Your audiology appointment

During Audiology appointments we provide a lot of information to assist you in making the most of hearing aids, the other services available to help you manage your condition, and how your family and friends can help.

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.

Tinnitus appointments

You will have been referred to us via your GP or the Ear Nose and Throat department. Your first appointment is very much about getting to know you and how tinnitus is affecting you.

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;

  • What does your tinnitus sound like?
  • Is it continual or intermittent?
  • How long have you been experiencing these sounds?
  • Were there any significant things going on in your life when you first noticed it?
  • How does it affect your concentration or sleep?
  • What coping strategies do you already use?

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

Balance Assessments

If you have been referred for a Balance or Vestibular Assessment we will arrange an appointment for you to attend our balance clinics.

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.

What will happen during my balance assessment?

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.

What tests can I expect?

The assessments will depend on your history and symptoms. Some of our most common tests are listed below so you know what to expect.

  • Video Nystagmography

    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.

  • Air Caloric Irrigation

    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.

  • Posturography

    This is a series of tests that look at how you are using the three different elements that make up or balance. We will ask you to stand on a small platform that measures how you move.

What happens after my appointment?

The audiologist will explain as much as possible after the appointment and may give you a leaflet and recommend some exercises to help 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.