A diagnostic hearing test enables the audiologist to independently test each part of the ear in order to determine if a hearing loss is present. By testing each part of the ear individually we are able to correctly identify the cause of the hearing loss, severity, as well as plan for appropriate treatment.
Let the audiologist come to you. Candice van Heerden audiology has fully mobile audiological equipment and is able to provide all services to our patients from the comfort of their own home.
This is another mobile service offered where the audiologist will test children’s hearing at school in order to identify learners with possible hearing difficulty. In the case that a child is identified to have a possible hearing problem, the child is referred for a diagnostic hearing evaluation to determine the possible cause and type of hearing loss. Children identified with middle ear problems will be referred to either the GP or the ENT depending on the severity and history.
A quick test of a child’s speech and language skills to determine if there is a deficit and whether a comprehensive assessment is necessary.
Should a child be identified as having a speech and language delay then a number of formal, norm based tests will be conducted to determine whether their speech and language skills are age appropriate. A speech and Language assessment includes the following areas: Receptive and expressive language, Articulation, Pragmatic skills, Auditory processing skills, Fluency, Reading and writing. Following a formal assessment the areas of speech and language delay will be targeted in weekly therapy sessions.
Another fully mobile service offered by Candice van Heerden audiology. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2003, it is required that all employees working in a noisy environment, at commencement of employment, obtain a baseline audiogram by a qualified person. Thereafter, a yearly screening audiogram should be obtained to ensure that no significant threshold shift is evident. This service is provided on the premises of the company requesting the service. This ensures maximum work efficiency for the company and limited travel expenses by the company for staff members.
Once a diagnostic hearing test has been completed and the cause and severity of the hearing loss is identified, the audiologist will assist in selecting an appropriate hearing aid for the patient. Selection of a hearing aid is based on a number of factors including: type and severity of hearing loss, lifestyle, patient needs and financial status. Should the patient wish to trial and compare one or more different products, they will be offered the opportunity to have a trial fitting.
Many patients are sceptical to wear a hearing aid based on personal past negative experiences, or their friends and family expressing dissatisfaction with hearing aids. The reason for this dissatisfaction could be owing to a number of factors, but primarily because of older, less effective hearing aid technology. A trial fitting allows the patient to wear a demo hearing aid for two weeks to experience for themselves the improvement in hearing and quality of life they will experience by wearing the hearing aid. Many patients find that they are unaware of what sounds they are missing until we are able to bring these sounds back to them.
Your hearing aid will be set according to your hearing levels as well as your previous hearing aid experience. This means that the hearing aid is set for you and only you as it will be programmed to your specific needs and preferences. During the fitting the patient will be asked to provide feedback regarding the quality of sound they are experiencing. This is an important step as the audiologist requires feedback in order to set the hearing aid comfortably for each individual patient. At the initial fitting, in-depth orientation as to how to use, take care of and clean the hearing aids will be given.
Hearing aids are always set slightly softer than necessary at the initial fitting in order to allow the brain and patient time to adjust to new sounds that they haven’t heard for a while. The patient will return for a follow up a month after fitting where the audiologist will fine tune the hearing aid to appropriate levels once their brain has adjusted to the new sounds. Hearing aid settings can be changed all the time. If the patient goes home and finds that the aid is too loud or some sounds are too sharp for example, the Audiologist will be able to change the settings to be more comfortable for you.
If a hearing aid is faulty, we will send it to the hearing aid manufacturer where it will be repaired. This usually takes no more than 3 working days. It is recommended that all hearing aids are serviced annually. This is important to ensure accurate functioning of the hearing aid at all times. A service will entail a clean and check and possible repair if needs be. The majority of hearing aids carry a two year warrantee, during this time any service or repair will be free of charge. Should the warrantee no longer be valid a quote will be sent to the patient for approval before any repair work is done.
Hearing aids can be paired to various wireless devices, i.e. TV, landline, cellphone, computer, iPod etc. This requires an extra Bluetooth device. Your Audiologist will discuss the different options with you and show you how to set them up and use them.
Tinnitus refers to a ringing/buzzing/whistling noise in your ears. Tinnitus is complicated process caused and aggravated by a number of factors such as: hearing acuity, caffeine and nicotine. Many doctors will tell you that tinnitus cannot be cured which is true, however an audiologist can help to relieve the patients’ perception of tinnitus and in some case rid the patient of tinnitus perception entirely. Treatment of tinnitus includes a combination strategy of counseling regarding the cause and aggravating factors as well as sound stimulation and tinnitus masking using hearing aids.
Customized ear plugs can be made specifically for noise, sleeping and swimming.
Hearing protection: Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss today. Noise damage is irreparable but it is preventable by wearing hearing protection when exposed to decibel levels greater than 80dB. Noise damage is not only caused by high decibel (volume) sounds but also by the amount of time an individual is exposed to noise, for example someone who listens to their iPod all day could cause as much damage to their hearing as loud industrial equipment.
Sleep plugs: Custom made sleep plugs are soft and comfortable allowing you to have a good night’s rest without being bothered by sounds around you.
Swim plugs: Swim plugs are a necessity for any children with grommets. Grommets create a hole in the ear drum which allows the water to seep into parts of the ear where it shouldn’t be, aggravating middle ear infections.
Batteries, receivers, domes, cleaning tools and wax guards can be purchased at the practice.