Audiology and ENT is the study of hearing and balance disorders. The tests are carried out by an Audiologist or Clinical Scientist who will assess if there is any loss of hearing. InHealth offers hearing testing for both paediatric and adult patients across the country.
Please search under Locate a centre to find your nearest NHS Site or Hearing Care centre to find out which services they offer.
If, after reading the information here and watching the videos (below), you have not found the answer to your query you can contact us via email as follows
Please note that this email address is only monitored Monday - Friday during normal business hours.
If you would like help with your hearing aids please view the videos at the bottom of this page. These short clips can help with learning how to turn your hearing aids on and off, inserting your aid(s), replacing batteries and general care and maintenance. You can also refer to your manufacturer's guide which would have been given to you with your hearing aids at first fitting.
If you or your child require assistance with language interpretation or would like to be escorted by a friend, relative or carer, please advise the Patient Referral Centre so that the clinic staff are ready for you. The Patient Referral Centre can be contacted on 0333 202 0298.
Before the appointment, it is vital that you or your child have your ears checked for any wax problems at your GP clinic. If ears are blocked with wax when you/your child arrive for testing, the appointment may be cancelled and you will be referred back to your GP. This is because wax may prevent a proper examination of your ears and will adversely affect the hearing test.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time; if you are late we may not be able to carry out your test. If you need to bring young children with you, please also bring a carer to supervise them whilst you are being seen by the audiologist.
If the clinic is a mobile unit it will have a lift, in case you cannot use stairs. At the clinic you will see a specialist called an Audiologist or Clinical Scientist for your hearing test. All assessments carried out during your appointment will take between 30 minutes and one hour.
The audiologist will conduct an initial assessment before testing your hearing, by asking questions about your medical history, using an instrument called an otoscope to look at your ear canal and at the ear drum and, if you are an adult patient, conducting a questionnaire to see if you will benefit from a hearing aid.
The hearing test called audiometry will last about 20 minutes. The audiologist will conduct several different tests, to check the condition of your hearing.
The first test will involve you wearing headphones and listening to a variety of tones sounding like musical notes. You will have to indicate when you hear the particular sound, usually by pressing a button. It is very important that you respond to the quietest sound you can hear even if you are not sure. We are able to tell if your response is a valid one or not so you do not need to worry about doing the test incorrectly.
The results of this test are drawn on a chart called an audiogram. If the results show hearing loss, you will be asked to take another test.
The next test requires you to put on a headband with a vibrating pad, which transmits sound through the bones in your skull to your ears.
When the results of this test are compared with the first test, it shows up any problems you might have with your eardrum or middle ear. This helps to decide what can be done about your hearing loss. You may be given another test where you will be asked to listen to sentences or words and repeat what you hear.
Once the test is finished the Audiologist will explain the results to you. The outcome will be either that your hearing is normal, or that you require onward referral to an Ear, Nose & Throat Consultant or that you would benefit from a hearing aid. If a hearing aid is required you have the choice of whether you want this fitted. The Audiologist is there to advise you and take your instructions and he or she will take the appropriate action depending upon what decision you make.
Your examination (Paediatrics)
The hearing test used will depend on the developmental age of your child. Newborn babies are tested when asleep, using sensitive pads to measure their brain’s response to sound.
Most testing uses play and interaction for younger children whilst older children will be able to complete a hearing test as described above in the ‘Adult’ section.
Sometimes further tests will be completed, such as tympanometry – which measures the movement of the ear drum. All tests will be fully explained during the appointment. If any further testing is required, for example if a child’s concentration is lost, a further appointment will be offered and testing will be completed at a later date.
The results of the testing will be explained at the end of the session. If a child’s hearing is normal they will often be discharged from the service. Sometimes an onward referral to an ENT specialist is necessary, for example, if a child has recurrent ear infections (glue ear). If a hearing loss is found, your child may be referred on for hearing aids. Should this be the case, support and information will be offered throughout the process. The Audiologists and Clinical Scientists are there to offer any advice and assistance they can, and will be able to answer any queries you or your child may have on the day.
If you have been advised that you would benefit from having a hearing aid (or aids), the Audiologist may choose to fit you with a hearing aid straightaway during the appointment (called an 'open fitting'). If not, the audiologist will take an impression of your ears so that a customised ear mould can be made for you. This has to be sent away but as soon as it returns we will be in contact with you to make an appointment at your convenience, this is usually within 2 weeks.
At the subsequent appointment we will fit you with your hearing aid, programme it to match your type and degree of hearing loss and give you full instructions on how to use and control it. Everything we tell you will be written down so that you can go over it again later.
We will arrange a follow up 6 - 8 weeks later to see how you are progressing and perform any alterations required.
If you find it difficult to get used to your hearing aid, do not give up. Try wearing it for a few days and make a note of all the problems you have with it. Then, if you are still having difficulty, please make an appointment with the Patient Referral Centre to see an audiologist (0333 202 0298).
When you leave your appointment your audiologist will give you one of the following leaflets to explain what happens next, give you our contact details and, hopefully, answer any questions you may have. Please click on each of the links below to view the associated leaflet.
Please click on the relevant video below to see a short film to help you care for and maintain your hearing aids. Please note these videos are filmed using completely in the canal ("CIC") aids and so may not be relevant for your particular type of aid(s). However, turning devices on and off and battery replacement is fairly standard for all types of aids so we hope you will find the short clips helpful:
If you prefer to see films of your specific type (not model) of hearing aid(s) then please click on this link which takes you to a manufacturer's website and may have what you are looking for. http://www.starkey.co.uk/hearing-aid-use-and-care/instructional-videos