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How often should I get a hearing test?

It is recommended that adults have their hearing checked every 10 years until the age of 50, and every 3-5 years thereafter. However, if you have a family history of hearing loss or have been exposed to loud noise on a regular basis, you may need to have your hearing tested more frequently.

What are the signs that I may need a hearing test?

Some signs that you may need a hearing test include difficulty hearing in noisy environments, frequently asking others to repeat themselves, difficulty understanding speech, and ringing or buzzing in your ears. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule a hearing test with an audiologist or hearing healthcare professional.

What happens during a hearing test?

During a hearing test, an audiologist or hearing healthcare professional will conduct a series of tests to assess your hearing ability. These tests may include a pure-tone audiometry test, which measures your ability to hear different tones at various frequencies, and a speech audiometry test, which measures your ability to hear and understand speech. The audiologist will also examine your ears and assess your overall ear health.

What causes hearing loss?

Hearing loss may be caused by noise exposure, ageing, disease and heredity. According to statistics, about one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, while nearly half of those older than 75 experience some degree of hearing difficulty.

How to prevent hearing loss?

Preventing hearing loss is essential throughout all life stages – from prenatal and perinatal periods to older age.

In children, almost 60% of hearing loss is due to avoidable causes. By and large, these can be prevented by implementing public health measures. Likewise, in adults most common causes of hearing loss – such as exposure to loud sounds – are preventable by using hearing protection devices. All these factors can be encountered at different periods across one’s life time.

Will a hearing aid restore my hearing?

Sadly, no hearing aid can restore your hearing back to normal. The purpose of hearing aids is allowing you to hear soft sounds that you couldn’t hear before, and prevent loud sounds from becoming uncomfortably loud. They also improve your ability to understand speech – even in noisy environments.

Will a hearing aid improve my quality of life?

The short answer is: without a doubt. Not only does it improve ease in communication, sense of control in your life and intimacy in family relationships, but also social participation and emotional stability.

Are hearing tests painful?

No, hearing tests are not painful. They are non-invasive and usually take about 30 minutes to complete.

What if my hearing test results indicate a loss?

If your hearing test results indicate a loss, the audiologist will recommend a course of action, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, or other options. Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Are hearing tests covered by medical aid?

The coverage of hearing tests varies depending on your medical aid plan. It is important to check with your medical aid to determine if hearing tests are covered and if there are any restrictions.

Have there been advances in hearing aid technology?

There has been a technological revolution in hearing aid technology over the last few years. We now have hearing aids that can track body and brain health; virtually eliminate feedback; make listening in noisy environments easier and more comfortable by processing and prioritising speech in noise; allow hands-free phone use; and stream stereo sound from TVs and radios. Also, many of the devices are smaller (even invisible in some cases), more comfortable, rechargeable and infinitely more powerful than ever before.

How do hearing aids work?

Essentially, hearing aids are microphones that convert sound into electrical signals. An amplifier increases the signal strength, then a receiver converts it back to sound, channelling it into the ear canal through a small tube. Batteries power the hearing aid and enable amplification.

How to care for hearing aids?

  • Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture.
  • Replace dead batteries immediately.
  • Clean hearing aids as instructed.
  • Do not use hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
  • Turn off hearing aids when they’re not in use.