Do you ever feel stressed because you can't follow the conversation very well? Problems hearing the TV? Asking people to repeat themselves a lot? If you do, it is worth your while having your hearing tested
We provide solutions that deliver results, so you can get on with simply enjoying the moment
Signs of Hearing Loss?
You feel stressed in social situations because you can't follow the conversation, you are constantly turning up the TV, your partner is frustrated at having to repeat themselves, If more than a few of these are familiar to you, there may be an underlying problem. However, don't think that this means you have a hearing loss. Because that may not be the case. The underlying issue might not be hearing loss, it could be an earwax problem. The clear thing you should understand is:
Either Way, You Will Benefit From A Hearing Test
It’s thought that two in every ten adults in the UK experience hearing loss. However, there are many easily detectable signs to catch it early. These include:
- Feeling like other people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Finding it hard to follow conversations in crowded situations
- People saying the television is too loud when you think it’s fine and possibly even using subtitles to follow what’s being said
Just like our eyesight, our hearing has its own natural ageing process. The majority of people experience gradual hearing loss through the course of life. A gradual hearing loss that is barely noticeable. It has become obvious in recent years that untreated hearing loss can have a devastating effect on your cognitive health. It is more important than ever to have your hearing tested to ensure that you understand your hearing health and therefore the impact it may have on your social life and your cognitive function.
Hearing loss is completely treatable, new digital hearing aid technology can manage that hearing loss in 95% of all cases and help you to regain a better quality of life. However, before you can know what treatment may be right for you, you need an in-depth hearing assessment. That's why we offer a hearing test that covers all the bases. Let's talk about the hearing test.
The Initial Assessment
Your appointment will last approximately 1.5 hours. Once you arrive you will be greeted by our friendly reception and seated in the relaxed lounge area where you will be offered tea/coffee and biscuits. Unwind in the lounge area, watch the TV or have a chat with our reception staff. Firstly we will discuss your hearing with you, we may ask questions about your lifestyle and health. This will help us understand possible causes of any hearing problems
- Examination of the ear and auditory canal, including video otoscopy
- Full audiometric hearing assessment
- Explanation and discussion of outcome
- Impartial advice on the most suited hearing system for your individual requirements
Call us on 01905 617803 to book your free consultation now.
The Hearing Test
Initially we will ask you a few questions about your hearing and general health. This is to get a clear idea about your general health, your medical history and any effect it might have on your hearing.
Examination of the Ear
We will examine the outside of your ears first, then we will look in your ears with a light.
We will measure what are the faintest sounds you can hear in a quiet environment through headphones in a sound-proofed booth/room. You will have to press a button every time you hear a beep. The sounds start off louder and decrease gradually until they are very faint. This will tell us if the hearing is within normal range or in case of a hearing loss, what type and what level of hearing loss is present.
The audiometric procedure involves the following tests;
Pure tone testing (Audiometry)
Speech testing (Audiometry)
Acoustic Reflex Threshold testing
Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAE) testing
Audiometry ( Hearing Test)
This group of tests is plotted on an audiogram which shows your hearing sensitivity. It answers the question of whether or not hearing sensitivity is within normal range, or if there is a hearing loss or hearing sensitivity that is outside of the range of normal. The test results are also used as a tool to reveal any asymmetry (hearing sensitivity that is not equal between the two ears). The audiometric configuration (the “shape” of the thresholds) and the rest of the group of tests also give us information toward a diagnosis of ear abnormalities.
How it is performed
This battery of tests involves carefully listening through headphones that are placed over the ears or insert earphones that are placed in the ear canals. Next, pure tones will be presented through the headphones or insert earphones, as well as through a bone conduction vibrator on a headband that is placed behind the ear. You will listen for the softest level you can detect, and will push a button or raise your hand in response. This will determine your hearing thresholds.
Additional tests may be added to the group of tests if an asymmetry of thresholds is found, or if you have tinnitus or dizziness.
