Hearing aids are devices that help people with poor hearing to hear better. They come in various sizes, shapes and styles. If you are having trouble hearing, you need to have your hearing checked.
What are hearing aids?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that increases the loudness of sound to help people hear. It has a microphone, an amplifier, a speaker and a battery. The microphone receives sound waves and turns them into electrical signals.
The amplifier receives these electrical signals and increases their power before sending them to your ear through a speaker.
How can I get hearing aids?
The Australian Government Hearing Services Program offers eligible people free or subsidised hearing assessments and hearing aids.
If you think you have hearing loss, you should have a hearing test. After the test, you will be advised whether or not a hearing aid might suit you. Not everyone with a hearing loss will need or want to use a hearing aid.
If you are not eligible for the government program, you may be able to get a hearing aid from a hearing aid bank, which reconditions donated hearing aids. You can ask the Hearing Services Program for information about a hearing aid bank near you.
If you have private health insurance, check if you are covered for hearing aids. You may also be eligible to claim some costs as a tax benefit under the Australian Government’s medical expenses offset.
Types of hearing aids
There are several types of hearing aids. Hearing aids can vary in size, special features, price and the way they are placed in the ear. Hearing aids are worn in or behind the ear.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Hearing aids that are placed in the ear are smaller and harder to clean. Speak to your doctor or audiologist about finding the right types of hearing aids for you.
Tips for using hearing aids
- Wear the hearing aid for short periods and in quiet places to start with.
- Ask your hearing practitioner how to wear, adjust and clean your hearing aid
- Keep batteries away from children and pets as they are dangerous if swallowed
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Last reviewed: March 2020