Information for Patients
Our specialists offer a range of hearing services including assessments for and fitting of behind-the-ear digital hearing aids. We also treat patients with tinnitus or those requiring rehabilitation, hearing therapy, adult BAHA fitting, CROS aid fitting, cochlear implant after-fitting support and balance re-habilitation.
If you have problems with your balance and suffering from vertigo, your GP may refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) consultant . If required ENT may then arrange for you to see Hearing Services for a balance test, also known as a vestibular assessment.
How long does a balance assessment take and what does it involve?
The appointment takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete. The tests are completely painless but some may invoke a reaction making you feel a dizzy, a little unsteady or slightly nauseous for a few minutes.
The audiologist will take a detailed history from you asking about the nature of your symptoms and measure your middle ear movement using a tympanometer The tests carried out are concerned with recording your eye movements under different conditions. These movements are recorded onto a computer using a pair of goggles with a built in camera. You will be asked to follow a series of light dots across a small screen. It may also be nessesary to move your head into different positions.
The second part of the test, if required, is to record the balance function of each individual ear, this is call a Caloric. The audiologist introduces a small amount of warm and cold water into each ear canal. You may feel a sensation of spinning that may last for approximately one minute.
After the assessment the Audiologist will analyse the results of the test and send the report the consultant who will contact you regarding the results.
After the test we suggest that you sit somewhere quietly. There is coffee shop in the building where you can get a drink.
Please prepare yourself before your visit as we may not be able to carry on with the appointment
1. Arrange for someone to accompany you on your visit, as it is advised that you do not drive home yourself.
2. Do not take the following medications Tranquilizers, sleeping pills, drugs for dizziness for 48 hours before your test:
3. Do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours before testing.
4. Do not smoke, or drink caffeine (coffee, tea, or cola) for 2 hours before your test.
5. Do not use eye makeup on the day.
What to expect once ENT have your results.
The consultant having looked at you results will advise you on what will happen next. This may include Vestibular Rehabiliation.
Hearing Services offer a full range of rehabilitation on the two main sites, Cheltenham General Hospital, and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
We will help you cope better with:-
- Your hearing loss
- Your hearing aids
- Communication issues
- Other ear related problems e.g. tinnitus
- Balance and sensitivity to sound
We Help by:-
- Improving your understanding
- Listening and offering counselling
- Providing information
- Demonstrating and advising on equipment e.g. Assistive listening device's (ALD)
- Deaf awareness training
- Counselling (Cognitive behavioural therapy)
- Beginner's relaxation classes
- One to One lip-reading, with local classes available at the (Gloucester Deaf Association)
- Auditory training
- Cochlear Implant rehabilitation additional peer support from (Gloucestershire Deafened Cochlear Implant Support Group)
For further information, please contact the Central Booking Office on: 0300 422 6773 between 9am - 4pm
NHS Hearing aids
We are able to offer:
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids: these have an earmould or open insert that fits inside your ear and the aid itself sits behind your ear.
Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA): these are a type of bone conduction hearing aid that require a permanent surgical implant in the bone behind your ear. (photo)
Body Worn Hearing Aids with insert/bone conductor are offered to patients with specifics needs.
Ear Level Bone Conduction Hearing Aids Issued to children with specific needs.
The following hearing aids are only available under strict medical criteria:
In-The-Ear (ITE) hearing aids
In-The-Canal (ITC) hearing aids
Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids
Spectacle hearing aids
These are fitted at regional centres through an (ENT) referral