Words will be presented at a comfortable listening level through headphones and you will have to repeat them. This test gives the clinician further information on the status of your inner ear function. It can help diagnose nerve damage/deterioration and is a good indicator of possible benefit from a hearing aid. If your difficulty is only or mainly in the presence of background noise, an optional speech-in-noise test, LiSN-S (Listening in Spatialized Noise Sentences test) is also available.
This group of tests is plotted on our system which allows us to assess the impact that your hearing loss is having on your understanding of speech sounds. It helps to answers the question of whether or not hearing sensitivity is within normal range, or if there is a hearing loss or hearing sensitivity that is outside of the range of normal. The test results are also used as a tool to reveal exactly how your loss is effecting your understanding of speech in both quiet and noisy situations. This test and the rest of the group of tests also give us information toward a diagnosis of ear abnormalities. This test is also an excellent tool for assisting us in the recommendation of suitable hearing aids because it allows us to define the sounds in speech that you have most difficulty with.
How it is performed
Our specialist system allows us to present speech to you in both quiet and noisy situations. During these tests you will be asked to repeat words that are presented to you at normal speech volume levels. Word recognition scores will be determined when you repeat words that are presented at this normal listening level.
Middle Ear Analysis
What is middle ear analysis?
This test will assess how sound travels through your ear. You will feel a short blocked sensation while a recording takes place. There are two parts to the Middle Ear Assessment: the Tympanometry and the Acoustic Reflexes.
What is it?
It consists of measuring how much your eardrums are moving and if that movement is within normal limits. It tells us if there is any fluid or congestion behind the eardrums. (presence of fluid behind one’s eardrums is known as glue ear, and it is very common in children). This test measures how well your middle ear works. Your middle ear includes your ear drum, the middle ear bones, and your Eustachian tube. It will reveal abnormalities which will signify and can explain a conductive hearing loss and/or a sensation of pressure in the ear.
How it is performed
An ear tip is placed in the canal that is connected to a machine that briefly varies the pressure in the ear. By varying the pressure, the movement of the eardrum can be measured. It takes only a few minutes to complete.
Acoustic Reflex Thresholds
What is it?
When we hear a loud noise, our ear protects itself with a reflex which stiffens the eardrum. We use this reflex to test the Facial and Auditory nerves. This test measures how the stapedius muscle contracts in response to a loud sound. The absence or presence of acoustic reflexes can be important for differential diagnosis.
How it is performed
Often, tympanometry and acoustic reflex thresholds are done together. With the ear tip in your canal, you will hear beeps that are progressively louder. You will not need to respond. Instead, the machine will automatically measure the response.
Distortion Product Oto-acoustic Emissions (DPOAE)
What is it?
This test measures how well the outer hair cells in the cochlear work. The outer hair cells produce low-level sounds called Otoacoustic Emissions in response to clicks. A conductive or sensorineural hearing loss will often result in absent DPOAE responses.
How it is performed
With an ear tip in the canal, clicks are presented in the ear. In response, the cochlear emits a sound which is recorded by the equipment. The extent of the response and the frequency at which the response occurs is measured and recorded.
How long does the group of tests take?
The group of tests is completed in 60 minutes. After the testing, the results are reviewed with you and recommendations are made.
Hearing Aid Benefit Assessment
If you are a suitable candidate for hearing aids, we will then move onto a hearing aid benefit assessment. During this test we use our fitting suite to fit a set of suitable hearing aids to your defined loss. We then use Real Ear Measurement (REM) to verify that the devices are delivering the amplification that you need. We will then undertake aided speech tests to ascertain the benefit delivered.
Real World Situations
Our state of the art system allows us to test the benefit of the hearing aids in real world situations, so if your problem is in noisy environments such as a restaurant. We can put you there and test the benefit of the devices without you having to leave the comfort of our office.
“I don't need to find anybody else, I would never go anywhere else, I'm very happy here. They are very sociable, professional, scientific, comfortable and caring”Ms Sybil Chapman