An audiologist is a skilled healthcare practitioner that possesses relevant qualifications in Audiology. An audiologist can diagnose hearing disorders and identify problems with the ears and auditory pathway. Audiologists must be registered with a medical council, and in South Africa, this is the Health Professions Council of South Africa who hold legislative governance over the medical professions. We are also registered with our Professional Association, the South African Association of Audiologists.
As healthcare professionals, we apply our skills and knowledge to educate, treat and support patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis and balance disorders. We abide by any internationally recognised scientific best standards, and we function with a ‘patient first’ principle so that your hearing care is prioritised over any other objective.
Hearing aid prices vary widely. Hearing aids are medical devices that are used to assist people with hearing loss in everyday life. People are unique and the environments of their lives, differ. The amount of hearing loss a person may have, and the clarity of their remaining hearing, also varies. This is the reason that a comprehensive examination is necessary. Any missing information about your hearing could result in you selecting a hearing aid that does not suit your needs, and you could spend money on something inappropriate.
Years of research and development has gone into creating hearing devices that look good, produce sufficient volume at through the pitches of speech, create sound that is as close to the original sound source as possible, and have additional specific features (like wind-noise management or Bluetooth connection), to meet your unique needs.
The technologies available must be specifically matched to your needs, so that a basic or entry level device is usually fitted for people with simple hearing losses and quiet lifestyles, and highly sophisticated, premium, high-resolution products are used for more complex hearing losses and tremendously busy, noisy lifestyles. Regardless of the hearing aid, if it is well fitted by an experienced practitioner, a patient is likely to obtain a better result. Good settings are extremely important and matter as much as getting the right hearing aid for you needs.
A superficial hearing test is one where you hear tones and press a button. This test can describe the amount and shape of your hearing loss but does not assist in identifying the cause or the location in your auditory system. It is inadequate for the best standards of Audiology, as it has no medical application on its own. Without further testing, a practitioner may miss an underlying condition that requires medical intervention. A hearing aid that is fitted based on this test only, can be incorrect.
A diagnostic hearing test is an extensive hearing test whereby the audiologist determines the type and severity or quantity of hearing loss, and the site in the auditory pathway from which the hearing loss originates. Recommendations for medical intervention and rehabilitation can be determined based on diagnostic hearing test results. Due to your specific complaints and results, an audiologist may want to perform specialized tests to gather additional diagnostic information before deciding on rehabilitation options.