The University Of Auckland Hearing & Tinnitus Clinic

Our clinic is a leading training centre for New Zealand audiologists offering quality, affordable hearing services to the public. We are affiliated with the Eisdell Moore Centre, a centre for research in hearing and balance disorders.

Our hearing health professionals (audiologists) offer the latest up to date hearing science advances using state-of-the art equipment. 

We offer a range of affordable audiolgy services to children and adults in Auckland with a wide range of hearing problems.

The Hearing and Tinnitus Clinic is a teaching clinic. Our clients see an audiologist and a student audiologist undergoing practical training.

Our services include:

  • Hearing appointments
  • Tinnitus appointments
  • Hearing protection appointments
  • Hearing test for children

Because we are a training clinic, we offer very competitively priced services. Our clients can be assured of receiving the best possible care and attention.

From the Clinic Director

“All of our clients can be assured of receiving the best possible care and attention. We invite you to learn more about the innovative services we offer.”

Kind regards,
Associate Professor Grant Searchfield
Head of Department, Audiology
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
The University of Auckland

Hearing appointments

We offer affordable hearing appointments in Auckland. We are open to the public with competitive fees and free hearing tests for children and infants.

When you attend a hearing test, you will be seated in comfortable, soundproof booth where we use state-of-the-art equipment to work out which sounds you can and can’t hear.

If a problem is detected, we then go over your options with you.

Most people with impaired hearing can benefit from wearing the right kind of hearing aid. Hearing aids come in all shapes and sizes, from behind-ear aids to in-ear digital aids with remote controls and listening “channels” for different conditions. We can provide a quote and if your purchase the devices have a 2 month trial.

If a hearing aid is required then we will fit you with trial hearing aids so you can test them out. We are an independent clinic and can offer advice on all brands and types of hearing aids.

Hearing aids make all sounds louder. We can teach you techniques which let you concentrate on the sounds you want to hear and ignore the rest.

After your first appointment, you will be given a follow-up appointment so we can check how well the trial aids are working for you and fine tune them or change them as required.
 

Understanding hearing loss

The ears’ hearing system comprises of three parts: the outer ear; the middle ear; and the inner ear. Damage or impairment to any one of these parts can compromise a person’s hearing.

The outer ear (which includes the ear canal) collects sound and sends it to the middle ear. Problems with the outer ear can lead to what’s known as conductive hearing loss.

Problems with the middle ear (which includes the eardrum and the tiny middle ear bones) can also cause conductive hearing loss.

Inside the inner ear are a number of fluid-filled cavities. The inner ear also carries an organ devoted to the body’s sense of balance: the snail-shaped cochlea.

The cochlea is covered in sensory “hair” cells. These tiny cells and their nerve fibres can be damaged or destroyed by many things, including noise and the ageing process.

Symptoms of “hair” cell damage include:

  • Ringing, whistling, hissing or other sounds inside the ears or the head (known as tinnitus)
  • Low tolerance to loud sounds (known as recruitment)
  • Extreme intolerance to everyday sounds (known as hyperacusis)
  • Hearing sounds with lack of clarity (known as distortion)
  • Hearing sounds at the wrong pitch (known as diplacusis)

Audiologists map the individual’s hearing loss at different frequencies to build an overall picture of the person’s hearing.  

Costs

Our fees are very competitive. In many cases, we can help clients access funding from agencies such as ACC and WINZ. Medical insurance may also cover some or all costs. All fees include GST

Hearing tests:
Children from six months to five years 1 hour – $0
Children five years and older 1 hour – $70
Adults 1 hour – $70

Appointments

Free hearing tests for children
FREE hearing tests for children (aged between 6 months and 4 years 11 months) student led clinic

Free hearing tests for infants
FREE hearing tests for infants (aged between 7 and 24 months) student led clinic
 

Tinnitus appointments

The Hearing and Tinnitus Clinic is a world leader in the clinical management and research of tinnitus. We are continually innovating and have the latest proven therapies available.

At your first appointment, will assess the characteristics of the tinnitus and the disturbance it causes you. Afterwards, our audiologist will discuss the best therapies and devices to manage it.

We will see you for follow ups. The therapy period is tailored to your needs, but may take 6-12 months for full effect.
 

What is Tinnitus?

If you hear sounds inside your ears or head, which aren’t coming from your surroundings, you may have tinnitus.

Ongoing tinnitus is often a sign of some degree of damage to hearing. Many things can cause tinnitus, including exposure to loud noise and some medication. People with ongoing tinnitus often have damage to the tiny “hair” cells on the inner ear’s cochlea organ.

Typically, in people with tinnitus not all the sensory functions on these “hair” cells work properly and the brain, in turn, perceives the malfunction as sound.

All sorts of things can aggravate tinnitus including stress, loud sounds, aspirin, head or neck injury etc. Stress almost always makes it worse because stress increases the volume-control setting in the brain.

People with tinnitus may not have any perceptible hearing loss.
 

Treatment for Tinnitus

There is no magic fix for tinnitus. The aim with all treatments is to reduce its annoyance and intrusiveness.

Sound Therapy and Aural Rehabilitation (START):
This therapy retrains the part of the brain which picks up the sound in the ears or head so as to remove the awareness of it from the consciousness. In other words, it desensitises the sufferer to the tinnitus. It involves wearing a therapeutic noise generator device (which looks like a hearing aid and emits a low hissing noise) for at least eight hours a day.

Devices:
A number of devices can be used for sound therapy. The goal is to introduce fairly constant low level sound which blends with (but does not cover) the tinnitus. 

Bedside noise generators:
Bedside noise generators (sometimes-called maskers or sound conditioners) look like small radios. Most play background-noise, such as rain falling or ocean surf rolling. They can be fitted with headphones or pillow speakers to avoid partner distrurbance.

Hearing aids:
Wearing a hearing aid fitted by an audiologist with specialist expertise in tinnitus can be a very effective way of managing the condition. These hearing aids also can play sounds to interfer with tinnitus.

Some of the latest digital hearing aids now offer new solutions to tinnitus management. They provide maximum amplification of low-level sounds, medium-level amplification of moderate sounds and little or no amplification of high-level sounds. Meaning, people can more easily ignore their tinnitus.

Multiple-programme hearing aids have the facility for users to switch between different settings. You can choose between hearing programmes optimised for listening to speech and tinnitus programmes designed to reduce their awareness of tinnitus.

Counselling:
During tinnitus counselling at our Hearing and Tinnitus Clinic, we show our clients a range of techniques for coping with and adapting to tinnitus. We demonstrate what tinnitus is, and strategies to reduce its effects.

Social support:
People often misunderstand the frustrations that can come with tinnitus and hyperacusis. Understanding is important and help and support from family and friends is valuable.

Online clinic
The Hearing and Tinnitus clinic is affiliated with Tinnitus Tunes and online resource for tinnitus sufferers that complements the treatments we offer www.tinnitustunes.com

Our clients can gain a discount on subscription to this website.

Our fees

Our fees are very competitive. In many cases, we can help clients access funding from agencies such as ACC and WINZ.

Medical insurance may also cover some or all costs.

Initial assessment (includes hearing test)

2 and half hours – $350 including GST

Contact our clinic

We are open to the public. Anyone can refer a child or adult to the Hearing and Tinnitus Clinic. 

Hours:  9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Phone: +64 9 923 9909
Email: clinics@auckland.ac.nz