What will happen at each appointment

Assessment – Approx 45mins

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.

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.

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.

If you require an earmoulds, 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.

You will then be asked to make another appointment at the with the member of staff for a fitting appointment or will be put on the waiting list for an appointment at a later date. This will be no later than 4 weeks after the assessment

Fitting – Approx 45mins

At the start of your appointment our member of staff will check your ears for wax and check the fit of your earmoulds / slim tube 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 your ear.

We provide behind-the-ear 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.

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. 

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.

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.

Digital aids have an automatic volume control. This means that the aid will regulate the volume 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.

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.

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