Audiology and Hearing Aid Service
Contact: (0191) 223 1043 - Tom Davison, Senior Chief Audiologist
Our highly skilled and experienced Audiologists provide a comprehensive Audiology and Hearing Aid Service covering the whole of North Tyneside and Northumberland. The main Audiology department is based at the Freeman Hospital, but we also work in a number of other local hospitals across Northumbria, so you won’t have to travel a long distance to be seen.
We are the largest centre for Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) in the UK and are one of only five centres in the country providing symphonix implants - specialist hearing devices implanted in the middle ear. We are also the only NHS hospital currently offering Retro-X implant surgery, a break-through technique which uses an unobtrusive titanium hearing aid fixed in the middle ear.
Audiology and Hearing Aid Service for Children
Our children’s service looks after children right from birth to 16 years of age, particularly those with multiple disabilities or with an increased risk of permanent hearing loss.
We will test your child’s hearing levels and identify the nature and extent of any hearing loss. Once a diagnosis has been confirmed and discussed with you and any relevant educational specialist, your child will normally have a hearing aid fitted. Our specialist team will keep in close contact throughout your child’s development, reviewing their hearing and the hearing aid’s performance regularly to ensure that their needs continue to be met.
Direct Access Hearing Aid Clinic
If you’re over 50 and experiencing hearing difficulties, your GP can refer you directly to our Direct Access Hearing Aid Clinic, without your having to see a consultant first.
One of our expert Audiologists will discuss your medical history with you and assess your hearing. They’ll explain the results of the assessment with you there and then, along with any problems they’ve identified and, if appropriate, potential choices of hearing aid. In some cases, during or after the assessment, the Audiologist may decide to bring in a consultant to provide a more in-depth opinion.
If you’re an existing hearing aid user and you’re having problems with your hearing aid, you can contact the clinic directly, without needing a referral from your GP.
Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA)
Our specialist team provides a nationally recognised service for Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHAs). BAHAs are special hearing aids which are fixed directly to the bone behind the ear. We’re actually the largest provider of BAHAs in the UK and patients come to us from throughout North Tyneside, Northumberland and beyond. Our service covers everything from assessment, through surgery, to getting the best out of your hearing aid.
Usually, you will have a full assessment by your GP or ENT consultant, who will then refer you to a combined Audiology / ENT clinic at the Freeman Hospital. We also run a voluntary BAHA patient support group on the first Thursday of each month. At the group, the full BAHA process is explained, from surgery to fitting of the aid. You’ll be able to ask the team questions and talk to other patients who have had one recently fitted.
If you have already had a BAHA fitted, you can attend a combined clinic, arrange a review or ring for advice without an appointment or any further referral from your GP.
Vestibular Testing for dizziness and balance disorders
Balance disorders are rarely serious in medical terms, but they can be extremely uncomfortable, leading to dizziness and considerable discomfort. They can also be quite difficult to treat.
We offer a comprehensive vestibular investigation service for patients suffering from dizziness and balance disorders. This is where we use a whole range of specialist techniques to examine your balance organs, looking at your inner ear and how it connects to your brain and eyes.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is also available. This includes a range of therapies such as Epley’s manoeuvre for benign positional vertigo (sudden, brief attacks of dizziness, often caused by turning your head), and rehabilitation exercises.
Hearing Therapy (including tinnitus rehabilitation)
You can take advantage of our comprehensive hearing therapy and tinnitus rehabilitation service, which offers a number of services aimed at helping you to live with your condition. You can obtain advice on environmental aids, lip reading, communication tactics and tinnitus retraining therapy.