Our hearing specialist / Audiologist is also experienced in testing the difficult to test population i.e. patients with dementia, learning difficulty etc. We also offer domiciliary service for house bound patients.

The hearing appointment is usually an hour, the procedure includes taking of medical history, an otoscopic examination of the ear canal, pure tone audiometry, explanation of test results and recommendations.

Hearing Loss Explained

According to the WHO 1 in 5 people worldwide live and are affected with a hearing loss.

  • By 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people are projected to have some degree of hearing loss and at least 700 million will require hearing rehabilitation.
  • Over 1 billion young adults are at risk of permanent, avoidable hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices.
Dementia and Hearing Loss

A study done by Lin et al in 2011 suggest that there is a strong link between hearing loss and dementia. People with a mild hearing loss are two times as likely to develop dementia, and this increases to three times for those with moderate hearing loss. The reasons for this relationship are not clear, but communication difficulties may be one reason, as both hearing loss and dementia can make communication more difficult.

%Eye Image Optician Optometrist Simon Kleyn%

The Anatomy of the Ear 

The ear is divided into three parts. The outer ear, middle ear and inner ear.

The outer ear comprises of the pinna and the ear canal. The pinna collets sounds and directs them into the auditory ear canal.

The middle ear comprises of the eardrum and the ossicles namely malleus, incus and stapes which are the smallest bones in your body.

The inner ear contains the organ of hearing and balance. It is divided into three sections, the vestibule, the semicircular canals and the cochlea.

The Physiology of Hearing

Sound is collected by the pinna then enters the auditory ear canal, the sound then reaches the tympanic membrane/eardrum and cause it to vibrate.

The eardrum vibrates sending the sound into the middle ear bones, the middle ear bones vibrate to amplify the sound then sending it into the inner ear – the cochlea, from the cochlea to the auditory nerve, then the brain.

What causes hearing loss

There are several causes of hearing impairment

  • Hereditary
  • Middle ear problems
  • Injury
  • Noise exposure
  • Aging
  • Ototoxic medication

Signs to look out for with hearing loss

  • Do you tend to turn up the television louder than others would prefer it in your household?
  • Do you have difficulty understanding speech when there is background noise i.e family gatherings, restaurants etc
  • Do you feel your family members are mumbling?
  • Do you often ask people to repeat what they have said?
  • Do you feel tired when you have to listen for long periods?
  • Do you feel you have to concentrate harder in order to hear?

If you have answered yes to some of these questions, then you may need your hearing checked.