What do you need to know?

Hearing aids today are a far cry from ‘hearing aids’ as they are traditionally known…big beige aids which just amplify everything and make things loud.

The technology that can now be fit into really small devices is outstanding. This is one of the reasons we so passionately enjoy what we do. We get to help people every day using these exciting devices. We are a proudly independent clinic fitting all brands of hearing aids from around the world. The benefit to you, our patients are multiple. With our hearing aids and expertise, we know that we can answer any of the following questions:

hearing-aid-family

Will I hear my family and friends better?

Could your hearing loss possibly be the reason for strained relationships of late?

Research shows that partners of a person with hearing loss often feel frustrated and upset because they are the ones constantly having to repeat themselves or cope with the TV being louder and possibly uncomfortable for them. They also sometimes feel like they have to fill in the gaps for their partner with a hearing loss in conversations when they are out socially so that they don’t miss out.

This can put pressure on both the person with a loss and their partner.

Hearing aids can help. Many a client has commented that having better hearing has “saved their marriage.”

I put off getting hearing aids for years. I guess my hearing had been deteriorating for at least 15 years. At home, my husband would become frustrated having to repeat himself all the time or by me getting ‘the wrong end of the stick’. At work, well it was a bit of a joke – I misheard so many things my colleagues sometimes burst out laughing. In meeting, unbeknownst to me because I hadn’t heard, I was ‘dobbed in’ for all sorts of difficult tasks that no one else wanted me to do. My boss thought I had ‘selective hearing.’ (Well sometimes I admit I did, but mostly I just genuinely didn’t hear). Still I put off the inevitable.

My husband and I had organised an 8 week overseas trip – the trip of a lifetime. I began to realise that I would miss out on so much if I couldn’t hear, so a few months before we were about to leave, I took the plunge. I noticed a new hearing centre, ‘Hearing Sense’, had opened on The Parade, Norwood and I made an appointment.

My appointment was with Pavel who immediately put me at ease. He tested my hearing, explained the results, took measurements and even contacted my health insurance company and they discussed with me the amount they would pay out for hearing aids. I returned after a couple of weeks to try out my aids. They are very unobtrusive, I can’t even feel them when they are in place and the very best thing is that I can hear again! I didn’t have to pay anything until I was sure they suited me but I was actually sure from the very beginning!

As I left Hearing Sense, the noise of the traffic in the street sounded so loud, I could clearly hear my feet on the pavement as I walked and the sounds of the birds chirping in the trees was wonderful! It was just amazing.

I know that I can go back to Hearing Sense ‘family’ whenever I need to and I do drop in occasionally to pick up new batteries but mostly for a chat if they are not too busy. Pavel, his wife Kelly and the receptionist, Ashleigh are such lovely people. They really take an interest in you and make you feel that you are a friend. Just before my husband and I went on our trip, they sent us a bon voyage card and on our return, they were genuinely interested in hearing about our travels. And as for our travels – I didn’t miss hearing a thing!

I am incredibly glad I chose Hearing Sense – they have definitely changed my life for the better.

Vicky Dancer, 66

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Will I hear better in background noise?

This is the most common problem that a person with hearing loss faces. The background noise overrides the conversation and you can hear the people talking but the actual words are not clear.

Hearing aids today use sophisticated microphone technology which can focus and zoom in on speech in noise. They also have Noise Reduction settings which can make listening much more comfortable in noise.

One of the latest gadgets to help hear brilliantly in noise is something called a Remote Mic. We have had amazing success with this. It is basically a little lapel microphone which your partner clips onto their shirt. It takes their voice straight into the hearing aids through Bluetooth technology. It sounds as though they are standing right in front of you, even if they are 10 metres away or in a very noisy place. This inexpensive solution really has to be seen to be believed!

Of course, it is very important to be realistic about expectations of what hearing aids can do in noise. Hearing aids will never ‘cut out’ all the background noise. This doesn’t happen for a normal hearing person and nor will it for a person wearing a hearing aid.

But what it will do, is significantly improve your ability to enjoy parties, going out for dinner and family gatherings again. And we can prove it. With your hearing consultation, we test your ability to hear in noise without hearing aids and then how well you hear wearing your customised hearing aids…the proof is shown time and time again.

“In 2007, you fitted me with the latest Oticon Delta hearing aids.
I think only 3 visits to you were needed, for them to be tuned 100% to my hearing needs.
Happiness for many years with my improved hearing.
The aids are used at all times and all conditions, being fitted on getting out of bed in the morning and removing them last thing at night. They are only removed when showering, swimming, or using noisy power tools.

