FAQ: How to get help for your hearing loss
1) I have a hearing loss – what should I do?
1) I have a hearing loss – what should I do?
Seek help TODAY.
If you think you have a hearing loss you should contact us or your nearest audiology clinic for a full hearing evaluation.
You should never ignore any symptoms of hearing loss as the untreated hearing loss will may lead to other potential psychological, social and health problems. Some forms of hearing loss such as sudden hearing loss or ear infections are curable if treatment is applied immediately.
If you have been suffering from hearing loss for a long time and feel unready to seek professional help, don’t worry. Take time to read our blog posts or even better, call our friendly audiologist to have your questions answered at no cost.
At Faith Hearing, we understand that any hearing loss we deal with is ultimately not ours but our patients’. We aim to educate our patients about hearing loss with accurate, easy to read articles that are unbiased to any hearing aid brand. And we hope every individual we meet will make well-informed decisions on how to deal with hearing loss.
2) At what age should I start having hearing tests done?
If you are above the age of 18, it is recommended that you undergo a basic hearing screening every year as part of your annual physical check up.
Hearing loss often occurs gradually and go undetected until it gets a lot worse. It is important to schedule an appointment with your local audiologist to establish your baseline hearing thresholds so that later on if you do get a hearing loss, your audiologist will be able to compare your hearing test results to your baseline.
3) When should I upgrade my hearing aids?
Like any electronic product, hearing aids are prone to wear and tear. Some individuals can maintain the same hearing aids for between 5 to 7 years and some much longer.
Ultimately a hearing aid’s lifespan will depend on the components that it is built of, how it was built and how well it is being maintained by the individual. Here are some other reasons to upgrade your hearing aid:
- When your hearing aid repair costs are more expensive than buying a new hearing aid
- When your hearing aid model is outdated, and the repair parts are no longer available
- When your hearing ability changes, and you need a more powerful hearing aid
- When your lifestyle or listening environment changes, and you need more sophisticated technology to improve listening
- When you are ready for new technology. Hearing aids are improving all the time with more options such as SMART home connectivity, direct phone call streaming and better speech enhancement systems.
4) How do I know if my audiologist is qualified?
Looking for the right audiology team to support your hearing needs doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Look for licensed audiologists who are registered at your local audiology society. In Singapore, audiologists with professional credentials such as MSc, BSc and Au.D are registered with the Singapore Audiology Professional Society. You may also choose to ask for a referral with your family, friends or local general practitioner.
5) Why are there so many types of hearing aids?
Because there are many types of ears, hearing loss profiles, budgets and lifestyle requirements!
Hearing is an important part of daily living and helping individuals with hearing loss meet their hearing needs requires personal customization with both hardware and software.
Note that while it is good to find out more about hearing aids online it is more important to work with your local audiologist to choose and program a hearing aid which will suit your medical needs Read more about the different types of hearing aids here.
6) My loved love has a hearing loss - what can I do?
Caring for a loved one with hearing loss can be both frustrating and emotionally draining process. Especially with the high rates or age-related hearing loss in Singapore, there have been increased reports of family conflict due to communication breakdowns. It may get even more frustrating when a loved one with hearing loss resists help or brushes off any concerns with regards to his or her hearing.
Here are some tips on how you can help your loved one:
My loved one is unaware he or she has a hearing loss
Example: Your loved one may think struggling to understand speech or playing the TV really loud is normal.
- Learn about hearing loss by reading up on it so you can get tips on how to help your loved one.
- Express your concerns to your love one. Remember to show your love and support while you are doing so.
- Ask your loved one about situations where he struggled to hear conversation and ask other family members present if they struggle to hear in the same situation.
- Accompany your loved one to do a hearing check up with an audiologist
My loved one is unable to accept his or her hearing loss
Example: Your loved one is fully aware of his or her struggles with hearing but is unwilling to accept and talk about his or her hearing loss.
- Understand that many individual with hearing loss has to undergo an initial denial phase. This is coping mechanism where the individual is able to give his or herself time to face and overcome fears, self-doubt or misconceptions towards hearing loss (e.g., association hearing loss and ageing).
- Your loved one may hear well in some situations and not others, so it is important to emphasise the difference between hearing and hearing conversations clearly.
- Take your loved ones to see an audiologist at our centre Audiologists are trained to counsel and guide individuals with hearing loss accept and seek help, however it is important to give your loved one time and take at least 1-3 sessions with the audiologist.
My loved one knows he or she has a hearing loss but is unwilling to seek hearing solutions or rehabilitation
Example: Your loved one refuses to wear hearing aids even after being diagnosed and prescribed hearing aids.
- Take loved one to see the different hearing aid models. Even to individuals with hearing loss, hearing aids may carry a stigma, they may associate it with weakness or ageing. Hearing aids have been getting smaller and less visible throughout the years
- Money may be an issue, ask your audiologist about all the payment options and financial assistance.
- Show them the pros and cons of not seeking help. Untreated hearing loss individuals face:
- Higher risk of falling
Remember when seeking help for your loved one, it is important to assure your loved one you are seeking help for them out of love and concern and not out of frustration.
7) I don't seem to benefit from hearing aids. Should I consider a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is a small electric device that is surgically placed behind a person’s ear to provide sound. Like hearing aids, cochlear implants are not able to restore hearing loss, however they are able to provide better hearing benefits to people who have a severe to profound hearing loss.
Most cochlear implant patients will be fitted with hearing aids for at least 3 months prior to surgery to determine with maximum benefit can be achieve. To determine if a patient is suitable for cochlear implant surgery, a patient has to undergo a thorough audiology testing, medical examination, X-rays and MRI.
If you would like to be assessed for a cochlear implant surgery, do contact us to find out more.
8) I need financial aid for my hearing aids
Having a hearing impairment or caring for a loved one with a hearing impairment can be can be financially stressful.
Thankfully, the Singapore government has taken many steps to ease the burden of the hearing impaired, especially for the elderly population, this includes subsidy schemes such as:
- SENIORS’ MOBILITY AND ENABLING FUND (SMF)
SMF extends subsidies to Singaporean citizens aged 60 or older. Eligible recipients must have:
o A household monthly income per person of $1,800 and below and/or
o Annual Value (AV) of residence reflected on NRIC of $13,000 and below for households with no income
o Completed assessment by a certified doctor and audiologist on the type of device required
o Not made claims for the device category prior
- ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY FUND (ATF)
ATF is a subsidy fund by SG Enable for persons with disability (PWDs) to purchase assistive technology devices. The extent of coverage is up to 90% of the cost of the equipment, with a lifetime cap of $40,000. To qualify for ATF subsidy, recipients must:
o Be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
o Have a gross monthly household income per person of $1800 and below
o Undergone a certified assessor’s assessment to determine the need and type of device(s)
- PIONEER GENERATION (PG) PACKAGE
The PG package recognizes the contributions of the first generation who built up Singapore. And offers subsidied outpatient care regardless of income. At Faith Hearing, we offer 25% discount off all hearing aids to all PG card holders. To qualify for PG package recipients should:
o Be a Singaporeans and is 65 years and older in 2014 and/or
o Became Singaporean by 31st December 1986
- HEARING AID DONATION PROGRAM
At Faith Hearing, some of our patients do offer to donate hearing aids to those who are financially burdened. A handful of our patients have benefited from the donation scheme. To find out more contact us today.