People come to us with all sorts of questions about hearing loss, hearing tests, hearing aids and hearing aids prices. To help people through the early stages of hearing loss treatment, and how to get a better understanding of hearing aid entitlements, we decided to put a few common questions and answers together for anybody to browse through.

Have a look through our frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to hearing, and if you have additional hearing aids or hearing tests questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us

Hearing Loss

What are the common symptoms of hearing loss?

Common symptoms of hearing loss include: increased difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds, ringing in the ears, missing everyday auditory cues such as a ringing telephone or doorbell, difficulty hearing at public gatherings and taking part in group conversations, feeling like people are mumbling, turning up the telephone louder than others like it.

Why do my ears ring?

The ringing in ears is called tinnitus. Tinnitus sufferers experience persistent hissing or buzzing in their ears. It’s a major source of discomfort, and it affects up to one in three persons at some time in their lives. Tinnitus (also known as phantom noise due to the absence of external stimuli) is often related to damage from loud noise, a variety of health problems and some medications (particularly high doses of aspirin). Caffeine, alcohol and smoking are also known to make tinnitus worse.
Researchers at Buffalo University have discovered tinnitus originates somewhere in the brain, not in the ear. There is no magical cure for tinnitus, unless it is related to an easily reversed cause such as earwax build-up. However there are a number of strategies that can be used to minimise the impact that tinnitus has on your life. Most tinnitus sufferers also have hearing loss and find hearing aids offer great relief. Other strategies include: auditory distractions, tinnitus maskers, stress management or a tinnitus retraining therapy.
If you experience this kind of problem, it is important to get in touch with one of KSHC audiologists for a complete assessment and further recommendations.

Why is it that I can hear people, but I can’t really understand what they’re saying?

The most common type of hearing loss is a high frequency hearing loss. When someone is speaking to you, you can make out low-pitch vowels, but high-pitched consonants such as "ss" and "th" are missing. This makes speech sound muffled and hard to understand.

What is conductive hearing loss?

There are two types of hearing loss – conductive hearing loss (outer or middle ear) and sensorineural (inner ear) hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss is an outer or middle ear problem caused by the following types of conditions:

  • An obstruction, such as ear wax, that stops sound waves reaching the eardrum
  • Eardrum damage, such as a hole or perforation
  • Reduced movement of middle ear bones, often caused by glue ear or disease (otosclerosis)
  • Birth defects

You can read more about hearing health here.

What is sensorineural hearing loss?

There are two types of hearing loss – sensorineural hearing loss (inner ear) and conductive hearing loss (outer or middle ear).
Sensorineural hearing loss, the most common type of hearing loss, occurs when hair cells of the inner ear are damaged. These cells are responsible for sending nerve impulses to hearing centers in the brain.
Sensorineural hearing loss is usually permanent, but is greatly helped by hearing aids, particularly when hearing loss is the result of loud noise. There are about 23,000 hair cells in each ear, and loud noise, certain drugs, fluid build-up in the inner ear, infections, tumors, and the ageing process can all cause damage to these delicate hair cells. Tumors, strokes and meningitis are also known to damage the auditory nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain.
You can read more about hearing health here.

Hearing Tests

Do I have to see a doctor first?

You don’t need to see a doctor before making an appointment for a hearing test at Kaanchana Speech & Hearing Clinic.
Once the hearing test is completed, KSHC staff will send your hearing test results and a written report to your doctor or medical specialist.
Should you require hearing aids, your audiologist will explain what’s involved in selection and fitting. KSHC works with medical doctors and otolaryngologists (doctors that specialise in diseases of the ear) and refer patients in special cases, such as deformity, excessive wax accumulation, sudden onset of hearing loss, acute or chronic dizziness and pain.

How much does a hearing examination cost?

The cost for a full diagnostic hearing test ranges from 400 to 1500 . A full diagnostic hearing test includes an ear examination and specialised hearing testing to determine the extent and type of hearing loss.

What is an audiologist?

An audiologist is a degree-qualified healthcare professional trained in the diagnosis and management of hearing disorders.
While most audiologists are not medical doctors and do not treat disorders with medicines or surgical procedures, some have earned doctoral degrees and are referred to as doctors.

