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Is it really “selective hearing” or is it hearing loss? We’ve often heard the “selective hearing” excuse, so next time someone uses it, put them to the test. Literally.
Our free online hearing test will clarify once and for all if their hearing loss is selective or real. Here at the Jervis Bay Hearing Centre, we can also provide a full hearing test to define whether it's 'selective hearing' or genuine hearing loss.
Click the button to take the test!
Losing our hearing can be a natural part of aging. Technology can play a role in reversing this trend.
Better Hearing Victoria's CEO Dr Caitlin Barr and Director of the National Acoustic Laboratories Dr Brent Edwards spoke to Nightlife about how hearing aids work, what problems they can address and whether you might need one.
Duration: 50min 51sec
Broadcast: Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:00pm
Meet your local Audiology expert, hearing awareness week 2019
Alison is an Independent Audiologist with over 27 years experience in Paediatric and Adult Audiology. Alison's professional and ethical approach to Audiology has earned her lifelong patients and regard amongst her peers. Her focus is Rehabilitative Audiology and the Jervis Bay Hearing Centre is a Centre of Excellence with a focus on Hearing, Hearing aids and Cochlear Implants.
She practices from the Jervis Bay Hearing Centre located on the beautiful South Coast of NSW. She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1992 and has been recognised internationally for her contribution in furthering our understanding of Tinnitus and Hypercusis when she co-authored a paper with Myriam Westcott which won the Jack Vernon award at the International Tinnitus Seminar in Brazil. She is passionate about empowering people and communities to reach their full potential.
For more information about Alison's Accreditations, Achievements and Affiliations click here.
World Hearing Day
One in 6 Australians is affected by hearing loss – that is an estimated 3.5 million people. The prevalence of hearing loss rises from 1% for people aged younger than 15 years to 3 in every 4 people aged over 70 years.
On World Hearing Day 2019, WHO will draw attention to the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss. Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realize that they are missing out on certain sounds and words. Checking one’s hearing would be the first step towards addressing the issue.
Feeling isolated and disconnected is one of the main consequences of hearing loss. People simply want to belong. It can be embarrassing when you misunderstand the joke or a simple request, you give up and stop trying after a while. This can make it difficult to get and keep a job and put quite a strain on relationships. When you keep making simple errors your confidence gradually erodes. Sometimes mistakes can be entertaining but when they happen a lot they become frustrating for the people who share your life and you begin to lose your confidence.
World hearing day is on day the 4th of march and aims to highlight the issues faced by people with a hearing loss and encourage them to actively manage their loss. For World hearing day and hearing awareness week,
Jervis Bay Hearing Centre is a hearing, hearing aid and Cochlear Implant Centre of Excellence.
The program has started as a new app, Sound Scouts, has been commissioned by the research arm of Australian Hearing.
The 10-minute program looks like a children's game but uses advanced hearing science to gauge the user's hearing ability.
More than 1,000 children trialled the app and were tested both by Sound Scouts and a paediatric audiologist during the development process.
Allison Nikula's daughter Anna started school this year in Adelaide.
She downloaded the app to test Anna's hearing and liked how intuitively her child was able to go through the process on her own.
For those students who appear to have hearing problems, the app generates a report at the end of the game that shows what the issues might be and provides a referral to an audiologist, medical practitioner or speech pathologist.
Last year Australian Hearing fitted more than 600 children with hearing aids for the first time.
Australian Hearing's clinical coach Gemma Cooper said it is hoped the new program would also identify kids with auditory processing disorder who were unable to filter out background noise.
"Kids with this disorder can present with things like, saying 'what' all the time, not following instructions and needing lots of repeats and repeated instructions consistently," she said.
"Auditory processing effects the way that you hear noise and filter speech and sound, so you can actually have normal hearing but have trouble working out what the sounds think and mean."
There are tools and games to help reduce the effects of the disorder, but audiologists recommend using a wireless communication device at school.
There are individual headsets or systems for the whole classroom.
"Rather than making the teacher's voice louder it distributes the sound throughout the classroom so that the children can hear sound equally no matter where they are and not rely on sitting at the teacher's feet all the time," Ms Hampson said.
Better Hearing Australia has partnered with the British Tinnitus Association and the American Tinnitus Association to help address and reduce the suffering of Tinnitus. This is the first time that focus on this condition has been addressed in Australia under a network of collective medical and allied health organisations.
Tinnitus is the often debilitating presence of sound in the ears or head with no known source. It may be a ring, buzz, whistle, hiss, hum or cicada like sound. This constant irritation can lead to depression, cause anxiety and greatly affect lives.
