Is it safe to travel on an airplane with a lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid?

Yes, it is safe to wear these lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids on a plane and to bring the charger onboard. It is also safe to check the hearing aids and/or charger in your luggage. They have passed safety and quality tests and their size is below the allowed maximum.

The limitations to having lithium-ion batteries in checked bags revolve around “uninstalled” or unsealed batteries. Because both the charger and hearing aids have “installed” lithium-ion batteries the restriction does not apply.

How much do hearing aids cost?

Hearing aids prices can range from approximately $2,000 to $9,000 a pair, depending on the technology selected.

How much you spend on a hearing aid primarily depends on your lifestyle – how socially and physically active you are and how significantly your hearing impairment is affecting your continued and effective participation in vital communication with family, friends or colleagues.

Other important factors include the degree of your hearing loss and impairment to your ability to understand speech, your cognitive capacity, your eyesight and dexterity and, your budget considering the life of a hearing aid is between 4 and 6 years.

Hearing Aid Technology has advanced rapidly so we now have many more functions in hearing aids than ever before; they come packed with many amazing features and are available in many different types and styles. We provide a wide range of solutions tailored to each individual after comprehensive assessment and consultation. We will not sell online or take a “churn and burn” approach to sales. We take great care and pride in fitting you with the most effective, affordable solution.

It is our job to then ensure you continue to achieve the best possible results so we provide as much ongoing service as you require, assisting with any maintenance issues you may experience and of course, all your future re-testing and fine tuning needs.

What is the best hearing aid brand?

There is no one ‘best brand’ for hearing aids although several have proven themselves as the world-leading pioneers of the industry

Each hearing device is specifically fine-tuned according to your audiogram (this is the image that charts the minimum volume you can hear a range of pure tone frequencies from as low as 250Hz up to 8000hz – known as your hearing thresholds).

Each hearing aid manufacturer develops its own unique formula/algorithm that they use to program the hearing aid based on your audiogram results. This formula not only determines the amount of extra volume (known as gain) the hearing aid needs to give you at each frequency but also determines the amount of noise reduction to apply, microphone directionality amongst other things.

This formula creates a ‘first fitting’ which the audiologist can use as a starting point to fine-tune the hearing aid specifically to your unique needs and preferences. Some people, for example, prefer a sharper sound quality some people prefer a deeper mellow tone. The audiologist can tune the device to reflect these preferences. Importantly though, each manufacturer’s unique algorithm is slightly different than the others – all claiming their formula for producing clear speech and reducing noise is superior to the others. This may be true to some extent, but in a lot of cases it simply comes down to preference. A Phonak hearing aid may sound great to one person but strange to someone else with a similar hearing loss simply due to their preferences. That person may prefer the sound quality and features of a Starkey hearing device, or Sonic, or Oticon for example. It may not be a case of requiring a more expensive device, but more so a preference for a different brand of device. The same hearing aid will not suit every person.

In my practice, I find that the brand of hearing aid that is best for a client usually only requires minimal fine-tuning to sound comfortable and natural. This tells me that the manufacturer’s first fitting formula is a good match for the person. If I find I am having to make large changes to the manufacturers’ recommendations, then that brand may not suit the person. It may be worth trying a different brand – in the same technology and price level – before deciding that hearing aids aren’t for you or being convinced that a more expensive device in the same failed brand will be better.

In addition to sound quality, there are other specific features that are unique to the different brands and should be considered when working out which is the best hearing aid for you:

  • Does it need to be tough and water-resistant,
  • Does it need easily accessibly buttons to change volume and mode,
  • Does it need to be invisible and discrete,
  • Does it need to stream to your phone or TV,
  • Does it need to be easy to manage?

Most outlets now have their own brand of product as they are owned by the supplier. This prevents you from discovering what works best for you. It may be that you achieve better results with a well-programmed basic hearing aid from one brand than an advanced hearing aid from another brand.

For this reason, Adelaide Hearing fits all major brands to ensure we can offer you the very best solution to suit your lifestyle, budget and hearing loss. There are a number of major hearing aid brands and over 1000 devices currently on the market so we take the confusion out of choosing the brand or technology level by honestly advising you on what we think will be most suitable. We have some of Australia’s best prices and offer a free trial for all hearing aids purchased through Adelaide Hearing to make sure you are completely satisfied.

Can a hearing aid help my hearing loss?

Yes. Hearing aids can help if they are chosen correctly and professionally tuned by an experienced expert. Certain devices suit particular types of hearing loss and provide much better results than others. The right hearing aid will improve clarity by restoring the frequencies you have been missing out on without distorting the sounds you can hear or increasing unwanted background noise. They should be practically invisible and comfortable as well.

Can I try before I buy?

Yes – it is very important that you thoroughly trial the devices we recommend so you may assess the benefits yourself. We offer an obligation free 30-day trial so you may determine their effectiveness in the real world.

At an initial fitting, we program the instrument to function as we expect you would want it to. We then like to see clients a week later to fine-tune the aids according to your experiences before sending you off again to try out the changes. I can tell you at your initial appointment what I hope the aid to achieve but in the end, only you will be the judge.

Should I get one or two hearing aids?

There are clear advantages from hearing with two ears – they work together by relaying information to each other and to the brain. This is why we were given two ears!

Two ears help us to locate the source of a sound.

Two ears allow the brain to process speech more effectively by reducing background noises that that interfere with the sounds you are trying to hear.

If you only use one ear the other will be deprived from hearing so that its ability to understand speech may decline due to not being stimulated.

