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Author: admin | 30.11.2013 | Category: Tinnitus Hearing Loss

Instead of berating my mother about her dodgy hearing, I should have listened to her when she told me about the hearing aid industry. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post titled, Mum, Dad: why won’t you get a hearing aid? It garnered a big response, elicited various experiences, but also quite a lot of dissatisfaction with the product, price and service.
Using a data base of 13,000 Australians over 55, Professor Hogan has found 25 per cent of those with a hearing aid don’t use it, and another 13 per cent use it only sometimes. A major problem, according to Michele Barry, chief executive officer of Better Hearing Australia (Victoria), a non-profit service, is that hearing aid centres are paid by the government for dispensing hearing aids but aren’t accountable for the outcome. As first outlined in the ABC’s Background Briefing program in November, the payment of secret commissions to staff, especially for “upselling” customers into more expensive hearing aids, is a problem. Ross Dineen, past president of Independent Audiologists Australia, tells of one woman in her late 60s with mild hearing loss, having been given a single option of hearing aids that cost her $12,000. Brown concluded that “many of the customers seem as, or more, happy with their $2,000 unit as a $10,000 unit”, and that the big manufacturers would soon come under pressure from cheaper generics.
Professor Louise Hickson, the president of Audiology Australia, the peak body for audiologists, said the profession had unsuccessfully entreated governments to regulate the fitting of hearing aids.
She also said she was very comfortable when her mother was recommended hearing aids that cost $4000 more than those she could have received through the government program. It seems to me a Senate inquiry or Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry is needed to shed light on the industry. My husband delayed getting hearing aids for a number of years because of the outrageous cost ($12,000) from a private practice. We found another hearing clinic that is part of a chain closer to home than the previous one and the audiologist tested her hearing and showed us the range of possibilities. Thankyou Adele, Australians deserve a fairing hearing system that has quality outcomes articulated and accountability measures embedded for all practitioners .
Yes, I think one of the issues is If people are told clearly about the T switch, if they can manipulate it and are given some coaching!
If I can speak for an organisation that runs some theatres, Induction hearing loops are in fact becoming a rarer solution rather than more common. The only places I have seen this T thing displayed was on a train in Queensland and perhaps another train in Sydney and all I received was an ear full of static. I agree it is crazy the government giving out money for stuff that goes in a drawer – where my last free hearing aids are now.
After some domestic pressure I visited an audiology clinic 5 years ago to be told I definitely required hearing aids in both ears. In frustration I went to an audiology clinic at a public hospital (after waiting 4 months for an appointment). We desperately need to have access to independent assessors, rather than relying on sales driven testing clinics.
I now know better and will definitely be a more assertive customer when my current pair of hearing aids needs replacing.
Perhaps ageing baby boomers through sheer numbers will be able to build on your efforts and get some change. They are ground down, worn out of battling to hear, work and survive or perhaps old and not tech savvy which they need to be to deal with *rebellion* .
I know of someone who has battled for years and one of the main problems appears to be the change of Ministers and Governments . These type of hearing aids advertisements have been appearing in the paper at least twice a week.
We need somebody with your investigative journalism skills helping to keep our service providers honest. If audiologists want to be taken seriously as a profession with a code of ethics, they will need to take this seriously.
Hagar Cohen at ABC’s Background Briefing started the ball rolling on this as far as I know. There was a review of the Blamey and Saunders hearing aids in the March 2013 issue of Silicon Chip magazine (only the first page is available online).
I have a pair of Blamey & Saunders hearing aids purchased for ~$1600 a couple of years ago. I bought a fancy $300 earphone unit for him to use with the television, but once he heard that a certain distance will play havoc with his pacemaker he will have none of it, even given that it is beyond the harmful range! This very morning I made an appointment with a clinic that our GP had referred him to so that he might persist with his hearing aids as it distresses him that he misses much of normal conversation. People with hearing difficulties are generally better with hearing aids, due to the downstream negative consequences of untreated hearing loss. Any service industry that generates profits on the basis of turnover and commissions is subject to the customer being ripped off. When I got my first hearing aids (in the ear, about 1998) the audiologist advised me that once your brain has lost these discerning abilities you never get them back, even with prolonged hearing aid use.
