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We provide comprehensive assessments, digital hearing aid fittings and rehabilitation services for adults.

The service is available at both Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals.

At the audiology appointment

 

 

How do I get referred for a Hearing Assessment?

If you feel you have a problem with your hearing and you would like your hearing checked, please contact your GP.

We can see you within 6 weeks of receipt of the referral and if appropriate can fit you with a hearing aid within 18 weeks. We will send you a letter with your appointment date and time.

 

Do I need to do anything before my appointment?

It would be helpful if you could inform the department before your appointment if you have any disabilities or require the assistance of an interpreter (including sign language). You are welcome to bring along a friend or relative to the appointment if you feel this would be helpful.

Please make sure your ears are clear of any wax, consult your GP if in doubt.

Ears blocked with wax may not give appropriate hearing test results. It may not be possible to take an earmould impression, if one is required.

 

What shall I do when I arrive?

Please check in at Reception. The assessment will take approximately 45 minutes.

 

What will happen during my appointment?

The Audiologist will ask you questions about:

  • your medical history
  • your hearing problems

The audiologist will then examine your ears before testing your hearing. If excessive wax is present you may be asked to go to your GP to have the wax removed.

Your hearing will be tested by presenting you a variety of tones at different intensities (loudness) and frequencies (pitch) via headphones. You have to indicate that you are able to hear the tone by pressing a button.

 

At the audiology appointment

 

At the audiology appointment

 

It is very important that you respond to the faintest sounds you can hear even if you are not sure. The audiologist will plot the faintest tones you can hear on an audiogram.

It may also be necessary to carry out a middle ear pressure test. This is conducted with a flexible probe in the ear canal which delivers a pressure to the ear drum.

 

What will happen next?

Once the test is finished the Audiologist will explain the results to you.

The outcome will be either that:

  • Your hearing is within normal limits
  • You require an onward referral to an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist
  • You would benefit from a hearing aid
  • You would benefit from a different hearing aid

If a hearing aid is considered to be beneficial to you, you will be asked whether you wish to proceed with a hearing aid fitting. If you wish to proceed the hearing aid may be fitted to an earmould or a thin tube with dome depending on the level of your hearing loss. An ear impression of the ear canal is required for the earmould.

If you do not wish to proceed with a hearing aid at this time you will be discharged from the clinic. You will need to contact your GP again when you wish to proceed with a hearing aid fitting in the future.

 

Ear Impression for an earmould for a Hearing Aid

The Audiologist will examine your ear canal before placing a very tiny piece of foam with a thread close to the ear drum.

Your ear canal will then be gently filled with impression material which sets within minutes.

The entire impression will then be removed and sent to a laboratory so that a good fitting earmould can be made.

 

Will I need another appointment?

You will be asked to make another appointment at the reception desk for a fitting appointment in 4-6 weeks time.

 

Hearing Aid Fitting - Q & A

Do I need to do anything before my appointment?

It would be helpful if you could inform the department before your appointment if you have any disabilities or require the assistance of an interpreter (including sign language). You are welcome to bring along a friend or relative to the appointment if you feel this would be helpful.

Please make sure your ears are clean of wax, consult your GP if in doubt. If your ears are blocked with wax we may not be able to complete the Hearing Aid Fitting

 

What shall I do when I arrive?

Please check in at the Reception. The Hearing Aid Fitting will take approximately 60 minutes.

 

What will happen when I come for my hearing aid fitting?

At the start of your appointment the audiologist will check your ears for wax and check the fit of your earmould and hearing aid. At this stage your hearing aid is programmed to your hearing loss. It may be necessary to further fine tune the hearing aid, taking into account the earmould, size and shape of the ear canal.

 

What type of hearing aid will I be fitted with?

We provide behind-the-ear digital hearing aids on the NHS. Depending on the severity of your hearing loss this can be connected to either a thin tube with a dome or a tube with a customised earmould.

If the hearing assessment indicated you have a mild to moderate hearing loss a thin tube with a dome might be suitable for you. This way the ear canal remains largely un-occluded to provide maximum comfort. If the hearing assessment indicated a moderate to profound hearing loss then a customised earmould might be more suitable.

 

How is the hearing aid programmed?

The details from your hearing test are used to create a prescription for your hearing aid. The hearing aid can then be further fine-tuned using a process called real ear measurements. You will be asked to sit facing a loud speaker and a headset will be placed over your ears. A small flexible tube will be placed in your ear canal. This tube will enable the audiologist to measure the correct amplification needed for optimal speech recognition. Each tube is removed at the end of the measurement. Unlike the previous tests you do not need to respond in anyway.

 

At the audiology appointment

 

 

What if I do not like the sound of the hearing aid?

Once all the programming has been done the audiologist will check the sound of the hearing aid with you by talking to you and making some louder sounds. Some further fine-tuning of your aid may be necessary at this point.

Once the fine-tuning has been completed the audiologist is likely to discuss program options with you.

Most digital aids can have the option to have different program settings for different listening situations. You may find one program may be adequate for your needs whereas others may use 3 or 4 programs. Your audiologist will discuss this with you and offer guidance if required.

 

Do the hearing aids have a volume control?

Digital aids have an automatic volume control. This means that the aid will regulate the volume of the aid according to the level of surrounding sound (taking into account your hearing level). Most hearing aids also offer you the option to further alter the volume yourself. This can be particularly helpful if your hearing fluctuates.

 

Will I be shown how to use my hearing aids?

Once all the programming has been completed the audiologist will show you how the aid works using a demonstration model identical to your own aid. You will be shown how to manipulate the controls, replace a battery, take the aid apart to clean it and how to put the aid in your ear. You will also be given advice about getting used to your hearing aids.

 

Should I wear my hearing aids home?

If you have never worn an aid before it is not advised to wear it home on the first day. Your hearing may have gradually deteriorated over a long period of time. When wearing the hearing aid you will need time to readjust to all the every day environmental sounds. This is best done initially in the comfort of your own home. Your audiologist will give you advice regarding acclimatisation at your fitting appointment.

 

Tel: 01784 88 4351
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