Hearing aid fitting for self-funded hearing aids
The Australian hearing industry is split into two groups: Patients who choose to privately fund their hearing aids and those who rely on Government supported services. What category do you fit in?
- Private Funding – For Australians 27 years and older, who are not pensioners and may or may not have private health cover.
- Government Supported Services: Often referred to as a publicly funded path, the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (HSP) supplies fully funded hearing aids to eligible people.
What is Private Funding?
We speak of private funding when you are financing your hearing aids 100% by yourself. You will pay for all services out of pocket and should you wish to purchase a hearing aid you will also fund this cost. That doesn’t mean you’re on your own:
- If you are a Senior, you may be eligible for a 10% Seniors discount.
- If you have private health insurance, you may be able to claim a rebate on services or your hearing aid purchase.
- If you would prefer to pay the cost of your hearing aids off over time, you could consider third party finance through Humm (T&C’s apply).
The Alternative: The Australian Government Hearing Services Program
Government-supported hearing services are provided to Australian pensioners and DVA cardholders who require hearing services. These services are fully subsidised by the Government for these two eligibility types.
If you are a DVA cardholder or Pensioner cardholder you can simply apply and determine your eligibility over the phone by calling us on 1300 010 064. The application takes approximately 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can use the contact form at the bottom of this page to get in touch with us.
What You Need to Know About Self-Funded Hearing Aids
Self-funded hearing aids or privately purchased hearing aids offer sheer limitless opportunities. Unlike the Hearing Services Program (HSP) which is only available to eligible pensioners, the list of hearing aids is not limited to a pre-defined number of hearing aids to choose from. A as a result people wishing to purchase hearing aids privately can choose any manufacturer and any device on the market.
The key difference here is that the features available to private clients include the most advanced on the market. With a large variety of rechargeable, Bluetooth connected and incredibly small devices of varying technology levels, the hardest part is choosing the best hearing aid for your needs.
That is why EarDeals employs hearing aid brokers that are free for you to use and ready to take your call to discuss different options and solutions. If you would like to speak to one of our brokers, give us a call at 1300 010 064 or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page.
Our Hearing Aid Brands For Private Clients
At this time, EarDeals offers four of the major hearing aid brands sold globally. These are known to have the best hearing aids on the market and currently include Phonak, Unitron, Signia and ReSound. Their hearing aids have been fitted by our experienced Audiologists for many years. We will continue to stock these brands based on a number of key determining factors, to ensure that you as a potential wearer are guaranteed access to the highest quality of service and care.
The EarDeals Promise:
- EarDeals hearing aid manufacturers have the highest acceptance rates on the market.
- The hearing aids we stock are always affordable, without compromising on quality sound, durability and comfort.
- We ensure that all hearing aids we stock offer popular hearing aid features, as well as a choice of style and accessory options.
- We only stock the best quality hearing aids from the most supportive hearing aid manufacturers.
- We choose hearing aid brands based on the warranties, loss and damage covers they provide to you.
The Hearing Aid Features Available To You
EarDeals stocks four major hearing aid manufacturers which have been selected for the above-mentioned reasons. However, when we talk about hearing aid features what are your options and how will they assist you? Below, we list some of the most sought after features and how they can support your lifestyle.
Bluetooth Hearing Aids
Bluetooth connected hearing aids have been available since the mid-2000s and the technology has continued to improve dramatically since then. Each major manufacturer has a Bluetooth capable device or a number of hearing aid ranges to choose from in different hearing aid styles.
Bluetooth capabilities allow for music listening, hands-free phone calls and a range of connectivity options to different devices such as laptop computers and tablets. The advancement in Bluetooth technology has virtually allowed for an extended level of communication thanks to the hearing aid mobile phone call capability.
Bluetooth connectivity has supported mobile app development, which in turn has allowed wearers the ease of adjusting their own hearing aids outside of a clinic and without the need to see an Audiologist for another appointment.
Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Rechargeable hearing aids have become the most sought after devices on the world market and the most sold devices throughout our EarDeals clinics. The reason being that lithium-ion battery technology is now available in hearing aids, allowing for smaller, lighter, faster charging and longer-lasting battery lives.
With average battery lives now above 18 hours of use, rechargeable hearing aids offer more than a single day of wear time. The lithium-ion batteries are also very hard-wearing and to date, of the thousands sold, only a handful have been returned for replacement due to faulty batteries. This level of build quality is matching that of mobile phones, tablets and laptops from large computer manufacturers.
Finally, there is the lifestyle element: Rechargeable hearing aids offer first and foremost flexibility. You no longer need to purchase batteries on a regular basis to keep your hearing aids powered. You will no longer be stuck without working hearing aids because your batteries have run out of juice. And finally, you can charge your hearing aids wherever power is available.
