Can tinnitus be cured?

Tinnitus is any sound that we hear, that is not present in our surrounding environment. This can include a ringing, buzzing or whooshing sound in one or both ears, occurring occasionally or constantly. Some may find it distressing.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for tinnitus. However, there are management strategies that can help with your tinnitus awareness. 

To determine the best tinnitus treatment for you, it is important to have a hearing test to assess your hearing. Hearing loss and tinnitus are commonly associated with one another. Audiologists at Eastern Audiology in Narre Warren and Richmond can provide you with a comprehensive hearing assessment and discuss the best tinnitus management options for you.


Which brand of hearing aid is best?

The diagnosis of a hearing loss can itself be overwhelming, let alone deciding whether to proceed with hearing aids, and if so, which brand and/or type. A discussion with an audiologist about the different options available is the first step. This may include looking at the shape of your ear, the degree of hearing loss and the types of features the hearing aids have that best suit your needs.

Eastern Audiology is not affiliated with any hearing aid brand or manufacturer, meaning a broad range of hearing aids are on offer, to help you find the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle. Eastern Audiology’s Audiologists in Huonville and Hobart are here to support you through this transition, and to ensure you have the right hearing aid to improve your communication and quality of life.


How to get your child’s hearing tested

Adequate hearing in children is essential for ongoing development of speech and language, effective communication, and social skills. Some signs that can indicate a problem with your child’s hearing include not responding when called, delayed speech and language development, learning difficulties at school and/or behavioral problems.

A hearing test for kids will often involve taking a detailed history of your child’s ear health, examining their ears, checking how well the eardrum is moving, and determining the type of hearing assessment based on your child’s age and developmental ability.

At Eastern Audiology, our experienced Audiologists in Narre Warren and Richmond, Huonville & Hobart will discuss your concerns with you, identify if there is an issue with your child’s hearing, advise on appropriate management options and provide a detailed written report to the appropriate parties. Should you wish to arrange a hearing test for your child, a medical referral is not required.


What does a hearing test cost?

A hearing test can establish if a hearing loss is present, and if so, the degree and type. An Audiologist is a trained professional who conducts hearing tests for adults and/or children. A typical appointment will include taking a thorough case history, looking in your ears, performing the hearing test (with headphones and a head band that sits behind your ear), listening and repeating words and assessing your eardrum/middle ear movement.

At Eastern Audiology, a comprehensive hour-long assessment for an adult is $168. Our Audiologists in Hobart and Huonville are also experienced in testing children. A hearing test for kids is $85. These include a discussion of results with you, including any further recommended management, as well as a written report to the appropriate parties. We can also perform hearing tests for special activities such as driving, employment and police medicals.


What is ear wax?

Ear wax helps to protect and clean the ears. It is secreted by the skin glands within the ear canal, helping to prevent any foreign particles from getting further into your ear. It also has antibacterial properties! Ear wax is a natural part of our bodies’ way of cleaning itself and is not harmful. However, sometimes we can have too much of a good thing, resulting in problems including ear discomfort, tinnitus and/or hearing loss.

If your ears produce too much wax, it may need to be removed. Wax removal is not recommended unless you are trained and have the appropriate equipment. Our experienced Audiologists at Eastern Audiology can perform wax removal safely and provide the appropriate recommendations for ongoing management. 

Should you have any further concerns with your hearing, ears and/or tinnitus, our Audiologists at our Narre Warren and Richmond clinics can evaluate your hearing with a hearing test and discuss any further management indicated.


How do Hearing Aids Work?

Hearing aids work by detecting sounds in the nearby environment and converting them into a digital signal. They then increase, or amplify, the strength of this signal before producing the amplified sound into the ear via a small speaker called a receiver. A hearing test by a trained audiologist will determine how much each particular pitch (frequency) of sound needs to be amplified for your specific hearing loss. Hearing aids will not return your hearing to “normal”, however they can greatly improve your ability to hear by increasing the range of sounds that are heard as well as the clarity of those sounds or speech. 

There are many different manufacturers of hearing aids, as well as styles and features. Hearing aids can be small and discreet, can be rechargeable and can connect directly to Bluetooth devices such as your mobile phone. Your audiologist should work with you to determine the most appropriate hearing aid for your hearing loss, lifestyle and budget. At Eastern Audiology in Narre Warren, Richmond, Huonville & Hobart we are not affiliated with any particular hearing aid manufacturers. This means that there is a wide range of hearing aids available and you can be sure that the recommendation from the audiologist is the most appropriate for you.