In practice I rarely find the need to change functions in use, it was the same with my original aids – I tried some of the other programs said to be useful in noisy environments, but it was like listening from the bottom of a well! As far as continued decline goes, I definitely lost more hearing ability between 1998 and 2012, but I have since been back for check-ups twice with the current aids and the audiologists have advised that there is absolutely no change in my hearing over these 3.5 years.
There are lots of lifestyle choices you can and should try before considering hearing aids. If you have hearing probs, get your hearing checked – a few people can get nasty things happening in the ear that may require surgery. If you decide on a hearing aid – refuse to pay more than the government listed price for these recommended devices.
I support the idea of a public inquiry into practices in this industry – I am far from convinced that the public is getting good value for the public dollars spent on this industry. As an audiologist, lecturer and researcher on the topic of service delivery models in hearing care, I can’t agree more that conversations such as these need to be had.
Ultimately, a shift in audiology service delivery model is going to happen, and all of your actions and input will help. Its clear form the discussion that hearing aids are a major issue for a large section of the community. Customers and audiologists alike would be delighted to know there is a solution that could help many of those people who leave their hearing aids in the drawer.
It not only addresses the background noise problem but assists with tinnitus and other ear related problems that often accompany hearing loss, as thousands of happy customers have testified. Harvey Dilon at national acoustic laboratory made a statement that they have no reason to recommend this therapy about ten years ago. Adele you have always had a great skill at putting your eloquent finger on untapped social issues!!
I could go on for quite a while but I think Phillip Adams does it much more completely than I could, on the video link Phillip on Hearing that someone put in earlier. I have been pretty happy with my Costco aids (especially the Bluetooth connection for the TV transmitter ..


I said last time, that from the jump, I felt I was caught up in a smooth, expensive cartel when I went for my first hearing aid fifteen years ago in my 50s. We are supposed to live in a democracy, with government for the people by the people, but it is clear that Australian federal and state governments are overly influenced by donations from business and vested interests of the legal profession.
It is the same for retirement villages with a legislated definition designed by the lessors skewed to their return on investment at the cost of the lessees, known in marketing jargon as residents.
Hearing aid differ in how they look, their size, where they are placed in the ear, and how much they amplify sounds. The parts of the ITC and CIC hearing aids are in a case that fits partly or completely into the ear canal. The below answer that helps us distinguish between the two comes from Megan, one of our support group members. The below answer that helps us distinguish between the two comes from Michelle, one of our support group members who is also an audiologist.
Bone-anchored hearing aids use a surgically implanted abutment to transmit sound by direct bone conduction to the inner ear, bypassing the external auditory canal and middle ear. Here is a picture of the BCHA “bone conduction hearing aid.” A BCHA is attached to a wire headband. This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. ITE hearing instruments are one-piece hearing aids, custom-designed to i¬?t within the concha. BTE hearing instruments i¬?t snugly behind your ear, and are attached to a custom earpiece molded to the shape of your outer ear. We offer excellent hearing aid battery prices and a wide selection of hearing aid battery and cochlear battery brands. Indiana In-Home Hearing fits and dispenses a wide variety of brand name high quality digital hearing aids. We are a Siemens Hearing Aid Advanced Partner, Phonak Certified Distributor, Sonic Innovations Digital Hearing Aid Specialst, Rexton Certified Dealer and Starkey Authorized Representative. Some think that wearing a hearing aid is a sign of a€?weakness,a€? or that it will make them look old, less competent or a€?handicapped.a€? Misinterpretingwords,responding inappropriatelyandbeingleftoutofconversationsaremuchmoreobviousthanwearing one of today's tiny digital hearingaids.
Hearing aid technology has improved immensely in recent years.Mosthearinginstrumentstoday usedigital technology,whichallowsforprogramming them for different hearing environments and results in reduced background noise, more natural sound and elimination of the 'whistling and buzzing' with older hearing aids. What I’ve learnt since has led me to believe we need an inquiry into the hearing aid industry and the government’s Hearing Services Program that provides free aids to pensioner concession card holders.
