Audiology patient information
Find out what to expect from your audiology appointment.
Before your appointment
We see our patients within six weeks from the time we receive the GP referral.
Before the appointment, please make sure that your ears are free of wax. Wax can block ears and affect the results of your hearing test. If your ears are blocked with wax, please see you practice nurse or GP for wax removal prior to your appointment.
Please bring your appointment letter with you. If you wear glasses please bring them to your appointment, as well as a list of any current medications.
You are welcome to bring a relative, close friend or carer with you to your appointment.
During your appointment
When you arrive please go to the audiology reception desk and check in with our receptionists.
We always try to see our patients at the time of their allocated appointment. If there are any delays the patient will be kept informed.
Most of our appointments last between 45 minutes to one hour. Vestibular assessments can last between one to three hours depending on the tests required.
Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so an audiology or medical student may be present for some appointments. If you do not wish to have them in the room please let the audiologist in charge know and the students will be asked to step outside.
Hearing assessment appointments
The audiologist will take a medical history from you. They will then ask about problems you or your family and friends may have with your hearing.
During a hearing test you will wear headphones and press a button when you hear a tone. This enables the audiologist to establish the quietest sounds you can hear.
The results of your hearing test will be discussed with you and a diagnosis of your hearing will be given. The audiologist will talk you through the best treatment option.
Typical diagnosis after a hearing test are:
- normal hearing – advice and counselling on your results
- hearing loss – we will advise you on communication tactics/skills, counsel you on your hearing loss and suggest a hearing aid if appropriate
- referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist for specific issues with the ear, such as ear infections, pain or balance issues
- referral to the hearing therapy service for specialist equipment advice, counselling, communication tactics and social services support
If a hearing aid is appropriate for you, you will be given the choice to proceed with a hearing aid fitting.
Depending on your hearing levels, the hearing aid may be fitted to a custom made earmould or a thin tube.
If you need an earmould, an impression will be taken of your ear. This procedure involves putting a small soft sponge attached to a thread in your ear canal.
The audiologist then fills your ear canal with soft impression material. This takes the shape of your ear and sets within a few minutes. It is then removed and sent off to be made into your earmould.
Once this is complete we will arrange a hearing aid fitting appointment.
Depending on what your specialist has referred you for, you may require some positional tests involving your head and body, eye assessments and caloric irrigation testing. Your appointment letter will have a FAQ page with more details on the specific aspects of the tests.
After your appointment
As soon as all the tests and procedures are completed, the audiologist will write back to your GP or specialist with the outcome of your results.
An appointment will be arranged for your hearing aid fitting or any other referrals that are required.
Re-tubing your hearing aid
If your audiologist has recommended you use a hearing aid and suggested that you re-tube your hearing aid at home, you may find this video useful. Please note that the information provided in the video should not replace the advice given to you by your audiologist.
Wax build up – Guidance
Information for patients, relatives and carers
Our ears produce wax to protect our ear drums, which traps dust and other particles which get into the ear. The wax slowly works its way to the outside, taking the trapped dirt and dust with it. Hearing aid(s) block your ear canal and therefore you are more likely to experience a build-up of wax. A build-up of wax may prevent audiology tests from being performed and can affect the performance of your hearing aid(s).
YOU MUST NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE WAX FROM YOUR EARS YOURSELF. Do not use cotton buds or insert anything into your ear as it may damage your ear drum/canal and push the wax down the canal further.
Using Olive oil ear drops
This is used to encourage the natural movement of wax from the outer ear or to soften the wax before wax removal. Olive oil and a dropper can be purchased from your local chemist/Pharmacy/Boots etc.
Using Sodium Bicarbonate ear drops
This can be used as an alternative to olive oil. However if you have sensitive skin you should avoid using this. Only use these drops for one week.
Lie with the affected ear Using the dropper, put a few drops into
the affected ear when putting in drops.
How often you carry out this procedure is dependent on how much wax you have and how hard it is.
Please ask an audiologist or your nurse/GP for guidance on this.
NOTE: If you think that you have a hole in your ear drum (a perforation), you should not put olive oil in your ear,you should see your doctor
for wax removal.
How do I make a comment about my visit?
We aim to provide the best possible service and staff will be happy to answer any of the questions you may have. If you have any suggestions or
Alternatively, you may wish to complain by contacting our complaints department:
Complaints department, fourth floor, Salton House, St Mary’s Hospital, Praed Street
London W2 1NY
Telephone: 020 3312 1337 / 1349
This leaflet can be provided on request in large print or easy read, as a sound recording, in Braille or in alternative languages. Please email the communications team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wi-fi is available at our Trust. For more information visit our website: www.imperial.nhs.uk
Patient information leaflets
- Cleaning and sterilising ear moulds
- Communication awareness
- Hearing aid batteries
- Hearing aid fault finding
- Fitting your new ear mould(s) to your hearing aid
- Open-fitting hearing aids
- Removing condensation
- Re-tubing ear moulds
- The induction loop/telecoil system
- Wax build-up: guidance
- White noise generators
- Your hearing aid fitting appointment
- Your balance assessment appointment
- Your hearing assessment appointment
- Your microsuction assessment appointment
- Your speech audiometry appointment
- Your tinnitus assessment appointment
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