Ears to You

Is the first fully mobile diagnostic audiometric provider specialising in complex diagnostics and hearing rehabilitation on site, and historically has been contracted to multiple aged care facilities throughout NSW. We are an independent diagnostic provider of hearing services, which includes hearing testing, hearing aid recommendation and ear protection. Steve Reinhardt, our director, will be the primary clinician on site. He has extensive knowledge and experience in hearing aid technology and rehabilitation, and has a keen focus on the neurological link between hearing loss and cognitive decline.

We are proud to announce that we will commence the provision of our services within the Madison Medical Clinic in St Ives from March 1st. We will continue to operate on site on the first Friday of each month thereafter. We will be offering full diagnostic hearing assessments from ages 7 years and older, which will be claimable through Medicare for any patient of the Madison Medical Group. Mobile audiometric services will also be available to any patient that is unable to attend the Madison Medical Clinic in person.

What are the symptoms of hearing loss?

One should have a hearing test if any of the following apply:

  • Voices seem muffled or mumbled
  • Frequent repetition requests (conscious and unconscious)
  • TV/Radio/Telephone sounds indistinct / unclear and increased volume is needed
  • Difficulty hearing in noisy environments
  • Switching off in complex listening situations
  • Mishearing
  • Social isolation
  • Ringing / buzzing / noise in the ears
  • Pain
  • Tinnitus – ringing/buzzing or other noises in the ear
  • Age – 1/3 of the population affected by hearing loss in the demographic of 64-75
  • Dementia diagnosis

What is the connection between hearing loss and dementia?

Age-related hearing loss is another factor that increases the risk of dementia. Research suggests that people with mild symptoms of hearing loss may be twice as likely to develop dementia as those with healthy hearing. People with severe hearing loss may be five times more likely to develop dementia. It is important to remember, however, that hearing loss is only a risk factor, and having any form of hearing loss does not mean that a person will develop dementia.

Hearing loss may place an additional load on the mental resources of a vulnerable brain as the person who has difficulty hearing works harder to decode and process sounds. This additional load may mean that there are fewer resources for memory, understanding speech, and other cognitive functions, and this may lead to changes in the brain. It also is possible that the neurological process that leads to dementia is the same process that leads to age-related hearing loss. Researchers are working hard to identify the reasons for the link between hearing loss and dementia

  • You hear with your brain, not with your ears. Hearing, and especially speech understanding, is a cognitive process, not a mechanical one.
  • The ears are the mechanism for transferring audio signals to the brain, it is then in the brain that they are processed to give meaning.
  • Whenever there are missing sounds, the brain tries to fill the gap – an often difficult and exhausting process.
  • Good hearing isn’t simply a question of making sounds loud enough. It’s about helping your brain understand the sounds you hear.
  • The brain requires this stimulation to keep it “fit”.
  • If a hearing loss is present that is untreated, the brain can lose its ability to utilise that process.
  • If the brain is left unstimulated it can result in distortion on the speech processing element, resulting in poor speech recognition and increased risk of cognitive decline.

Hearing technology:

While there are many different ways to cope with and combat hearing loss, Ears to You can provide the correct advice/medical pathways as well as solutions specifically tailored for your personal circumstances. We are not affiliated to any one brand of hearing device, and can therefore select the best device for your needs if necessary.

As a medical device, hearing aids should not be a product that is purchased online without fitting or follow up appointments. These appointments, together with the skill and experience of the clinician that is configuring the device, are crucial to the success of a hearing aid fitting.

If you have been fitted with hearing technologies elsewhere and are wanting a general service, this can also be facilitated.

Being a diagnostic hearing service, we will only recommend devices when they are clinically necessary and are appropriate to your hearing loss. We offer competitive prices for hearing aids together with unrivaled support. Our service includes fitting, adjustments and follow up visits, to ensure that the product meets your individual hearing needs. Extensive trial periods are provided to ensure that satisfaction is achieved. We stock the latest and best brands of hearing aids and can offer advice over the phone or online.

What is involved and how do I arrange a consult?

A hearing assessment is comprised of 3-4 steps, the test is completely painless and is used to check for hearing loss. The results may also be used to help diagnose medical conditions associated with hearing loss. The test usually requires 30 minutes to perform.

  • Otoscopic examination – checking for foreign bodies / wax
  • Headphones placed over the ears and a series of beeps and words are presented, resulting in a complex graph called an audiogram
  • If a hearing deficit is detected, a final test is completed to determine the nature of the hearing loss
  • Our clinician will then go through your results in detail with sufficient time for any questions, make appropriate recommendations, and diagnostic reports sent back to your referring doctor.

To book your consultation, simply contact your GP or reception at either Hornsby or St Ives, and an assessment can be arranged for you.