Adult hearing clinics and assessments

If you feel your hearing has worsened and you need your hearing checked, please contact your GP. Your GP can refer you to the Audiology Department should you need a hearing test.

Adult hearing assessment - What happens?

The audiologist will examine your ears and perform a hearing test, as well as discussing with you any difficulties that you have been experiencing.

Once the testing is finished the Audiologist will explain the results to you.

The outcome will be either that:

  • Your hearing is within normal limits
  • You require an onward referral to an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist
  • You would benefit from a hearing aid
  • You already have a hearing aid and would benefit from a different hearing aid
  • If a hearing aid is considered to be beneficial to you, you will be asked whether you wish to proceed with a hearing aid fitting.

If you wish to proceed:

The hearing aid may be fitted to an earmould or a thin tube with dome, depending on the level of your hearing loss. An ear impression of the ear canal is required for the earmould.

If you do not wish to proceed:

You will be discharged from the clinic. You will need to contact your GP again when you wish to proceed with a hearing aid fitting in the future.

At the end of your hearing assessment appointment you will receive patient information leaflet Hearing assessment

For further information please refer to patient information leaflet Hearing assessment appointment

 

Adult hearing aid fittings - What happens?

Hearing Aid fitting appointment

  • The Digital Hearing Aid fitting will follow a Hearing Assessment.
  • At the start of your appointment the audiologist will check your ears for wax and check the fit of your earmould and hearing aid.
  • At this stage your hearing aid is programmed to your hearing loss. It may be necessary to further fine tune the hearing aid, taking into account the earmould, size and shape of the ear canal.
  • Once all the programming has been done the audiologist will check the sound of the hearing aid with you by talking to you and making some louder sounds. Some further fine-tuning of your aid may also be necessary at this point.
  • Your audiologist will discuss usage and maintenance of your hearing aids with you and offer guidance, if required.

For further information please refer to patient information leaflet Hearing aid fitting appointment

Following your hearing aid fitting appointment, you may find the following patient information leaflets useful:

Hearing aid fitting 

Hearing aid open fitting (this leaflet applies to those who use a slim tube on their hearing aid, and do not wear an earmould)

Hearing Aid fitting review

When you are fitted with new or upgraded hearing aids, you will always be offered an opportunity to review your progress with your hearing aids.
At the fitting appointment, you and the audiologist will decide which of the following options is best suited to you.

You will have five options:

  1. A review with an audiologist at RSCH or one of our outreach centres
  2. A review with an audiologist on the telephone
  3. You can be emailed a questionnaire after 3 months of wearing the hearing aid, which you can return to us by email
  4. You can download the questionnaire, from this website (please click here which you can return to us by email
  5. You can take away the questionnaire to fill in and in 3 month’s time, return to us by post or email

If you and the Audiologist choose option 3-5, and you would like to see an audiologist, there is an option in Section 4 of the questionnaire to note that you require further assistance with your hearing aids and would like to see an audiologist.

A member of the Audiology team will contact you in due course.

 

Using your hearing aid

As a hearing loss is generally acquired over a period of time, it takes time to adjust to the amplification of a hearing aid which tries to restore the hearing loss. Each individual responds differently to the sound of a hearing aid and each individual can take a different amount of time to adapt to the sound of the aids.

As a guide the following might be used:

Week 1

  • Start wearing the hearing aid(s) at home in quiet situations first.
  • Start with 5 hours per day and gradually increase the time by 1 hour per day.
  • By the end of week 1 you should be wearing the aid all day at home (in quiet situations).

Week 2

  • Start wearing the hearing aid(s) when you are out, in noisier situations.
  • Start with 2 hours per outing and gradually increase the time by 1 hour per outing.
  • By the end of week 2-3 you should be wearing the aid all day everywhere.

Week 3

  • Only in week 3 start wearing the aid when you are on transport eg. Car, bus, etc.

Please note:

  • These are recommendations for the minimum length of daily hearing aid use. Hearing aids can be worn for longer periods if it is comfortable to do so.
  • The hearing aids need to be worn consistently to enable the adaptation process. If they are not worn consistently, the brain does not have sufficient information to enable optimal processing of speech information.
  • When the hearing aids are worn consistently it can take up to 3 months to acclimatize to the sound of the hearing aid.

Communication Tactics

Hearing aids cannot fully restore natural hearing.  To achieve the optimal benefit from the hearing aids communication strategies need to be employed when using the hearing aids.

  • Face the person you are talking to
  • Ensure that you are at an arm’s distance from the speaker
  • Ensure that there is good lighting and the speaker’s face is clearly visible
  • Ensure that the background noise is minimal, e.g. turn down the television before starting a conversation
  • Limit the background noise from behind by sitting with your back against a wall
  • Inform the person you are talking to that you have a hearing loss
  • Ask the person you are talking to speak slow and clearly
  • Inform the person you are talking to that shouting often makes speech distorted
  • Ask the speaker to paraphrase a sentence if repetition is not useful

If the aids do not seem to provide optimal benefit despite optimal use of communication strategies and optimal adaptation, the use of assistive devices (e.g. loop telephones, TV headsets) may be beneficial. Please ask your audiologist about assistive devices.

Hearing Aid Review Questionnaire

At your fitting appointment your Audiologist will hand you a questionnaire to complete.  We ask that this form is returned to the Audiology Department 3 months after your fitting so we can assess how you are getting on with your hearing aid. The questionnaire covers questions on ease of use and comfort, maintenance of the aids, sound quality and satisfaction. Upon receipt of the questionnaire we can offer you an appointment to discuss any difficulties you may have or invite you to our walk in services.

Maintaining your hearing aid

Is your hearing aid whistling?

  • Check the mould is inserted correctly.
  • Have your ears checked for wax.
  • Check mould is not loose.
  • Check tubing is not hard.
  • If your hearing aid has a volume control, check it is not too high.

Has your hearing aid stopped working?

  • Change the battery (see leaflet Battery Collection Locations)
  • Check the tubing is not kinked, blocked with condensation/water or twisted
  • Check hearing aid is not on T (loop) position.
  • If you hold the hearing aid in the palm of your hand and close it, it should “whistle” when switched on the program for everyday use.

Mould Hygiene

  • Daily: Wipe the ear mould with a damp flannel or wet-wipe when removed from ear.
  • Weekly: Detach the mould from the aid and wash in warm soapy water (make sure that there is no water in the tubing before connecting the mould to the hearing aid). Leave the mould overnight to dry.

Step-by-step Guide

Audiology hearing aid cleaning guide

  1. Disconnect mould from hearing aid where the tubing meets the sound hook. Don’t pull the tubing out of the earmould.
  2. Wash in soapy water (avoid strong detergents).
  3. Rinse it well.
  4. Shake mould, or use puffer to remove excess water and leave it to dry. Push the tubing back onto the hearing aid.

It is important that the mould is kept clean to enable the best quality of sound from the aid

If problems persist after you have applied each of the troubleshooting steps then please attend a walk-in repair session

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