Advanced Hearing Aid Clinic

The clinic is run by a team of Senior Audiologists and Clinical Scientists who have experience in managing complex hearing problems. All patients with Profound hearing losses are seen within this clinic.

The team carry out detailed history taking, diagnostic testing, counselling and advanced hearing aid programming for patients. It also offers advice on communications tactics and help with specialist equipment and assistive technology. Patients are also assessed to decide if they would benefit from implantable devices such as Cochlear Implants.

The Team

Kim Fredericks – Senior Audiologist

Matthew Keogh – Senior Audiologist

Charlotte Murray-Smith – Clinical Scientist

Samantha Nutt – Senior Audiologist

Rachel Stevenson – Clinical Scientist

Spencer Vine – Senior Audiologist

Jo Wilkinson – Clinical Scientist

 

What is a Severe-Profound Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is described by the amount of hearing that you have in relation to the ‘normal’ hearing range.  A severe-profound hearing loss is one in which the average hearing test results fall into the grey areas in the below figure:

Your Audiologist will be able to describe your hearing configuration to you in detail in relation to the results of your hearing test; please ask them for more details.

Registering with Emergency Services

If you pre-register with the emergency services as a text user in advance of needing to use the service, your text will be treated with the same urgency as a phone call to 999.  If you do not pre-register, your text in an emergency situation will be prioritised behind phone calls.

To pre-register, text the word ‘register’ to 999 and follow the instructions that will be sent to you by return text.

If you have not pre-registered, and you find that you need to call 999 in the event of an emergency, the advice from the emergency services is to follow the below instructions:

  1. Dial 999
  2. Wait 3 seconds
  3. Repeat the following information 3 times

“I am deaf, my name is … , I need the police/ambulance/fire service, my problem is… and my address is …”

 Communication Strategies

 As someone with a severe-profound hearing loss, you will likely require face-to-face communication to understand speech.  There are a number of things that you, and those who are communicating with you, can do to increase your chances of understanding speech:

  • Ask people to get your attention before they speak to you and make sure you are standing close to them, looking at them and actively listening
  • Tell people that you need lip reading to be able to understand them, ask them to speak clearly and slow down if necessary
  • Consider asking people to say something in a different way if you are finding it hard to understand them
  • Try to keep calm as if you get anxious about not hearing it will usually mean you are less able to concentrate on understanding
  • Reduce any competing background noise when possible (eg: wait for the kettle to stop boiling or mute the TV)

Hearing Dogs

 

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People are a charity that provides trained assistance dogs to help people with hearing loss.  Hearing dogs can help alert you to sounds, accompany you to public places and provide constant companionship.  You can apply for a hearing dog no matter what the level of your hearing loss or your personal circumstances.  To find out more visit the website:

www.hearingdogs.org.uk

 

Lip Reading

Lip reading is the ability to use information from lip shapes, gestures and facial movements to be able to understand what is being said.  Patients with severe-profound hearing loss will usually need some level of lip reading skills in order to be able to communicate effectively, as their hearing aids are less likely to be able to provide them with access to all the speech sounds.  We all lip read a little bit naturally, but it can be very beneficial to improve your lip reading skills by attending lip reading classes.  Lip reading teachers can help you to be able to tell the difference between words that would otherwise look the same, such as ‘biscuits’ and ‘big kiss’.

Norfolk Adult Education offers lip reading classes in Norfolk. It can be very helpful to take family members or close friends with you to lip reading classes so that they can also learn ways of helping you to understand what they are saying more easily. Details of their classes can be accessed via their website:       

www.norfolk.gov.uk/adultlearning

Atla are a registered charity who organise lip reading classes across the country.  You can visit their website to find the details of a class near you:

www.atlalipreading.org.uk

You might also like to work through lipreading exercises online at your own pace.  You can access exercises and information at this website:

www.lipreadingpractice.co.uk

Benefits and Support Services

Access to Work

By law, as somebody with a hearing loss, it is important that your employer understands and provides you with any reasonable alterations you need to be able to do your job.  If more adjustments are required, Access to Work is a government run initiative to provide grants for support and equipment to people with hearing loss (and other disabilities) who are in a paid job or about to start or return to one.  The sooner after starting your job you apply for an Access to Work assessment the better as more funding is available for employees who are new in post.

