factory workers, firefighters, police officers, farmers, construction workers, military personnel, heavy industry workers, musicians, and other entertainment professionals. Be sure to wear hearing protection in instances of excessive noise and help protect yourself from hearing problems later in life.

Will hearing aids restore my hearing?

No hearing aid can restore your hearing to normal. However, hearing aids will let you to hear the soft sounds that you couldn’t hear before, helping any hearing problems you have had. Your hearing aids will also help you to better understand speech.

Will I need one or two hearing aids?

Most people that have hearing loss due to damage of the inner ear will have about the same degree of loss in both ears and will need to wear two hearing aids. If you only have a hearing loss in one ear, you might only need to wear a hearing aid in your bad ear.

Wearing two hearing aids has been proven to improve speech understanding in noise, localization (finding the source of sounds), and overall sound quality when compared to wearing only one hearing aid. Today, over 80% of all hearing aid fittings are binaural, or involve both ears.

Won't hearing aids make me look old? Won’t they cramp my style?

Today’s hearing aids are much smaller and are designed to be really discreet. Many modern hearing aids and hearing devices are nearly undetectable even close up. One hearing aid model actually sits completely in the canal of your ear so as to be practically invisible when worn. There are even fashionable, meant-to-be seen hearing aids in fun color combinations and exotic flowery flourishes!

Wouldn’t I already know if I had hearing loss?

Few doctors routinely screen for hearing loss. Since most people with hearing problems and impairments hear fine in quiet environments, it can be a very difficult for your doctor or yourself to recognize you have a hearing problem. It is usually a loved one that will notice your lack of hearing and suggest you get it checked.