What will be checked when I am having a hearing test?

A hearing test should be done in a sound insulated room. Your KSHC audiologist will ask you questions, examine your ears and then check your hearing by playing tones through earplugs or through a headset. our audiologist will then explain the hearing test results to you, and chat about possible solutions – like whether or not a hearing aid is needed.

What is an audiogram?

An audiogram is a chart that shows the results of your hearing test. The graph measures pitch (frequency) vs. intensity (decibels).

Hearing Devices

Which hearing aid is best for me?

Your KSHC audiologist will help you decide which hearing aids are best for you.
An audiologist will determine the requirement for hearing aids and will help you select the devices that best compensate for your hearing loss.
Everyone's hearing is unique and a hearing aids that are appropriate for one person’s hearing loss may be inappropriate for another.

Does KSHC offer a trial period for hearing aids?

KSHC offers a two month trial period for all hearing aids we dispense. During the trial period, our audiologists will do their best to ensure you get the most from your new hearing aids. However, if at any time during the trial period you decide the hearing devices are not working as you expected to, you can try alternative devices or return them for refund, less the fitting fee and non-returnable items (such as earmould and tubing) charges.

Are two hearing aids better than one?

Yes, two hearing aids are better than one. A hearing test determines the extent of hearing loss in each ear. When both ears are impaired, studies show that two hearing aids improve speech understanding in the majority of listening environments, particularly in the presence of background noise. Generally, the benefits of using two hearing aids far outweigh the additional cost.

Can hearing aids make my hearing worse?

Hearing aids should not make hearing worse. Audiologists use specific methods to select and fit the right hearing aids for you. In fact, wearing hearing aids trends to keep the hearing system fit and healthy and prevents the effects of auditory deprivation on the brain.

Can I get my hearing aids repaired?

Yes, in most situations you can get your hearing aids repaired. In the case of malfunction or breakdown, KSHC will assess your hearing aids and repair them either in our facility, or by using one of our partners. Repair costs typically range from 400 to 5000 depending on the damage or fault.

What is a digital hearing aid?

Digital technology has revolutionised the way hearing aids process sound, providing superior listening comfort, speech clarity, and user control. All digital hearing aids are programmable to individual requirements. Generally speaking, digital hearing aids are the most sophisticated amplifying devices currently available and there is a huge range on hand.

What is a cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant is a small but complex electronic device for people who have severe or profound hearing loss.
The implant is surgically inserted under the skin behind the ear and into the cochlea (the snail-shaped organ of hearing) and works by sending electronic impulses to the brain. The brain interprets these impulses as sound.
An implant does not create normal hearing. Rather, it provides the severely deaf with access to sound that helps them to better understand speech.

Do hearing aids use batteries?

All hearing aids use batteries. Hearing aid owners are able to change batteries in most models. Some hearing aids even function on rechargeable hearing aid batteries. They are only available on selected models. You can join our Battery Club and get special offers exclusive to club members.

How much do hearing devices cost?

The best person to discuss if you are eligible for hearing aid funding is one of our qualified clinicians. Hearing aids and hearing aid batteries vary in price and a recommendation needs to be made by a qualified clinician.
Prices range from 7500.00 upwards for a single hearing aid. Hearing aid batteries cost up to 30.00 per month and are available from Kaanchana Speech & Hearing clinic.

How do I go about getting hearing aids?

The first step in getting hearing aids is being examined by an audiologist, who will identify the extent and type of your hearing problem. You’ll need to make an appointment at a Kaanchana Speech & Hearing clinic:

  • Should hearing aids be needed, an audiologist will help you select the best devices.
  • The audiologist may take an impression of your ear to capture an exact duplicate of its contours for the best fit, and will order the selected hearing aids. Delivery normally takes two to three weeks.
  • An audiologist fits your hearing aids and teaches you how to use them.
  • Initial usage (up to two months) should be treated as a trial. Getting the best from your hearing aids takes time and practice as your brain acclimatises to hearing more. An audiologist monitors your progress and fine-tunes your hearing aids for optimum performance.
  • Once up and running, your new hearing aids should last at least five years. All hearing aids use hearing aid batteries, which should be changed regularly. Check out our Battery Club for our best rates.


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