Frequently Asked Questions
We accept Cash, MasterCard, Visa, Amex, Eftpos and direct debit (needs to be cleared before hearing aids can be delivered).
We also offer Payment plans from as little at $25 per week.
No, not if properly fitted by a qualified hearing professional with you in the room. However, all bets are off for internet bought or self programmable hearing aids.
To understand how this is possible, you need to understand a bit more about how hearing aids work. Hearing aids do not indiscriminately make everything louder. They add gain (volume) only to the areas where you have hearing loss if fitted properly. They work a bit like graphical equalizers, and can be adjusted to give you more at some points on your hearing and less in others. Not only do they give more volume at different pitch/frequency/register ranges, but they also amplify different loudness of sounds differently using compression.
A quality digital hearing aid can be set to boost soft sounds differently from speech level sounds and again differently from loud sounds. We want to make soft sounds loud enough so you can hear soft speech clearly, but not so loud that you hear even the faintest noise or even the sound of air molecules hitting the microphones (sounds like a hiss), which could be quite dsitracting.
Moderate speech level sounds should be moderately loud and clear without being too loud or distant.
Loud sounds should be loud, but not uncomfortable and certainly at levels which could further permanently damage your hearing.The flip side of the coin is that you don't want the loud sounds too soft as this could mean that someone speaking close to you, where the sound reaches the ear louder, could end up being too soft, while people speaking far away could drown out the closer speaker!
Another level of protection in quality hearing aids is the Maximum Power Output MPO), which is the absolute maximum allowable level the hearing aid allows into the ear and anything louder than this is simply "chopped off". This is the last level of protection. Again if this level is set too low it could cause distortion of louder speech, if it is set too loud it can cause further hearing loss.
So you could say there is a "Goldilocks zone" where hearing aids work just right and outside this they either don't provide optimal benefit or could actually cause harm. At Value Hearing & Tinnitus Solutions we use professionally qualified audiologists, who are trained in the latest hearing aids and fitting techniques to fit our quality hearing aids using real ear measurements that show them what is actually going on at your eardrum relative to your hearing loss. This leads to better sounding, safer hearing aids which provide more benefit to you.
That is also why it is important to get hearing aids professionally fitted in a face to face manner and to steer away from poor quality hearing aids.
We offer all our hearing aid clients a 60 day 100% money back guarantee with their purchase. 60 days is a very important number as it is about the time for the brain to fully adapt to the sound of new hearing aids and also allows some time to get past the initial honeymoon period, during which you might think the hearing aids cannot be faulted. By doing this we ensure that you truly happy with your purchase, but if you aren't then you could try another model or if they prefer, get their money back.
This means you do pay for the hearing aids when you receive them, but you have up to 60 days to change your mind. During these 60 days you can swap to a different hearing aid brand or model, without penalty. In the event of an exchange, you only have to pay or get refunded the difference between the two models plus you get another 60 days money back guarantee with the new model. We allow one such an exchange.
If you feel you are not getting the benefit that you anticipated or for whatever other reason, you may return the hearing aids in working condition within the 60 days and get a Full refund. This is a no fuss process as we would rather give you your money back, than have a disgruntled customer.
We train all our clients during the fitting and follow-up period how to maintain and troubleshoot their hearing aids. This means that you should be able to identify and correct most minor issues by the time your 60 day money back period has expired.
We also tend to recall all our hearing aid clients for a hearing aid check every six months to catch and correct any problems before they become larger issues. We are always just a phone call or email away and we are always happy to help any of our clients no matter how trivial thehearing aid issue might seem.
We are able to perform minor hearing aid repairs in the office and can troubleshoot and detect any major issues. In the rare event that a major fault has been identified while the hearing aid is under warranty, we will send the hearing aid, at our expense, to the hearing aid manufacturer to be repaired. Repairs out of warranty carry a repair fee. We endeavour to have available for use a loan hearing aid while yours is away for repair. Most hearing aid repairs take under two weeks to return to us from the date they were sent.
We also offer over the counter checks and minor repairs free of charge to our clients for the life of the instrument. Appointments with the clinics may be chargeable depending of the level of aftercare you have chosen.
Hearing aid insurance is highly recommended as they are small and valuable items and an important investment in your quality of life. You will be wearing your hearing aids often and don't want the fear of losing them or accidentally damaging them lingering in your thoughts all the time. Insurance gives you the freedom to use the hearing aids when and where you choose with absolute peace of mind.
You can obtain insurance for your hearing aids through your home and contents insurer. You need to make sure that if you use your own regular insurer that you specify the hearing aids for use in and outside the home and that the insurance is comprehensive for all eventualities.
As always, it pays to shop around to get the best deal. Make sure however that your insurance will replace any devices with an Australian sourced model.
No, we chose not to be as it is likely to dilute our service offering.
As an independently owned, privately run practice designed to deliver the best possible service to the self funded client, we do NOT provide hearing services under the Office of Hearing Services scheme for pension holders. With this is mind, if you wish to purchase hearing aids that are better than what you are entitled to under the pension system (often referred to as top-ups) you will find our hearing aid prices are very competitive.
We encourage all clients who are eligible for the voucher system to contact us to discuss this in more detail or to arrange an appointment with one of our qualified Audiologist for a second opinion.
No, but depending on your selected aftercare package we do provide you with up to 60 free hearing aid batteries per hearing aid per year. This should last you between one year and two years, depending on battery size and usage patterns.
After that Batteries can be bought at $5 per pack of six batteries which equates to an average expense of about $35 to $45 per year, which is on par with the fee charged on the government maintenance scheme. Your three year manufacturer's warranty covers most repairs in the first three years .
