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Hearing loss can develop gradually or suddenly in one or both ears. We explain how hearing loss is diagnosed and how it can be managed.
Our expert and experienced audiologists and ENT surgeons work closely together to provide a one-stop shop for patients with hearing loss.
The joint ENT and Audiology clinic diagnoses and treats both adults and children over the age of three. You’ll be seen quickly by the right specialist in the right place, with plenty of time to go through everything.
We’ll diagnose what’s caused your hearing loss and suggest treatments or procedures. You’ll enjoy continuity of service, where you see the same audiologist and ENT surgeon for any follow-on care.
Hearing loss or hearing impairment is common in 10% of the adult population and means being less able to hear. It can be age-related, but is also caused by exposure to noise, such as loud music or noisy workplaces, or acquired after an infection or surgery. Hearing loss can develop gradually or suddenly in one or both ears.
The two types of hearing loss are: conductive hearing loss, where sounds are prevented from reaching the inner ear, and sensorineural, which is when nerve impulses have trouble getting to the brain from the ear. You can have a mix of the two types
If you have permanent hearing loss that can’t be helped surgically or medically, hearing amplification could be the answer. The benefits of a hearing aid versus surgery is that it can be placed in the ear and taken out again if you want to try another one or use it for a trial period.
If treatments such as microsuction to remove wax haven’t improved your tinnitus, we favour a holistic approach to help you cope with the symptoms. With tinnitus training therapy, we’ll work out why you have the condition and counsel you on how to live with it.
Our tactics include:
Vertigo and dizziness can be affected by many things including diet (caffeine and salt), stress and hormonal changes, as well as medical conditions. Diagnosis is a process of elimination through tests that include x-rays, CT scans and MRI.
Our treatments include vestibular (balance) rehabilitation. This involves exercises you can be taught to do at home to improve your symptoms.
You can also have a private appointment just to see the Audiology clinic. Our audiologists will see patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo and balance issues. After this, you’ll be referred back to the Neurology or ENT consultant who referred you.
Hearing tests and pressure tests are standard approaches. We do an ear examination (otoscopy) to check the ear canals are free of wax and infection and proceed with a hearing test.
Adults are tested as you listen to sounds at higher ranges of frequency through headphones.
Children are asked to press a button every time they hear a noise through headphones. We record the results and do a pressure test to see whether there’s any fluid behind the eardrum (glue ear), which may need treatment by ENT.
If your child is too young to understand what to do with the buttons or has learning difficulties, they’ll have a play audiometry test. Your child will be conditioned to respond to sound by placing a peg on a stick or a man in a boat when they hear something.
In most patients, the hearing test takes place at the same consultation.
If a hearing aid is recommended, you can have it fitted at the hospital by our private hearing aid dispenser.