Many people suffer tinnitus without realising that there is a scientifically validated rehabilitation method available which has an 83% success rate. First, have a diagnostic hearing test. This will tell your Audiologist whether there are any patterns which indicate further medical investigation. is required. Tinnitus can be caused by a range of things from wax up against the ear drum to an acoustic neuroma (or tumour). Your Audiologist wants to help you identify what is causing your tinnitus. Once the initial testing is complete he/she will work with you to make a plan. If there are no medical indications then you may be a candidate for Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (based on CBT). Find an Audiologist trained in this specialised area and ask them about your situation.
There are also strategies available to help you to manage Tinnitus. Speak to an Audiologist who has trained in the area of Tinnitus for more help in this area.
Did you know some quick facts about Tinnitus.
- Tinnitus can happen at any age.
- Tinnitus affects 1 in 10 Australians – that’s over 2,000,000 of us.
- Anxiety and depression can be associated with Tinnitus.
- Tinnitus doesn’t discriminate and can affect people from all walks of life.
The Jervis Bay Hearing centre is committed to helping those that suffer with this condition, and will be posting about Tinnitus all week to raise awareness.
For more information or to donate to Better Hearing Australia (VIC) visit: www.betterhearing.org.au
The Jervis Bay Hearing Centre is a hearing, hearing aid and Cochlear Implant Centre of Excellence.
We're right in the middle of holiday season, and while some will soak up our Summer around Australia, others will travel abroad to cool off! Whatever you choose, having hearing loss won't slow you down if you follow these great tips...
Before you go
What makes a hotel room hearing accessible? It varies, but generally these types of rooms have:
- A telephone that allows guests to communicate via text or typing, such as a TTY phone and/or a phone with added amplification
- Sensors that shake the bed and/or flash a light to alert guests that someone has rung the doorbell, or is calling on the phone. These types of alerts are also required for emergencies. Alarm clocks also must provide some sort of non-auditory signal, as well.
- A TV with closed captioning
- Signage indicating assistive listening devices are available
What to pack
- Hearing aid storage case/drying container
- Small hearing aid dehumidifier
- Hearing aid splash protectors or wind sleeves, if your plans include active outdoor activities, such as camping and hiking
- Adapter for your charger if you’re traveling abroad
- Extra batteries
- Cleaning kit
- Assistive listening devices
- Hearing aid accessories
Get a hearing aid tune up, if needed
Traveling by car
- Ask your hearing healthcare professional about purchasing an assistive listening device that will improve your ability to hear conversations with fellow travelers while in the car.
- Consider purchasing an extra wide rear-view mirror so you can see more of your surroundings. Because you may not hear cars approach or honk, this is an added layer of safety.
- If you frequently take road trips with passengers, look into having an induction loop installed. This electronic device will allow you to better hear and understand your radio, cell phone and conversation from other passengers. (Induction loops are also found in some airports and travel hubs like train stations.)
- If you rely on texting or emailing for conversations, don’t compromise safety. Pull to the side of the road to send or receive these messages or ask one of your passengers to act as your reader and scribe.
Traveling by public transportation or airplane
- You do not have to remove your hearing aids when going through airport security.
- For any transportation, check relevant websites or call ahead to ask about services for those with hearing loss. Many facilities require at least two weeks’ advance notice for sign language interpretation, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time if this is a service you require.
- Some travel hubs have induction loop systems to allow people with hearing loss to hear announcements more clearly.
- Pack necessary travel documents in an easy-to-reach place.
- Sign up for travel alerts via text messaging, which can be useful if announcements are garbled.
During your trip
Hearing aid problems
If you're traveling to a foreign country
- Downloading a translator app on your smartphone or keeping a translation dictionary in your bag
- Alerting the travel personnel ahead of time about your hearing loss, so they can help point you in the right direction when you arrive
- Seeking out translator and hearing loss services ahead of time online
Planning is key
Also, your hearing aid professional or audiologist can provide you with more tips on what to consider before traveling the open skies, rails or roads.
Common Hearing Aid Issues
The four most common issues hearing aid wearers experience are:
- My hearing aids aren't producing any sound (or my hearing aids are "dead")
- My hearing aids aren't loud enough
- My hearing aids sound "funny" or distorted
- My hearing aids are "whistling" or producing feedback
My hearing aids aren’t producing any sound
- Visually examine the hearing aid. Is there earwax blocking the microphone opening or sound outlet? Carefully clean away any debris.
- Make sure your hearing aid is turned on. Hearing aids are usually powered on by closing the battery door. If the battery door won’t shut easily, the battery is likely upside down. Take the battery out, flip it and try inserting again. If placed properly, the door will close easily.
- Turn up the volume with your remote control or directly on the hearing aid. If you have a manual volume control wheel, adjust the wheel up and down a couple of times to make sure it's all the way on.
- Toggle between the programs or memories. If you have a button to change settings, press it and listen for several minutes to see if that makes a difference.
- Replace the battery. If you have a hearing aid battery tester, check the voltage of the old battery to confirm it’s dead before activating a new battery by removing the sticker.
