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The benefits of an independent audiological assessment

IAA members deliver family focussed and evidence based  audiological services.

Unlike retail hearing aid distribution businesses who offer FREE hearing tests as a marketing strategy, independent audiologists offer and charge for CLINICAL AUDIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS. 

 

Find an independent audiologist here.


Funding

Audiological services may be funded by:

  • Medicare
  • The Office of Hearing   Services
  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • WorkCover / WorkSafe
  • Private Health Funds

(Eligibility criteria apply)

Retail outlets that primarily sell hearing devices and are owned by companies with close links to the hearing device industry often advertise "free" hearing assessments.   Free assessments need not be carried out by qualified professionals as no regulatory restrictions apply.  Assessments for the purpose of selling hearing devices may not be equivalent to a clinical assessment of auditory function.

Audiological Assessments

Independent Audiologists conduct comprehensive audiological assessments before making any recommendations of further referrals to other specialists or prescribing treatments such as hearing devices, communication training or counselling.

 Initial assessments include:

  • Case history and otoscopic examination
  • Pure tone audiometry (air and bone conduction testing with masking as required)
  • Speech audiometry (to establish speech discrimination ability at a range of intensity levels)
  • Immittance measures (tympanometry and acoustic reflex thresholds)

 Advanced audiological measures might be indicated after the results of the initial assessment, which might include:

  •  Electrophysiological measures (Auditory brainstem response or cortical responses)
  • Vestibular Assessment (including electronystagmography,  caloric and VEMP testing)
  • Auditory processing assessment (ability to filter and segment sound in complex listening conditions)
  • Tinnitus assessment (effect of tinnitus on functioning)
  • Communication abilities (adaptations of the individual and family members to hearing loss) 

Assessment findings

Audiologists interpret assessment findings and report on the audiological diagnosis, which will indicate:

 Degree of hearing loss (mild, moderate, severe or profound)

Type of hearing loss (conductive, sensorineural, mixed, processing)

Configuration of hearing loss (the range of sounds affected)

Site of lesion (peripheral, central, outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, neural, central)

 The audiological assessment will yield results that indicate:

  •  Need for referral to a medical or surgical specialist
  • Audiological treatment options that may benefit the particular patient (hearing aids, implantable devices, communication training, counselling or a combination of these)
  • Limitations of any treatment programme that can be anticipated and how limitations will be overcome (family involvement, for example)
 Results from audiologists provided in the form of a confidential report that interprets an accompanying audiogram (graph that captures the assessment findings).

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