Hearing management

Updated 17 February 2015

What is a hearing aid?

A hearing aid is a small system which amplifies sound. It consists of a microphone, an amplifier and a receiver.

A hearing aid is a small system which amplifies sound. It consists of a microphone, an amplifier and a receiver.

Advances in the development of hearing aids over the last few years have brought a new dimension to the aid available to help the hearing impaired person to hear and more importantly to decipher speech despite background noise.

Hearing aids differ in size – from the older behind-the-ear type to a very small, almost unnoticeable hearing aid which fits in the ear canal.

A key to success in helping hearing impaired people adjust to the hearing world (socially as well as professionally) is the early examination of hearing loss, accurate diagnosis and the fitting of high technology hearing aids which meet the unique needs of the hearing impaired person.

Unfortunately some people wait as long as ten years before they address the problem. If a hearing loss is left untreated for a long time, the person’s ability to hear speech will gradually decrease up to the point where she begins to isolate herself by avoiding situations where communication is necessary – especially in a crowd. This could lead to depression and stress-related illnesses.


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Hearing Expert

Heidi Allan is a qualified audiologist and speech-language therapist with 28 years experience both in South Africa and the Netherlands. I am a member of the American Academy of Audiology, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, the South African Speech-Language Hearing Association and the South African Audiology Association. I have held leadership roles at both provincial and national level in my profession and deliver presentations across the country on aspects of audiology. My areas of particular interest include Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD), hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation, diagnostic audiology and public education.

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