The terms Audiologist and Audiology are often thrown around a lot when we start talking about hearing health. For some in the community this causes confusion, and confusion when it comes to one's health can result in hesitating to reach out for the health care and help that is needed.
To move away from the confusion lets answer some questions about Audiologists and Audiology.
In short audiology is the type of science and medicine relating to the sense of hearing and its associated disorders, management, and remedies.
An audiologist is a health professional that specialises in hearing loss and balance disorders including Tinnitus. They are able and experienced in dealing with hearing loss, including conducting hearing tests and hearing screening, and prescribing and fitting hearing aids and other hearing devices (ear plugs, etc) to assist with hearing and communication.
At Audi Hearing Clinic our Audiologists offer the following services:
To become a qualified audiologist, practitioners require both a bachelor’s degree in biomedicine, biological science, health science or a related field as well as a post graduate qualification, commonly a Master of clinical audiology. This usually means that to become an audiologist 5 years of full-time study is required.
A post graduate qualification is also followed by a period (usually no less than one year) of supervised clinical practice or clinical placement.
Audiologists must also be a member of and satisfy the requirements of either:
At Audi Hearing Clinic our Audiologists hold a Master of Clinical Audiology from the University of Sydney and Macquarie University and are members of Audiology Australia and Allied Health.
Once qualified the training doesn't stop there. Audiologists are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD). CPD requires Audiologists to obtain 20 hours of training across three key areas annually.
Audiologists can work in hospitals, nursing homes, private practice, universities, or research labs where their studies can range from the effects of noise on hearing to the development of new hearing technology (i.e. cochlear implants).
Audi Hearing Clinic is an example of a private practice. We are proud to be one of 300 privately owned practices that hold an Australian Government Hearing Services Program Contract. Our Audiologists are either in our own clinic or based in rooms in medical centres in Punchbowl, Fairfield, Auburn and Merrylands.
Once you've lost your hearing it’s difficult to just get it back but it’s not impossible, it depends on what is causing your hearing loss.
Loss of hearing caused by birth defects, noise and ageing are non-reversible and there aren't any drugs that can assist with correcting the damage. However, there are several surgeries that are used for hearing loss, these include cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing systems, stapedectomies, and insertion of middle ear tubes.
It's important to note that most of these surgeries won't be considered until you've tried hearing aids and it hasn't succeeded. So, the best thing to do when you start to experience hearing problems is to visit your audiologist and if necessary, get professionally fit with a hearing aid.
The Costs of seeing an Audiologist will vary between clinics and some services and aids can cost more than others.
Hearing aid prices are particularly high; this is usually as a result of the technology in the apparatus and the fact that the cost also includes the Audiologists time. Prices can range from $1,000.00 to more than $6,000.00 depending on the patients’ needs and the style of hearing aid they choose.
Whilst Medicare does provide some cover for audiology fees to eligible pensioners and veterans under the Australian Government's Hearing Services Program this doesn't extend to people of all ages.
The Hearing Services Program Voucher Scheme allows for a subsidy for Pensioners and Veterans entitling them to fully or partially subsidised hearing devices as well as support services related to these devices. For eligible pensioners under the Voucher Scheme, base level or standard hearing aids will be fully subsidised.
A further subsidy exists by way of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which allows for Australians between 26 and 64 years of age, and suffering permanent hearing loss, to become eligible for funded assistance.
People who are not eligible for a scheme under Medicare or NDIS may find that their private health fund covers them for part or all the Audiology service. The level of coverage will vary depending on your insurance provider and the insurance policy.
Audi Hearing Clinic offers:
The best way to get in contact with an Audiologist is by seeking a referral from your doctor, speech pathologist or other health professional.
Ask your doctor for a referral to Audi Hearing Clinic and then either call us to make an appointment or use our online booking page.