Finally, the exponential growth of rechargeable hearing aid sales would not have been possible without the introduction of remote charging cases. These devices are now available amongst most brands. Charging cases allow hearing aids to be charged by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery found in the case. Hearing aid manufacturers are achieving an additional four charges from some of these cases before both the case and the hearing aids are required to be recharged.
The new charging cases have provided wearers with additional flexibility. Those with rechargeable hearing aids do not need to return to a hearing aid charging dock each night or take a hearing aid charging dock with them should they go away for a weekend.
Telecoil connectivity has been available in hearing aid technology for over a decade now and continues to be a resident hearing aid feature amongst the largest hearing aid manufacturers. A telecoil is a very small wire found within the hearing aid. The wire is tasked with receiving radio signals produced by public service announcement systems.
The telecoil interprets the electromagnetic field and transforms it into a sound signal. It then provides this sound to the hearing aid wearer. A telecoil is a form of one-way communication whereby the wearer is provided with the sound without rebuttal.
Telecoil connectivity automatically connects you to the public service announcement systems and are more commonly found in places of general public use, such as transport hubs like airports, train stations, museums and educational facilities.
The most commonly requested reason for a telecoil capability in EarDeals clinics is the connectivity benefits associated with movie theatres. The sound of the movie is automatically provided to the hearing aid wearer as they enjoy a film.
Hearing Aid Adjustment Apps
Each hearing aid manufacturer has one or more apps designed to assist the hearing aid wearer in a number of ways. Smartphone applications have become a vital part of each manufacturer’s accessory suite for their hearing aids.
Hearing aid users have now got the ability to adjust many different areas of their hearing aid to improve their listening experience. Some of these hearing aid adjustments include volume, bass, treble and program adjustments. There are also apps designed for those who suffer from tinnitus.
Apps are made to be easy to use – even to those who do not have great technical abilities. Smartphone apps have removed the requirement for a hearing aid user to attend a hearing clinic for small hearing adjustments. Smartphone apps are free to download and are available on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
If you require more information about smartphone apps for a chosen hearing aid, please give us a call at 1300 010 064 or send us a message using the contact form below.
Custom Moulded or Invisible Devices
Custom moulded hearing aids are very popular with people who are seeking a discreet hearing aid option. This style of hearing aid requires the audiologist to make an impression of your ear canal. The impression is then sent to a manufacturer so a hearing aid with the shape of your ear canal can be tailormade.
The hearing aid is then assembled and sent back to your hearing clinic. This may take a few weeks. Because of how this style of hearing aid sits in the ear canal, it is hard for the hearing aid to be seen – particularly if the hearing aid is manufactured to match your hair or skin tone.
Some of these hearing aid styles now come with Bluetooth connectivity. This allows the hearing aid to act as a wireless earbud. The Bluetooth connectivity allows the hearing aid wearer to listen to music, podcasts, YouTube videos and even take phone calls hands-free while their smartphone is left in their pocket or bag.
Software features of a hearing aid are by far the most unique to each hearing aid manufacturer. Each hearing aid manufacturer has a full range of software features. As you go higher in each range of hearing aids, you access more software features to assist you in noisy environments and with the directionality of sounds.
Many manufacturers offer unique software features for their hearing aids. An example of this is Signia. Signia has a software feature called ‘Own Voice Processing’. This software feature reduces the wearer’s own voice so it is less distracting and easier to engage in conversation.
Another hearing aid software feature is ‘Echo Block’ by Phonak. Echo Block picks up the repeated sound of an echo and either reduces the volume or the severity of the echo. In places that are noisy, with a large amount of echo, this feature provides better comfort of sound, approved directionality of sound and a better understanding of speech.
If you wish to learn more about the technological software features of a hearing aid, please call our EarDeals brokers on 1300 010 064. They will be happy to inform you about the software levels of your chosen hearing aid and what programs are available at the technology level.
If you are still unsure of what technology level to choose, please be advised that you are able to request a hearing aid trial. A hearing aid trial will provide you with first-hand experience of how the hearing aid software can assist you. This is also a great way of determining if the hearing aid you have chosen matches your lifestyle, budget and hearing loss.
Your Next Steps
What is the process of privately purchasing a hearing aid?
Step 1: Get in touch with us to request a free comprehensive hearing test.
Step 2: Request a hearing aid trial of a device you choose.
Step 3: Request to purchase the device with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Step 4: Request your first free adjustment.
Step 5: Request your second free adjustment.
Step 6: Request a free annual hearing check.
Start Your Journey to Better Hearing
Call our friendly brokers on 1300 010 064 or use the contact form below to send us a message. EarDeals has clinics in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.