Hear for Norfolk is dedicated to improving the emotional wellbeing, communication, and the overall quality of life of
people with all degrees of hearing loss and related conditions.
What is hearing loss?
Hearing loss happens when there is a problem with one or more parts of the ear, the nerves inside the ear, or the part of the brain that controls hearing. There are four main types of hearing loss:
- Sensorineural hearing loss – Where the tiny hair cells in the inner ear (cochlea) are damaged, usually through natural ageing (called presbyacusis) or long periods of exposure to loud noises.
- Conductive hearing loss – where sound can struggle to travel (conduct) through the ear to reach the tiny hair cells in the inner ear.
- Mixed hearing loss – a combination of both types of hearing loss outline above.
- Auditory Processing hearing loss – Where the ears can transmit and essentially ‘hear’ sounds ne, but the brain has trouble processing and understanding them.
What are the consequences of hearing loss?
Most hearing loss is caused by the ageing process with about one-third of adults over the age of 65 having some hearing loss. This ageing of the ears usually affects our ability to hear soft, higher frequency sounds which results in the brain only receiving parts of speech thus being able to hear people talking but making it difficult to understand what they are saying. Poor hearing in adults can have a great impact at both a personal and a societal level. Hearing loss can impair our communication, thus significantly affecting everyday life, causing loneliness, social isolation, loss of independence, low self-esteem, having feelings of anxiety and/or depression and can lead to cognitive decline/onset of dementia.
If you have any of the symptoms of hearing loss outlined on this page, then it is important to get your hearing tested as
soon as possible.
How Can We Help
Hear for Norfolk is proud to be providing an Adult Audiology Service, which offers NHS funded hearing assessments and hearing aids fitting service to people age 50 and over with age related hearing loss.
This accessible service is provided by trained, registered and experienced Audiologists and delivered from our community-based clinics. Domiciliary and care home visits are also available for patients that are housebound.
Patients who are registered with Medical Practices in the Central Locality of Norfolk & Waveney ICB are currently able to access our help. There are two ways that you can come to us. You can either speak to your GP and ask them to refer you to Hear for Norfolk for a hearing assessment or you can self-refer by calling us on 01603 404440 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do I need a hearing test?
A hearing test/assessment measures how well you are able to hear. It can be used to find out if you have a hearing problem and if so, how serious it is. You may need a hearing test if you have symptoms of hearing loss.
- a difficulty in hearing other people clearly or misunderstanding what they say, especially in a noisy environment
- asking people to repeat themselves
- listening to music or watching TV with the volume higher than other people need
- difficulty hearing the phone or the doorbell
- finding it hard to keep up with conversations
- feeling tired or stressed from having to concentrate while listening
- feeling like people are ‘mumbling’
- a ringing sound in your ears
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO
PREPARE FOR MY APPOINTMENT?
To ensure that you are prepared for your hearing assessment, it is essential that excess wax is removed from your ears as this may prevent the audiologist from viewing your ear canal and eardrum, resulting in the inability to perform the hearing assessment.
We are able to check for the presence of wax for free with an appointment at our Otoscopy clinic. You can contact us directly to be booked in and if the practitioner sees the presence of excess earwax, they will advise you to attend our microsuction clinic, which you are able to attend either as an NHS patient which requires a referral from your medical practice to Hear for Norfolk (Norfolk Deaf Association), or you can contact us directly for an appointment at a total cost of £50.
How will my hearing be tested?
Our audiologist will carry out tests to nd out what type and level of hearing loss you have. Before they begin, they’ll ask you about your hearing and check your ears. They’ll then test one ear at a time. The tests last about 20 minutes and are not uncomfortable. For the standard hearing test, called audiometry, you’ll listen to noises through a set of headphones. You’ll hear sounds of different tones and volumes and will be asked to press a button each time you hear a sound. The noises will gradually become quieter to find the softest sounds that you can hear. The results will be recorded on a chart called an audiogram.
The audiologist might then ask you to wear a headband with a vibrating pad. This pad sends sound through the bones in your head directly to the cochlea (the hearing organ in your inner ear), on both sides of your head. Again, you’ll be asked to press a button each time you hear a sound. This test checks whether the cochlea and hearing nerve are working or damaged. At some point, the audiologist might play a rushing noise into one ear to cover up sounds while they test your other ear.