Information for Patients
Hearing Services offer a full range of rehabilitation on the two main sites, Cheltenham General Hospital, and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
On this page
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.
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 devices (ALD)
- Deaf awareness training
- Counseling (Cognitive behavioral 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)
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)
CROS (contralateral routing of signals) and BiCROS hearing aids: these are for people with hearing in only one ear and work by transmitting sound from the side with no hearing to your good ear.
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
Find your nearest hearing aid clinic for battery replacement, cleaning and retubing.
These are fitted at regional centres through an (ENT) referral
Do you have noises in your ears or head?
If yes, this may be ‘Tinnitus’ the perception of noises in the head and/or ear which have no external source (Tinnitus UK). The sensation can be constant or intermittent and it can vary in volume and for some people, it can be annoying, whilst one must learn to live with it, and some may need support.
Covid-19 has pushed up the incidence of tinnitus and these tips may help you:
- Avoid silence
- Sound enriches, so you have other background sounds like music, TV
- Distract, keep busy
- Relax, do something you enjoy doing
If tinnitus is causing you concern, then contact your GP for support.
How to help yourself:
- Tinnitus - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- Tinnitus UK Helpline: 0800 018 0527 - Take on tinnitus - Tinnitus UK
Support our hearing services
The Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity raises funds to make a real difference for our patients, their families and the staff who treat them.