What are the options for tinnitus management and treatment?

There are many options for people who experience tinnitus. Some wear hearing aids to help cover up their tinnitus, some wear tinnitus maskers. Additionally, there are combined tinnitus maskers and hearing aids – all in one unit! Some patients require counselling to help them develop strategies to manage their tinnitus. If you’ve been told “learn to live with it,” there are many additional options to explore. Your Audiologist is an excellent resource for issues and answers related to tinnitus.

Why can I hear but not understand the words?

People with hearing loss will often have a poor ability to hear high pitch sounds whilst retaining the ability to hear lower pitches. This means that anything within the lower range is heard loud and clear (e.g. traffic noise, the babble of a crowd of people etc) whilst the important high pitches that give clarity to words are not perceivable. As a result people often complain that they can hear fine but just can’t understand the words.

What are the main hearing aid brands in Australia?

Adelaide Hearing have access to a huge and varied range of devices so we will always be able to find the hearing aid that best matches your unique lifestyle, symptoms and budget.

Some brands are more suited to helping you hear in noisy environments such as the workplace, whereas some brands are focussed on streaming to personal devices such as mobile phones or being rechargeable. We only fit top quality devices from world class manufactures so you can be confident that we’ll be able to find an outstanding solution.

Phonak is the flagship brand of the Sonova group (that also owns Unitron). They are the leader in connectivity and wireless streaming. Their sister brand, Unitron, benefit from Phonak’s huge research department to be able to produce great devices at affordable prices.  They operate ‘Connect Hearing’ throughout Australia.

Widex is a Danish company. They produce very stylish devices that targets active people with active lifestyles. The operates the Bloom chain of clinics.

Oticon is the flagship brand of the William Demant Group (that also owns Bernafon and Sonic) and are known for producing some of the best devices in the world. The OPN series of devices revolutionised hearing in noise by automatically adjusting its settings to optimise the listening experience in even complex environments. Bernafon and Sonic both benefit from Oticon’s innovations and offer quality devices at slightly lower prices. They are perfect for first time users or those looking for a more budget option. They operate the Audika hearing aid chain.

Starkey is a major American hearing aid manufacturer known for introducing In the Canal hearing aids that were famously worn by Ronald Regan! They are still renowned for making some of the best invisible ‘invisible in the canal’ devices and are pressing forward with health tracking and artificial intelligence.

Resound makes some of the world’s premier devices, pioneering the invention of ‘Open-Fitting’ devices that maximise the use of residual hearing to produce a more natural sound.

Hearing aids are a significant investment so only after a thorough consultation and examination will we be able to accurately advise you on the device that will provide the best outcome. We know that choosing the right brand is important which is why our independents and freedom to choose from a range of brands is vital. Our goal is to provide you with as much valuable information as possible and the chance to trial devices free of charge to make sure you achieve the best possible outcome.

Will hearing aids make my hearing worse – should I wait until I can hardly hear at all?

The simple answer is NO! Your hearing will not get worse due to hearing aid use. In fact, its quite the opposite. When you can’t hear what’s going on around you, your mental sharpness and communication skills suffer. The earlier you start using hearing aids, the quicker you’ll notice improvements in the brain’s ability to process sound and recognize speech.

Although the use of hearing aids may not actually improve your ability to hear without them, they will improve and maintain your brain’s ability to process sound into something meaningful.

People often comment that their eyes feel weaker when they take their specs off. This is the opposite of what happens with hearing. The use of hearing aids provides the brain with the vital stimulation it would otherwise miss out on as a direct consequence of hearing loss. Auditory stimulation ensures the brain works more efficiently and effectively when processing sound. This means you don’t need to work so hard to keep up and can use your brain power for other things like memory, concentration and understanding.

If you don’t treat your hearing loss the auditory system of the brain isn’t stimulated so, over time, it is unable to recognize sounds. Fortunately, our brains can “relearn” to hear, thanks to neuroplasticity — the recent finding that the brain can reprogram itself into very old age with the proper stimulation. Practically speaking, that means you have the chance to teach your brain to hear again by regularly wearing properly programmed hearing aids.

Do I really need a hearing aid?

There is no exact degree of hearing loss that determines when a hearing aid is required. In my experience, however, most people wait too long to try aids and suffer further hearing loss and deterioration of their ability to perceive speech. With high quality, comfortable and discrete hearing aids now available there is no excuse for this. If you are noticing troubles hearing in background noise, difficulty hearing women’s and children’s voices or other general problems then it is worthwhile finding out if a hearing aid can help.

Why is it vital to choose an independent hearing aid provider?

Although the name on the door doesn’t say it, most clinics are now either owned by or closely aligned to a hearing aid manufacturer. Adelaide Hearing is NOT. We are proud to be one of the few remaining hearing clinics that are totally free to choose the aid that best suits your needs. Businesses that are owned by the manufacturer are restricted in their dealings with other types of hearing aids.

What causes tinnitus?

The precise cause of tinnitus remains a mystery in most cases. It is believed that the ringing is due to activity in the cochlea that spontaneously begins, usually due to some inciting event. The most common causal event that leads to tinnitus is hearing loss.

Other factors which may cause tinnitus or make existing tinnitus worse include noise-induced hearing loss, age-related hearing loss, ear diseases, wax build-up in the ear canal, ear infections, jaw misalignment and TMJ disorders, teeth grinding, cardiovascular disease, some tumours and many others. Of these factors, exposure to loud noises and hearing loss are the most likely causes of tinnitus. We recommend a throughout Audiological assessment and, if required, medical examination.

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