It can be very helpful to conduct some research into available equipment and adaptations before your Access to Work assessment appointment to highlight any equipment you think might be helpful.  See the Assistive Listening Devices section of this leaflet for more information.  More information and application instructions can be found at:

 www.gov.uk/access-to-work

Disabled Persons Railcard

If you are deaf or use hearing aids you may be entitled to a Disabled Person’s Railcard.  The card costs a small fee per year but allows you to claim a third off the cost of most train fares for both you and a friend.  To find out more visit:

www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk

Benefits

You may also be entitled to claim other benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Attendance Allowance (AA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Carer’s Allowance (CA), Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and Universal Credit (UC).

Sensory Support

 Sensory Support are part of Norfolk County Council and provide support for people with hearing and vision loss.  They keep a register of people with severe hearing impairment and are able to provide information, services and support in the form of:

  • Equipment – loop enabled phones, TV loops, alerting devices for the doorbell or phones
  • Communication
  • Literacy support
  • Advocacy
  • Access to work or training opportunities
  • Direct access to services in British Sign Language or Sign Supported English
  • Referrals to specialist provider agencies who may be able to offer further support and advice focused on the particular needs of you or your carer

www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/disabilities/sensory-support/hearing-impairment

Email: information@norfolk.gov.uk

Phone: 0344 800 8020

Text Phone: 07767 647670

Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive listening devices are pieces of equipment that you can use in addition to your hearing aids to help you maximise the amount and quality of the sound you hear.  They range from wireless devices to help you to hear more in social situations to specialist telephones and alerting devices to allow you to hear things like your doorbell and alarm clock more easily.

Smoke alarms are a particular concern for people with severe-profound hearing loss as they are unlikely to be loud enough to wake you from sleep in the event of a fire.  It is important to consider a vibrating smoke alarm detector: a vibrating pad that connects to your smoke alarm, which you place under your pillow at night. In the event of a fire, the pad will vibrate to alert you of the danger. Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are able to provide free home safety checks and fit vibrating smoke alarms in your home, to organise a home safety check call 0300 123 1669 or visit:

www.norfolk.gov.uk/safety/norfolk-fire-and-rescue-service/safety-advice-and-guidance/home-safety-advice/fire-safety-at-home

We also offer Assistive Listening Devices appointments, during which a specialist Audiologist will discuss possible equipment options for some of the problems you have been having.  Ask your Audiologist about booking an appointment.

Your Audiologist can also provide you with a catalogue of products that are available.  You may also be interested in having a look at some of the products that are available online or by phone.  Some recommended companies are:

Connevans: www.connevans.co.uk

Phone: 01737 247571

Sarabec:www.sarabec.com

Phone: 01642 247789

Action on Hearing Loss:

www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/live-well/products-and-technology

Phone:0808 808 0123 (freephone)

Phonak: www.phonaknhs.co.uk/assistive-listening-devices

Phone: 01925623600

Other Support Services

Hear for Norfolk work to improve the lives of young people and adults of all ages in Norfolk with all degrees of hearing loss, by offering personal, emotional and practical support, undertaking hearing aid maintenance, giving advice on assistive listening technology and communication methods, providing information on hearing loss and related conditions, and training. The key objective of the Norfolk Deaf Association is to provide high quality information, support, awareness and communication services.

www.hearfornorfolk.org.uk

Phone: 01603 404440

Deaf Connexions is a voluntary organisation working in Norfolk to provide a range of services to support deaf people and their families through the provision of information, and communication support.