How to Remove Earwax

Having earwax in our ears is completely natural. Earwax has anti-biotic properties and also helps keep foreign objects from entering our ears. We all need some earwax! Usually the ear is self-cleaning but sometimes wax builds up and needs to be removed. 

It’s important to not use cotton buds or any other object to remove the wax. By using such small objects in your ear, you can risk damage to the ear and/or further impacting the wax. At Eastern Audiology we specialise in ear wax removal Melbourne to expertly and safety perform ear was removal. Eastern Audiology’s Audiologists in Narre Warren and Richmond have speciality training and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure you are in the best hands. 

Should you continue to have difficulty with your ears or hearing, your audiologist will be able to assess your hearing with a hearing test and recommend any further management.


Can I buy a hearing aid without a test?

A hearing test can provide an Audiologist with a lot of information. It can determine if a hearing loss is present, and if so, the type and degree, and the possible cause. A hearing test also provides information as to which sounds you are not hearing and varies from person to person. Hearing aids are programmed based on your hearing loss, so one type of hearing aid will not suit everyone. A hearing test can also indicate the need for further medical management.

At Eastern Audiology, our Audiologists will perform a thorough hearing test, discuss these results with you, and work with you to determine the best option for your communication needs. This may include hearing aids. Our Audiologists in Richmond and Narre Warren are knowledgeable in a wide variety of brands and styles of hearing aids, as we are not affiliated with any manufacturer or brand of hearing aid. 


NDIS starts its roll-out in Richmond

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has begun its national roll out and is on track to commence in parts of Richmond in October this year.  There is a lot of information available and it can be complex to understand so we wanted to take the time to make sure our clients are well informed.  This is a huge step forward for those in Australia with hearing loss.  Up until now there have been no funds available for those with hearing loss that are older than 26 years and not on a pension.

What is the NDIS?

The NDIS is a new way of providing support/funding to Australian citizens under the age of 65, with a permanent disability, including hearing loss.

 

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to receive funding for your hearing loss and related needs you must demonstrate that you are:

  • Under 65 years
  • An Australian citizen
  • Encounter communication difficulties because of this hearing loss
  • Have an average hearing loss of 23dB or more across 3 500Hz, 1kHz & 2kHz (likely eligible if you already have hearing aids)
  • Not eligible to receive funding for your hearing loss through another agency (eg. Worksafe), or through pension benefits.

 

How to apply for NDIS funding?
To apply for funding through the NDIS you will need to get an access request from by calling the NDI agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110.  Although funding is not available in the Baw Baw, Latrobe valley, Bass Coast and South Richmond Shires until October, applications can be accepted from April this year.  Funding in Casey & Cardinia will be available from 1 September 2018 and in Wellington & East Richmond from 1 January 2019.  Applicants can be made up to 6 months prior to these dates.

 

Application process so far:  As the NDIS is in its early stages (national roll-out only started in July 2016), they are still finding their feet with it being that hearing loss has been a particularly troublesome area.

 

What we know so far:  Upon application you will need to provide supporting documentation about your hearing loss.  This is to be completed by your hearing care provider and needs to include a recent hearing assessment and report.  Eastern Audiology is an accredited NDIS provider therefore your audiologist will be able to provide you with a report containing all the information required to support your application.  Following the submission of your written application, including the report, you will be assigned a case manager who will work with you to develop your first NDIS plan.  The plan will identify the reasonable and necessary supports you require to meet your immediate needs and start to identify and achieve your goals. Your plan will then be reviewed/renewed every 12 months.  Once your NDIS plan has been approved and the necessary funds made available you are free to chose any registered hearing care provider to assist you with your hearing needs.

 

What will the NDIS fund?

The NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary supports. For those with hearing loss this includes appointments with your hearing care provider, hearing aids, ongoing maintenance/repair of your hearing aids and any other services that may help with other issues arising from your hearing loss, eg. psychology.

 

Our Advice

Apply early, given the lengthy processing time. Remember you will require a recent hearing test and report to support your application form.  Visit ndis.gov.au or call them on 1800 800 110 to request and access (application form) or pop in and see any of our Audiologists to discuss further.