As a pensioner or eligible veteran you need to consider the savings and weigh up all the pros and cons before deciding whether to get hearing aids privately or through the government system. We will always endeavour to ensure you have sufficient information to make the right decision for you.
Yes, our standard model of hearing aid provision includes all the services you require to get the very best initial outcome from your hearing aids. This includes the cost of the assessment, hearing aid fitting and unlimited follow-ups for the first 60 days.
After the initial 60 days, you can choose to pay for appointments with our clinicians as required. All over the counter cleanings and checks are free for the life of the instruments.
We also have aftercare packages for clients who prefer to have everything included at one fixed cost.
Hearing aids can only be prescribed after a comprehensive hearing test has been performed by a qualified hearing professional such as an audiologist. Most often a hearing needs assessment forms part of such an assessment. During the needs assessment the audiologist will establish in which situations you have the most difficulty hearingand also which situations you would most like to hear better in. This gives us some clues as to which level of hearing aid technology might best meet those needs.
We however believe, that a person's inherent hearing ability in noise is probably the single most important factor in selecting a specific level of hearing aid technology. The reason for this is that most hearing aids can quite easily improve a person with hearing loss's ability to hear in quiet. Most hearing aids have sufficient sound quality and enough channels to do the job of amplifying all incoming sound to match the hearing loss, when there is no extraneous noise present.
A much more challenging task for a hearing aid is cleaning up the speech signal when there is competing noise present. To complicate matters further, this competing noise is very often speech as well. Top range hearing aids tend to do a much more decent job of reducing background noise than basic hearing aids do. In the past we simply would recommend a top end hearing aid if someone needed to hear speech in the presence of a lot of noise. This would certainly help, but there were likely a reasonably large portion of people who might have had the same benefit in noise from less complex technology.
The reason for this is that hearing loss is generally in the inner ear. The ear can be considered to simply be the microphone of the brain. It is actually the brain that does all the hearing, listening and interpretation. Different people have different natural capabilities regarding speech and noise processing, depending on how their brain handles and interprets sound. Lets compare two individuals, Person A and Person B. Person A has a hearing loss but is capable of processing speech well when there is background noise as long as the sound is made loud enough. Person B is someone with the same hearing loss as Person A but has poorer processing of speech in noise. They both need sounds to be louder in order to hear in noise, so they both need hearing aids. Person A will however require less sound cleaning in noisy situations than person B to hear and understand the same amount of speech. Thus Person A will be able to do as well as Person B in quiet and in noise, but with a much more basic and much less expensive hearing aid.
Even though testing now exists to help identify who might do better with what level of hearing aid technology, not many hearing professionals employ them on a regular basis as they tend to be time consuming. Value Hearing & Tinnitus Solutions' hearing specialists always employ these hearing tests when hearing aids are being considered. We regularly find that people who might have benefited from more basic hearing aids have been recommended very advanced and thus expensive hearing aids elsewhere. Inevitably we trial them on the more basic technology and find that more frequently than not it works perfectly for them. Apart from the savings gained from our lower prices, this can often result in further significant savings as you are not paying for features that you do not need. We also do not have a vested interest in recommending one hearing aid brand or model above another as our markup is the same for all, so we will always recommend what is appropriate for you.
Unlike many hearing aid providers, we keep large stocks of instant fit hearing aids that allow us to fit a large number of hearing losses instantly. So if you choose, you have a 80% chance of walking out of the office with hearing aids after your first appointment. 20% of hearing losses are too great to be fitted with these kind of hearing aids or your ear canals might not be suitable for instant fit hearing aids. In these cases it usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to get a custom hearing aid made up for you.
Please advise our admin staff if you wish to be fitted on the spot and they will try to accomodate you where possible.
Absolutely not! We source our hearing aids from the same Australian hearing aid wholesalers used by our higher priced competition. That means you get exactly the same hearing aids at the same quality with the same warranty and the same national support network that you would get by buying elsewhere at a higher price.
We keep our markups low and also pass on our manufacturer's discount to keep the hearing aid pricing to you fair.
No, a doctor's referral is not required to obtain a hearing test or hearing aids from us. Our hearing testing is thorough and we are always on the lookout for any medical issues which might need referral to a doctor as some conditions are better treated medically than through hearing aids.
If you have been referred to us by one of our existing clients, we do offer some additional discounts to you., We do need the name and surname of the person who has referred you.
Most private health insurers do have some allowance for hearing aids through their Extras or ancillary cover. It is however up to you as the member to find out how much you are covered for and claim that amount back after purchasing hearing aids. We are registered with the major private health insurance companies. You can see our table of health insurance rebates here.
When it comes to taxation matters it is always wise to speak to the ATO directly or to your accountant. Hearing aids do qualify as medical devices and currently if your out of pocket medical expenses for a year exceed $2000 you can obtain a 20% tax rebate on the amount exceeding the $2000 threshold. You can find more information about the ATO's Net medical expenses tax offset at www.ato.gov.au
UPDATE: With the 2013 Labour Budget the medical expenses offset for hearing aids has been abolished exect in a few select cases. As such it is best to discuss this with your accountant.
Modern over the ear hearing aids are designed to be worn with glasses and as such the hearing aid unit sitting behind the ear tends to be quite small and tapered in the area that might be shared by glasses. So in most cases this is a completely non-issue. Only in extreme cases where the ear is completely flat against the head, could the hearing aid interfere with glasses, but the cases are very rare.