After 6 years, in 2012, I thought that my hearing was not as good as it used to be and had the amplification turned up, I think to maximum. That resulted in annoying feedback in confined spaces, such as the car. My wife also complained every time I put my hands near my ears!
You suggested trialling the new Phonak Audeo hearing aids, as technology had improved a lot, including an anti-feedback system, since I bought the Oticons’.
The sensation was similar to trying on new shoes in a shoe shop and looking at the old pair alongside.

After a few months use, I can say that I hear much more speech, even lower frequency, bird calls and other noises than I did with the old Oticons’, in all sorts of quiet and noisy environments.
The sound quality is better, with a greater range of tones.
A big plus is perspiration does not stop the aids operating, as used to happen.
Battery life is longer.
Thanks very much Kelly and Pavel!”

Paul Kaminsky, 69

Will I hear my TV at a lower volume comfortably and clearly?

Quite often with hearing loss, you find you need to turn up the volume of the TV. Especially with background music and different actor’s accents, it can be difficult to hear clearly.

What a hearing aid does is lift the speech up clearly with each pitch suited to your hearing loss. Even better, is that now wireless hearing aids allow a box to be plugged into your TV which transmits the sound straight into the hearing aids.

And what does this mean to you? It means you can turn your TV down to zero volume and hear it as loudly as you like in your aids. So, your family could be in bed sleeping peacefully with no noise while you hear TV clear as a bell through your aids. It also means you can walk to the other end of the house, fix yourself a cup of tea and still hear the TV as though you were standing in front of it.

UTV3

Will I hear better on the phone?

person-on-phoneHearing on the phone can be difficult as you cannot see the face of the person you are talking to. And you are only using one ear which means only one side of your brain is getting the message.

Hearing aids today can now automatically detect when a phone is put near the ear and switch to a phone mode. The conversation can even be streamed from the phone into both your hearing aids so you can hear the phone call in both ears.

Even more exciting is wireless hearing aids which can pair to a mobile phone using Bluetooth technology so that you can answer and talk on your mobile through your hearing aids…without even needing to pick up the phone. It is clear hands free listening at its best. And the great thing is it is very easy to use.

Will I be able to have a small hearing aid?

Hearing aids today are tiny. Whether the hearing aid sits behind your ear or in your ear, the size of the actual devices are getting smaller even though the technology that is going into them is getting bigger and better.

Each aid is completely customised and made to fit your ear. This means it is small and also very comfortable. We often have patients tell us they accidentally go to bed with their aids as they have completely forgotten they were wearing them. Comfort is very important to us and key to a good hearing aid fitting.

In fact, the new Lyric device is 100% invisible and completely natural sounding. See our Lyric page for more information.

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Will I have a completely customised hearing aid fitting?

After our extensive hearing assessment, your hearing aid is programmed exactly for your hearing loss. When we program your hearing aid, It is a little like using a hifi equalizer where each pitch of sound is set to give you back the exact amount of hearing you have lost at that frequency. Then we also take into account your lifestyle, the amount of background noise you are in and your specific needs.

Most importantly, we listen to your personal opinions on the sound quality and fine tune the sound so it is clear, natural and easy.

We often encourage family members to come with you to your fitting appointment as we like to tune the aids specifically for their voice so they are very clear. We can actually measure the levels their voice is being amplified and adjust it so you can hear them easily and well.

I highly recommend Kelly and Pavel Korcek of Hearing Sense, of 210A The Parade Norwood, for their professional nd outstanding service. My Hearing loss is a difficult one, necessitating trialling several hearing aids, with ongoing adjustments, which Kelly managed in her friendly and professional manner, to achieve the best possibly outcome for me,
I am extremely happy with the personal service provided, and have, and will continue to recommend their services.

Kay Penezic, 69

What does the technology in hearing aids today mean for you?

The technology  in hearing aids today work in super fast, efficient ways to help you hear well without any whistling or making things too loud.

out-in-cafeWhat does this mean for you? Picture this…

Imagine you are out for dinner in a noisy restaurant with a group of friends. You are wearing our brand new hearing aids. There is the usual hubbub of conversations by other diners, the clatter of cutlery and waiters, and sound coming in from all directions. Your friend opposite you is telling a joke.

While you are sitting there, your hearing aids are simultaneously reducing the clatter and crashes of cutlery and dishes (impulse Noise Reduction and Sound Relax features), dropping down the whir of the air conditioner behind you (Digital Noise Reduction), reducing the background conversations of people at other tables around you (Adaptive Directional Microphone systems), giving you the clarity you need by having each pitch of your hearing loss accounted for (Multiple Channel Systems) and storing the information about your environment and your use of the hearing aid for later finetuning (Data Logging).

All of this is happening completely automatically and seamlessly. You hear the punchline and laugh and enjoy the joke and your evening.

This is what really happens with today’s hearing aids and expert programming by Kelly-Mare and Pavel.