Frequently Asked Questions: Hearing Tests and Hearing Aids

Pittwater Hearing’s Audiologist, Emma van Wanrooy answers commonly asked questions about hearing tests and hearing aids.

How much does a hearing test cost?

At Pittwater Hearing, a fully comprehensive adult hearing assessment is $150.  This includes a full audiogram, tympanometry, speech testing (speech audiometry) and advice on how to improve your hearing.  You will receive a report with all your results and copies will be sent to any doctors etc that you wish.  If you decide to go ahead with a hearing aid fitting, this cost will be deducted from the total hearing aid bundle price.

Hearing assessments for children are $120.  For both children and adults, there are rebates available through some private health funds, and through medicare with a referral from an Ear Nose and Throat specialist (ENT).

How much do hearing aids cost?

Hearing aids range in price depending on the level of technology and features of the hearing aid. At Pittwater Hearing, basic models start at  $1279 for one hearing aid, and the top of the range hearing aids range in price are around $9000for 2 hearing aids.  The highest price doesn’t always dictate the best features, as the price variation in top of the range hearing aids is the result of prices set by the manufacturer, as our fees for fitting and ongoing service are the same for all top of the range hearing aids.

At Pittwater Hearing, we provide a bundle of services with the hearing aids, that includes the hearing test, hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation program and unlimited ongoing review appointments and adjustments for 3 years.

I can hear perfectly well in quiet, I just have trouble in cafes and restaurants.  Do I need a hearing aid?

The most common type of hearing loss is a high frequency hearing loss.  Someone with this type of hearing loss will have normal hearing for low pitch sounds, but will have difficulty hearing high pitch sounds.  The high pitch sounds in speech include /s/ /sh/ /f/ and /t/.  So, someone with a high frequency hearing loss will have trouble hearing the beginnings and endings of words.  They will manage ok in a quiet situation as they will be able to hear enough to get by and fill in the gaps.  However, in noise, it’s harder to hear anyway, so it becomes much harder to hear all sounds, not just the high pitch sounds where the hearing loss is.

Do hearing aids help in noisy situations like at restaurants?

Hearing aids help by amplifying the pitches where the hearing loss is, so they help to make speech clearer and easier to understand.  In a noisy situation, they continue to do this.  It is always harder to hear in background noise, but hearing aids to their best to focus in on the speaker you want to hear and reduce the background noise.  Today’s latest hearing aids have very sophisticated directional microphones that mean that hearing in noise with hearing aids is a lot better than it has been in the past.  If hearing aids are not enough, there are accessories such as mini microphones that can be used in conjunction with your hearing aids to boost the voices you want to hear above all the other sounds.