Many consumers aren’t getting a good enough service in a system open to conflicts of interest. Around $150 million of taxpayers’ money is wasted every year due to unused hearing aids that were provided through the government scheme, according to Professor Anthony Hogan, of the University of Canberra and ANU. It’s a case of “catch, match and despatch.” But too little attention is paid to help people prepare for a hearing aid – if they’re not psychologically ready they won’t use it. This occurs even in Australian Hearing centres, the retail outlets run by the government and which are expected to be privatised. Not every older adult needs, or can use, the extra options on models that cost them thousands more.
As well, according to Professor Hogan, online sales and alternative distributors, such as Hear for Less, will further jolt the status quo. Eventually he bought the same type for $2000 from Costco which also provided a free hearing test, ongoing service and six monthly checkups.
Costco have been straightforward and helpful, I paid $3000 and received $1800 back from my health cover. My 80 yr-old mother had a pair of hearing aids until a couple of years ago that were the basic govt supported model and worked brilliantly – she could hear people speak from behind her or even in another room. My mother chose hearing aids that were smaller and less intrusive than the old pair – that I also thought were a great idea. Mum was also having trouble carrying out the audiologist’s instructions for adjusting the hearing aids because she has arthritis and finds it hard to deal with the tiny controls.
Many venues are switching to providing hearing assistance with either wireless or infrared personal devices to those who require them as opposed to an induction loop. I suggest its worthwhile investigating the availability of induction loops and public places you visit before investing in the T switch option.
One minister takes an empathetic view but loses his job and so the *teaching* of another one is necessary to even get an interview. Who would have suspected that ethical decision making could become distorted by the lure of profits?
Optionally with simple computer software that I also purchased from Blamey & Saunders I can tune and adjust them myself. You’ve brought to light , with the help of Hagar Cohen, something that I have suspected to be the case since I lost a significant amount of hearing in my left ear overnight and have since been a client of the hearing aid industry.
My father’s hearing loss was of only minor personal concern until he moved in with us to live three months ago.
From my experience I think this is true, there is no way I can focus on one voice in noisy place as people with normal hearing can do. But I suggest that you only use a provider who charges you for a hearing test – this way you do not feel obligated to buy a hearing aid. We need a system that focuses on whether your quality of life improves rather than one that is solely techno-focused.
Recently, my colleagues and I undertook the first published research to explore the way that audiology appointments occur and how involved adults with hearing loss are in their decision making about hearing aids. In fact, the best predictors of successful quality of life and communication outcomes (that is, how happy and well you will do with your hearing) are whether your psycho-social needs have been addressed.
The aids from Blamey and Saunders have far better quality sound reproduction as they use the technology the group perfected for Thank you cochlea implants. I will always stay with Blamey and Saunders and I’m sure they would agree with an enquiry into the industry too.
Many people with hearing loss find that the distraction of background noise is their biggest problem. Sound Therapy is a portable listening program which stimulates the ear mechanism, including the middle ear muscles, and enhances auditory discrimination.
You have me making my second comment on your blog in a couple of weeks, a practice I rarely engage in!! Costco has been a huge improvement with very professional service and a reasonable price – although the experience of entering a Costco store is a trifle traumatic for a faint-hearted, non-shopper like myself! If ever I have encountered an monopoly destined to be turned on its polished, expensive ear by the power of people and the Internet, this is it!! The case is connected to a plastic ear mold by a clear tube that wraps around the top of your ear. Megan is working toward her PhD in auditory studies and happens to have Microtia and Atresia of her right ear.


Both Cochlear and Otticon’s Baha bone conduction hearing devices utilize a bone-anchored hearing aid . Through this site and linkages to other sites, we provide general information for educational purposes only. We carry the best name brand digital hearing aids and hearing aid accessories and batteries at affordable prices. It’s a system that encourages the flogging of hearing aids rather than the provision of a holistic service with happy outcomes. They’re not given enough help to manage the aid, or offered an alternative (cheaper) device. The practice is against the audiologists’ code of ethics but centres can be owned by business people who aren’t audiologists.
In September, Gareth Brown, of Australian funds management firm, Forager, invited readers of his blog to respond with their experiences of hearing aids. The firm was considering whether to invest in the big hearing aid manufacturers, a “growth sector with high margins,” as he told me. People might consider paying for a hearing test, getting a copy of the results, and buying online.
