Finding Out Whether You Might Need Hearing Aids in Pretoria. 2019-03-13
Whether in Paris, in Pittsburgh, or in the nation’s administrative capital, Pretoria, the only way to be certain whether or not one might need to be fitted with hearing aids is to pay a visit to an audiologist. Locally, these specialised healthcare professionals are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and must hold a suitable university degree, such as a Bachelor of Communication Pathology, a BA Speech and Hearing Therapy, or a BSc Audiology.
Our auditory acuity tends to diminish as we get older and while it is normally a progressive but fairly slow process, it is prone to progress much faster in some subjects than in others. In these cases, however, it is often an unconscious progression that will almost always be noticed by others long before the subject becomes aware of a problem. Often, a younger subject will be reluctant to admit to a condition traditionally associated with ageing, so he or she may not even consider wearing hearing aids until unable to cope without them.
In Pretoria, as in any modern city, it is a simple matter to arrange a hearing test and the sooner a problem is detected, the easier it will be to manage it. The tests are relatively quick, completely non-invasive, and will cause no discomfort. To begin with, the audiologist will conduct an examination of the ear to rule out conditions that could cause temporary deafness, like a build-up of earwax or an ear infection which might require a referral to a GP or ENT specialist. Thereafter, the true business of confirming or dismissing the need for hearing aids actually begins.
In a typical Pretoria audiology clinic, the subject wears earphones through which a tone of increasing volume is played, and must indicate when it is first heard by pressing a button. The process is repeated at a number of different sound frequencies and each ear is tested separately. Each button that is pressed creates a point on a graph that discloses the frequencies at which assistance is most needed. This, along with a couple of other simple tests involving the use of a tuning fork, enables the audiologist to determine the most suitable hearing aids for a given subject, as well as to adjust them for optimal performance.
Of the various types available from the Pretoria audiologist, Your Hearing, some are designed to be worn behind the ear and are suitable for most subjects, while they also offer smaller models that can be worn in the ear, partly in the ear canal, or completely in the canal. The latter, however, is only suitable for subjects with a mild to moderate degree of impairment.