- Consider whether the hearing aid may be damaged. Contact us at the Hearing Centre for further assistance.
My hearing aids aren’t loud enough
- Visually examine the hearing aids. Is there earwax blocking the microphone opening or the sound outlet? If you wear a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid with an ear-mold and tubing, inspect the tubing to make sure there are no cracks, blockages or beads of moisture. Contact us if you need assistance replacing the tubing.
- Turn up the volume with your remote control or directly on the hearing aid. If you have a manual volume control wheel, adjust the wheel up and down a couple of times to make sure you can hear the volume changing.
- Try a different program or memory. You may have accidentally switched to a different program that is set differently to your usual program.
- Consider whether your hearing may have changed. If it’s been a while since your last hearing evaluation, you may need to schedule a hearing test with us. We may be able to adjust your hearing aids to accommodate any changes to your hearing ability.
My hearing aids sound "funny" or distorted
- Visually examine the batteries. Are they corroded? If so, replace them.
- Inspect the battery contacts. These are the little metal prongs that connect with the battery when the door is closed. Are they corroded? If so, open and close the battery compartment several times to clean the contacts. Then replace the battery and see if the sound has improved. The Hearing Centre can also clean the battery contacts for you. Do they appear to make contact with the battery? If they are oriented correctly to make contact, you are likely to see scratches on the surface of a used battery.
- Try a different program or memory. You may have accidentally switched to a wireless setting meant to be used with an assistive listening device.
- Consider whether the hearing aids may be damaged. Contact usl for further assistance.
My hearing aids are “whistling” or producing feedback
- If your hearing aids are whistling while in your ears, remove them and try re-inserting them. They may not be inserted properly.
- Turn down the volume. If the hearing aids are properly inserted and they stop whistling when you turn down the volume, there may be too much sound leaking out through the vent or around the earmold. You may need to have the fit adjusted by us here at the Hearing Cenre.
- If you think your ear canals may be blocked with earwax, see your hearing care professional or physician to have your ears cleaned thoroughly. This blockage could be causing feedback in two different ways:
—You turn up the volume higher than normal so you can hear through the earwax, leaking out more sound than usual, or
—Sound can bounce off any blockage in your ear canal and leak back out.
- If you have recently lost a considerable amount of weight, the fit of your hearing aids may have changed. We can evaluate the new fit and determine whether they can fix the issue in the office or if you need to have your hearing aids or earmolds remade.
If you have tried all these troubleshooting steps and still are having issues, please contact us on 4441 8886 or come into the Hearing Centre to speak to one of our staff about your issues.
Researchers have taken an important step toward what may become a new approach to restore the hearing loss. In a new study, out today in the European Journal of Neuroscience, scientists have been able to regrow the sensory hair cells found in the cochlea -- a part of the inner ear -- that converts sound vibrations into electrical signals and can be permanently lost due to age or noise damage.
Hearing impairment has long been accepted as a fact of life for the aging population. However, scientists have long observed that other animals -- namely birds, frogs, and fish -- have been shown to have the ability to regenerate lost sensory hair cells.
"It's funny, but mammals are the oddballs in the animal kingdom when it comes to cochlear regeneration," said Jingyuan Zhang, Ph.D., with the University of Rochester Department of Biology and a co-author of the study. "We're the only vertebrates that can't do it."
Research conducted in the lab of Patricia White, Ph.D., in 2012 identified a family of receptors -- called epidermal growth factor (EGF) -- When triggered, these cells proliferate and foster the generation of new sensory hair cells. She speculated that this signaling pathway could potentially be manipulated to produce a similar result in mammals.
"In mice, the cochlea expresses EGF receptors throughout the animal's life, but they apparently never drive regeneration of hair cells," said White. "Perhaps during mammalian evolution, there have been changes in the expression of intracellular regulators of EGF receptor family signaling. Those regulators could have altered the outcome of signaling, blocking regeneration. Our research is focused on finding a way switch the pathway temporarily, in order to promote both regeneration of hair cells and their integration with nerve cells, both of which are critical for hearing."
In the new study, the team tested the theory that signaling from the EGF family of receptors could play a role in cochlear regeneration in mammals. The researchers focused on a specific receptor called ERBB2 which is found in cochlear support cells.
The researchers found that activating the ERBB2 pathway triggered a cascading series of cellular events by which cochlear support cells began to proliferate and start the process of activating other neighboring stem cells to become new sensory hair cells. Furthermore, it appears that this process not only could impact the regeneration of sensory hair cells, but also support their integration with nerve cells.
"The process of repairing hearing is a complex problem and requires a series of cellular events," said White. "You have to regenerate sensory hair cells and these cells have to function properly and connect with the necessary network of neurons. This research demonstrates a signaling pathway that can be activated by different methods and could represent a new approach to cochlear regeneration and, ultimately, restoration of hearing."