You may find it helpful to bring a family member or friend along to the appointments. We want you to get the most out of your time with our specialist staff and would encourage you to ask questions and discuss any concerns you have.
At your appointment, we’ll ask you some questions about the problems you are experiencing, discuss any relevant medical history and talk about your lifestyle and the things you like to do. We will also complete a questionnaire about the level of difficulty you are experiencing, examine your ears, perform a hearing test and discuss your treatment options.
Firstly, we will make sure you have had hearing assessment and arrange one if you haven’t. We’ll then discuss the impact tinnitus is having on your life. We’ll ask detailed questions such as;
It is important to see the relationship between the physical, mental and emotional impact of tinnitus, so we also look at the way the brain is involved in this perception of sound. We’ll explore how this can help you get used to your tinnitus, just like you may have done already with many other sounds in the environment that we don’t wish to hear such as clocks ticking, fridge motors or traffic noise.
We’ll also arm you with as much information as possible about how and why tinnitus can occur. This is often the first step towards effectively managing it and for some, simply knowing why you have tinnitus is all that is needed to reduce anxiety levels and improve your perception of the tinnitus. We’ll book further follow up appointments if needed.
If you’d like to find out more about tinnitus before your appointment, you can view these leaflets and helpful websites.
For more information about managing tinnitus, visit the British Tinnitus Association
There are many reasons for balance problems so you may need more than one appointment to explore these reasons, your consultant will let you know if this is the case.
Each appointment is usually between one and two hours long and we recommend that you bring someone with you. Your assessment will be with two senior staff members. They will explain each part of the appointment so that you understand what is happening and why.
To begin, you’ll need to complete a couple of short questionnaires so that we can get an overview of your current difficulties.
We’ll then discuss your symptoms to get a better understanding of what you are experiencing and make sure we are doing the right tests.
The assessments will depend on your history and symptoms. Some of our most common tests are listed below so you know what to expect.
We use an infrared headset or goggles to measure the eyes in relation to balance. There are a series of tests helps to detect the presence of a vestibular weakness/instability.
This test looks at the output from your balance organs to make sure they are both working equally. Warm and cold air is puffed into your ear for 60 seconds to change the temperature and make the fluid in your ear move. This test will normally make you feel dizzy but it will only last 35 minutes until your ear temperature returns to normal.
vHIT is used to diagnose reduced vestibular function in one ear when compared to the other. During the test you will wear a set of goggles which have a camera installed so we can measure how your eyes respond to rapid head movements. The Audiologist will position your head appropriately and complete some rapid movements whilst you focus on a spot in front of you.
A full report will be sent to your consultant within three working days, after which you should receive a further appointment with your consultant. If you haven’t heard from your consultant within 14 days, please contact their secretary by calling 01872 250000 and ask for the name of the secretary on your appointment letter.