The human ear collects sound waves (airborne vibration) in the outer ear and directs them into the ear canal which causes the eardrum to vibrate. This goes on to move three little bones in the middle ear (the Ossicles), which in turn puts pressure on the inner ear (the Cochlea).
The inner ear contains thousands of hair cells sitting in two liquid filled galleries, which are set in motion by the wave created by the pressure.
Via some complex anatomy, electrical signals are sent up the auditory pathway to the brain and what began as no more than airborne vibration, is converted into sound by the brain.
If your answer is YES to one of more of the following questions, a hearing assessment is recommended:
- I can hear people talking, but cannot make out what they are saying.
- I frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
- It is difficult to follow conversations in the presence of background noise (like restaurants) of in crowds.
- I find it difficult to hear the telephone ring.
- I battle to follow hear clearly on a telephone.
- I need to turn up the volume of the TV and/or radio
- I have continuous ringing in my ears.
- I often feel dizzy /vertigo
An annual hearing test is recommended.
We charge medical aid rates and claim directly from your medical aid. If there are funds available, your medical aid should cover the hearing test.
Yes, we have discounted rates for private hearing assessments.
Hearing aids range in price depending on the technology inside the instrument, not the size or style of the hearing aid. The more sophisticated the technology, the clearer, and more natural the sound, especially in the presence of background noise. There is basic hearing aid technology, ranging between R6000- R8500. Midrange technology from R9000 - R 17000, advanced technology from R18 000 – R 24 000 and premium technology from R 28000 – R 38 000. Your audiologist will explain the difference between different hearing aid options and you will be able to select the most appropriate hearing aid/s according to your needs, preference and budget.
Hearing aids are generally covered by most medical aids in South Africa, although benefits differ depending on your medical aid and the benefit plan you are prescribed to. Hearing aids are often covered from a separate “appliances” fund, whilst others use the benefit from the savings. It is best to contact your medical aid to explain to you how hearing aid benefits are covered. If it is determined that you do need a hearing aid, your audiologist can also phone your medical aid to enquire about benefits.
We practice independently of any hearing aid manufacturer or external commercial company. This enables the audiologist, with the patient, to choose any brand of hearing device ensuring the patient get the most appropriate solution for his/her needs.
The following international hearing aid brands are available at HearcarePlus.
There are different hearing aid styles available. The style of hearing aid is determined by your hearing loss, size of your ear canal and your preference. Your audiologist will give you information about the different hearing aid styles for you to make an informed decision.
In the case of a hearing loss in both ears, a single hearing aid can help. But, just as glasses improve vision in both eyes, binaural hearing aids (two hearing aids) provide more natural hearing. Research shows that speech is much easier to understand when hearing aids are worn in both ears. By wearing hearing aids in both ears, sound is able to reach and stimulate each ear's auditory nerve, keeping the nerve actively engaged. Studies have shown that if auditory nerves aren't stimulated by sound, they can slow down and make hearing loss worse. This condition is called Auditory Deprivation. Wearing two hearing aids can increase your safety and awareness. The ability to know where sound is coming from depends on hearing with both ears.
Technology is changing at a very fast pace, and it’s hard to keep up—with computers, with cell phones, and with hearing aids. If you’ve had experience with hearing aids in the past, or even if you’ve just heard about previous generations of hearing technology, it’s very likely that you have some misconceptions.
Let’s say you want to buy a phone, but your concept of a telephone includes a rotary dial: you’d be operating under some outdated ideas, wouldn’t you? The same holds true with hearing aids. Technology has changed a lot—even in just the last five years. If you are considering hearing aids, the best thing you can do is to dismiss any pre-existing ideas you have about hearing technology and then do your research with a clean slate.
Here’s a bit of myth-busting to get you started.
“People think having hearing aids means that you’re old “That’s just not the case anymore. In fact, about two-thirds of those with hearing loss are younger than age 64. Hearing loss has many causes and affects people of all ages. Wearable assistive technology is becoming more and more prevalent across age groups, as well. From wrist-bands that track your movement to in-ear Bluetooth devices to Google Glass, people are wearing technology for all kinds of reasons, making hearing aids a bit more status quo.
Today’s hearing aids are considerably smaller and more discreet than ever before, and they come in a wide range of colors, just like watches, purses, and cell phones. There are even hearing aids that can be placed completely within the ear canal so as to be totally invisible.
Anyone who’s seen fuzzy newsprint spring into focus when they don a pair of reading glasses can tell you that vision correction isn’t just for people with severe myopia. In the same way, hearing aids can greatly assist people with mild to moderate hearing loss, and many models are intended for just that. Even with mild hearing loss, you may be missing out on conversations with grandchildren, the sounds of birds singing, elements of your favorite music, and more.
We hear with our brains, we don’t really hear with our ears. It’s also important to correct hearing loss when it first begins, for a variety of reasons. “There’s a link between hearing loss and loss of cognition. Treating hearing loss isn’t just cosmetic. “ The ears just
turn the sound into a signal that the brain can interpret. Controlling our hearing pathways also seems to help with memory, helps people connect socially, and all of those factors contribute to aging in a more graceful way. It lets you live your life on your own terms, rather than kind of shrinking away gradually into the night.The longer a person has gone with hearing loss, the more rehabilitation and “re-forging of neural pathways” they need in order to accurately translate sound into meaning again. PUT IN VIDEO ABUT LINK BETWEEN HEARING LOSS AND AGING HERE
“This is another thing that has changed. Tirty years ago, people were always messing with their hearing aids, turning them up, turning them down. A lot of times it was an all- or-nothing thing.” But nowadays, hearing aids can be adjusted in extremely minute increments. Many have a variety of programs you can use for various situations: some will adjust automatically, and some have remote controls for discrete adjustment. It’s important to continue working with your audiologist until you’ve got the right fit.
Nowadays, some hearing aids come with a special tinnitus program that provides background noise or other features to help minimize the effects of tinnitus. By reducing the effect of the tinnitus while simultaneously increasing hearing, especially through digital streaming to both ears, this technology can make an enormous difference.
Sound comes from every direction. Certainly, wearing one hearing aid in the ear in which you have hearing loss will help, but two digital hearing aids will help much more than just one. The hearing aid in your “good” ear will pick up sound and stream it wirelessly to the other aid, allowing you to hear significantly better.
they’re just a way for audiologists to charge me more money. On the contrary, follow-up visits are the only way to make sure your hearing aids are adjusted properly and working optimally. It is important to have a hearing test at least once a year. If your hearing has changed, your hearing and can be reprogrammed for clear and comfortable sound.
Treating loss of hearing is quite a bit different than treating loss of vision, and it almost always takes a couple of sessions to get things just right. This is partly a matter of making sure the hearing aids are adjusted correctly, but also of re-training the brain to interpret and prioritize sounds. The biggest surprise for new hearing aid users is how noisy the world is. “It can be a little overwhelming.”
Audiologists use specific techniques to help minimize the surprise of hearing again. Usually, with a first fitting, the audiologist doesn’t set the hearing aids to the full prescription, instead allowing patients to adjust incrementally. “It takes about three visits to get the hearing aids completely dialed in. People have to retrain their brains to filter out some of those loud sounds,” and also re-learn what sounds require their attention. The ticking of the clock and the hum of the refrigerator are sounds they may not have heard for a while, and it takes time to train the brain to ignore them again.
After a while, though, the important sounds stand out. They can hear their grandkids, not just pretend that they did. They can hear the fwap when they hit their golf ball. But it all takes time to adjust to.”
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