The management of hearing loss goes beyond the issue of hearing aids; it is a deeply personal and distressing journey for many people. It affects their social skills, creates an isolated feeling and can alter the perspective on life in terms of employment, relationships and activities.
Thankfully with digital hearing aids, our technology is the best we have ever had. But no technology can undo the feelings and concerns that we have about hearing loss.
The main role of the Hearing Therapist is to support those with ear related conditions by providing advice, equipment or treatments.
These main areas are around hearing loss, tinnitus (see separate page) and balance rehabilitation. Based in the community appointment are with our Hearing Therapist.
- Pre and post hearing aid fitting counselling
- Sudden loss
- Profound loss
- CI / BAHA (cochlear implant and bone anchored hearing aids)
- Dual sensory loss
- Unilateral loss
- Assistive listening devices
- Communication training
Working with the diagnostic service, the hearing therapist can provide
- Reassurance / Relaxation
- Explanation and understanding of the balance system and how it works
- What happens when it is impaired
- Implementation of any exercise programme
- Encourage movement and motivation
- Regular follow ups to monitor and advise
Tinnitus is the perception of noises in the head and/or the ears which has no external source. It is not a disease or an illness; it is a symptom generated within the auditory system.
The noise may be in one or both ears, or in the head or may be difficult to pinpoint its exact location. The noise may be low, medium or high in pitch. There may be more than one noise. It may be continuous or come and go.
Experiences of tinnitus are very common in all ages especially after exposure to loud noise. It is estimated that about 10% of the population have permanent tinnitus (British Tinnitus Association).
Tinnitus, like many other health conditions, is currently incurable but is managed very well by the vast majority of people with it. We offer help through or one stop clinics where tinnitus may be managed easily by information, support and possible hearing aid issue.
For those more greatly troubled, our hearing therapist provides a service looking more deeply into the effects of tinnitus and working with patients to help provide tactics to deal with the anxiety or disruption.
Information and explanation – there is a fear with tinnitus that it is being triggered by more serious health issues and that the prognosis is that it can only get worse. By learning more about causes, onset, process of hearing and the brains reaction to sounds, it puts the person back in charge of the tinnitus and its effect.
Counselling - coming to terms with tinnitus, accepting it may always be there but can be managed, challenging and changing perception and negativity by use of a cognitive approach.
Hearing aids – even in the mildest hearing loss, amplification can reduce the strain to listen and enhance environmental sounds thus reducing perception of tinnitus.
Sound therapy – use of local sound enrichment through music, naturally represented sounds, white noise and appliances.
Relaxation – tinnitus perception is often linked to an increase in stress levels. Learning to manage stress can impact on the perceived level of tinnitus.
Sleep advice - very sound sleepers rarely notice any disruption and if they do it is usually only temporary. Those whose sleep is disrupted for other reasons become aware of their tinnitus in quiet making it harder to get off or return to sleep. Advice may be around sleep patterns, times, use of extraneous sounds, relaxation and general sleep hygiene rules.
It does get better.
Studies indicate that over time the noises disappear or at least diminish to a tolerable threshold level in most cases, as the brain loses interest and stops monitoring the signal. This process is called habituation. The length of time it takes can vary from person to person – but does happen.