More information can be accessed at their website:

www.deafconnexions.org.uk

The CEA Card is a national card scheme that allows disabled cinema-goers to obtain a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them to the cinema.  In order to apply for the card you will need to provide evidence that you receive one of several benefits and allowances from the government.  Details and application forms can be accessed via:

www.ceacard.co.uk

Cochlear Implants

A cochlear implant is a potential alternative to conventional hearing aids for people with severe-profound hearing loss.  Your audiologist may struggle to provide you with the best available sound via a conventional hearing aid due to the extent of your hearing loss at certain frequencies/pitches.  Some people will be able to hear more with a cochlear implant.

A cochlear implant may help you to:

  • Hear sounds in your environment
  • Hear speech
  • Monitor the pitch and volume of your own voice
  • Assist lip reading
  • Use the telephone
  • Listen to music

It is a hearing device that is made up of an electrode that is surgically implanted into your inner ear and a processor that you wear over your ear like a hearing aid.

The nearest centre for cochlear implants is the Emmeline Centre at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.  Please visit their website for more information:

www.cuh.nhs.uk/emmeline-centre-for-hearing-implants.

If you are interested in finding out whether a cochlear implant may be suitable for you, speak to your Audiologist who will be able to refer you to the Emmeline Centre for more information and an assessment appointment to check for your suitability.

Whilst you are waiting for your cochlear implant assessment, it can be very helpful to speak directly to someone who has already received an implant.  Advanced Bionics, one of the companies who manufacture cochlear implants, run a mentoring program, through which you will be put in touch with someone similar to you who will share their cochlear implant experience.  Please visit their website to find out more and apply for the mentoring program:

www.advancedbionics.com

The Hearpeers Mentor Programme offers valuable information and support on life with a hearing implant. It allows you to connect directly with hearing implant users who understand your concerns first-hand, having been through the process and will give you the details without the jargon. And, should you decide to embark on this exciting journey, there’s someone who can help support you.

uk.hearpeers.com

The Norwich Cochlear Implant Social Group provide opportunities to meet with others who have been through the cochlear implant process individually or in a group setting.

norwichcochlearimplantgroup@gmail.com

Whatsapp/Text: 07917274076

Facebook: Norwich Cochlear Implant Social Group

Applications (Apps)

There are many Applications (or Apps) that may be helpful to you as someone with a severe-profound hearing loss.  Here are a few suggestions:

Live Caption: free speech-to-text app.  Ask someone to speak into this app and their words will appear as text on your screen

Text Hear: speech-to-text app that can also couple to landline corded phones for captioning output.  Free demo.

Sound Hound: free app that listens to music and brings up artist, song, album and will also display synchronised lyrics.

Relay UK: helps deaf, speech-impaired, and hearing people talk to each other over the phone using text relay. When you make a call, a Relay Assistant (RA) will type the other person’s conversation for you to read in the app. You can either type your reply or just speak through your phone as normal

www.relayuk.bt.com

RogerVoice – Caption your phone calls instantly! Simply read the live transcriptions and you’ll never miss out again.

Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications – Automatic speech recognition and sound detection technology, Live Transcribe & Sound Notifications provides you with free, real-time transcriptions of your conversations and sends notifications based on your surrounding sounds at home.

PhonakMyCall-to-Text –  The Phonak myCall-to-Text app allows you to read, in real time, what the person on the other end of the phone says.

E-mail Service

We are aware that patients with severe-profound hearing loss often have difficulty using the telephone. It is possible to contact the Audiology Secretaries by e-mail with any general enquiries:  audioadmin@nnuh.nhs.uk

Please be aware that email messages you send or receive from the hospital may not be secure.

Please keep any confidential information disclosed to a minimum.

We recommend you only include your initials, hospital number and date of birth in e-mail correspondence with us.

If you would prefer the appointments office to contact you by e-mail rather than by phone, please ask your Audiologist to complete a consent form with you so that you can register for this service.