The change in her demeanour and outlook was very noticeable as soon as she got them – much more cheerful and engaged in things. However, despite numerous return visits, the audiologist has never managed to adjust the hearing aids so that my mother can reliably hear even when I’m sitting next to her.
My feeling is that the audiologist should take that sort of issue into account when dealing with older people, given that arthritis isn’t an uncommon problem in that age group and not recommend something that needs good fine motor control to work properly. The outcome is that since then she has never been able to hear and participate in conversations in the same way. The present one cost $4000 (which she did not have to pay) but during the test – in a quiet office!!!!!!!!!!!!
Since then he has not worn them more than about a dozen times, and our TV sound or radio volume are set much higher than I would prefer. Negotiating the decibel level of the television has been a hugely delicate and dynamic issue, especially as loud sound triggers my migraines. You should also try using assistive listening devices (people tend to have trouble hearing the phone, the Tv, the doorbell or the alarm) – there are lots of great (low cost) gear out there to assist with improving hearing and communication and these should be tried before hearing aids. However, inaction can have a negative impact on important relationships with your spouse (reduced intimacy) or your grand children (you may not realise that you shout at them!). Within the decade a large % of hearing services will be delivered on line and the industry will have to adapt to a new way of operating. The evidence and professional bodies such as Audiology Australia advocate that people with hearing loss should seek help from people who have the appropriate qualifications and this is absolutely what I advocate. My first pair from them was purchased on line with a programme to fine tune with my computer and the most recent pair from their rooms In Melbourne.
The reason for this is little known but could help a great many people if they were aware of it.
BTE hearing aids are used for all degrees of hearing loss, especially very severe hearing loss.
ITE hearing aids can be made with special features, such as a telecoil that improves hearing during phone calls and a directional microphone system that can help you hear voices in a noisy room.
The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.
We offer affordable financing options on your hearing aid purchase, so you can get the hearing aid you need without straining your budget.
Secret commissions are paid to staff for ‘upselling’ to more expensive products, according to insiders. And they get little advice on communication techniques as simple as knowing where to sit in a room. Even though many customers get their hearing aids free, the taxpayer foots the bill and should not be subsidising an inefficient system that’s leading up to 40 per cent of clients to abandon their aids or use them incorrectly. However, following your links I’ve just found some independent audiologists not too far away from us, so we’ll see what can be done! When I originally asked him to wear his aids and turn the volume down, he said that they make hearing more difficult for him because of amplified background noises. If you can use Microsoft Word or read email you can use the software to tune your hearing aids to your needs y yourself.
When the basic one arrived it turned out to have some of the features of the more expensive model anyway, including a remote control. If you are not going to use a great device at home, how likely is it that you would use a hearing aid in a public space?
It is not the publics’ responsibility to subsidise inefficient industry practices in the mean time. But I recognise that ultimately, everyone has the right to make their own informed decision. BTE hearing aids can be made with special features, such as a telecoil that helps with hearing during phone calls and a directional microphone system that can help you hear voices in a noisy room. Some mini BTE aids can have a very small earpiece that doesn’t completely fill the ear canal. ITC hearing aids can be made with special features such as a directional microphone system that can help you hear voices in a noisy room. Overseas hearing aid manufacturers have bought up hundreds of Australia’s hearing centres to distribute their product. Unfortunately she accidentally crushed one of them but could not return to the audiologist because he had sold the practice to a chain. He dislikes what he hears while wearing them, despite having gone back to the clinic for supposed adjustment of the aids.
Many online device sales still have significant mark-ups, but fewer overheads as there is little requirement for additional services.
Both ITC and CIC hearing aids can be damaged by earwax and fluid draining from the ear, and their small size may be difficult for some people to handle.
Even though the softband does not have a surgical abutment, it is the same device that is attached to the abutment. Ethical audiologists resent the way they’re sometimes forced to practise, including having to meet sales targets. Fortunately we only listen to the radio for about one hour early in the morning and generally only watch the news and 7:30 report on TV, so most of the time our soundscape is pleasant.
Remember to be wary of marketing: both bricks-and-mortar clinics AND online hearing aid sales groups engage in strategic marketing.



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