Preparing for your appointment
Please ensure that your ears are free of wax prior to your appointment as impacted wax may have an effect on test outcomes. Your GP will be able to check if your ears are clear and clean the wax as appropriate. Please note that not all ears are suitable for ear syringing (when water is used to remove ear wax). Read more about earwax removal.
Assessment (20-45 mins)
An assessment will usually take place while you are here for an appointment to see a doctor in ENT. At your appointment your hearing will be tested by an audiologist (pure tone audiometry and immitance testing are routinely conducted for adults and children over four years of age. ENT consultants may also request stapedial reflex testing and oto-acoustic emissions (OAEs) if required on this clinic). Read more about diagnosis and testing.
The suitability of trying hearing aids will be discussed if required. Impression/s will be taken of your ears to make moulds for the hearing aids if required.
Direct referrals (one hour)
Direct referral appointments are for adults who are concerned about their hearing but have no other problems with their ears. This type of appointment can be made by your GP writing a referral letter directly to the audiology department or the GP can book an appointment for you via the e-referral system. GP’s referring patients for direct access audiology services should adhere strictly to the British Academy of Audiology’s direct access referral criteria (2009).
Fitting (one hour)
A fitting appointment is made to fit your new hearing aid/s. This will involve programming the aid to a special prescription that is worked out from your hearing loss. A measurement called real ear measurements will be conducted. We will make sure you are happy with the sound quality of the hearing aid and will show you how to use and look after the hearing aids.
Face to face follow up (30 mins)
Face to face follow up appointments are either made approximately 6-8 weeks after your hearing aids have been fitted to evaluate your progress or can be booked after the telephone follow up to address any problems or concerns that were highlighted in the questionnaire.
Telephone follow up (+/- 15 mins)
We can conduct follow up appointments over the telephone for suitable patients. You will be called 6-8 weeks after your hearing aids have been fitted, to evaluate your progress. A short questionnaire will be conducted and if required a face to face appointment will be booked. This method of hearing aid follow up reduces your visits to the hospital.
Fine tune (30 mins)
Fine tuning appointments are used to make adjustments to your hearing aid settings should the need arise, for example if your hearing has changed since the aids were last tuned.
Auditory rehabilitation (45 mins)
Auditory rehabilitation appointments are for those who require additional support and counselling on using and getting used to their hearing aids. This can range from practice on inserting the hearing aid into the ear, explaining how to use the aid controls to advice on improving communication environments.
PTA review (30 mins)
A PTA review appointment is made only to complete a hearing assessment and discuss the results. Additional appointments may be arranged based on the outcome of the test.
Hearing aid repair clinic
Patients who have been fitted with hearing aids at the Royal Free London are able to attend walk-in clinics for faulty hearing aids. This does not include the adjustment of digital aids – if this is necessary patients should please ring for an appointment. Please note that we are only able to service hearing aids issued by our department and it is advised that you attend repair clinics at the department your hearing aid was issued. Read more about our repair clinic (walk in clinic).
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