Hearing therapy is a service offered within Audiology for patients who require extra support with hearing loss or help with managing bothersome tinnitus, hyperacusis or have auditory processing difficulties.
Hearing therapists can offer guidance on communication tactics, support with hearing aid management and advice on assistive devices to help people with hearing loss both at home and in the workplace.
Many of our newest hearing aids are compatible with various Bluetooth accessories allowing connectivity with external microphones, smartphones and more. Leaflets detailing the accessories available for purchase for your hearing aids can be provided by your hearing specialist. However should you wish for more detailed information or require assistance following a purchase of a Bluetooth hearing aid accessory, we offer a Bluetooth devices drop in clinic.
This clinic is open every last Wednesday of the month, from 14:00 to 16:00 hrs. The clinic is held in Audiology 2 and gives you the chance to seek advice about, view and even try-out the different Bluetooth accessories on offer.
Further support is available through Sensory Services. The location of which will be dependent on your postcode. Click here for Sensory Services contact information
Tinnitus is the perception of sound without an external source. It is a symptom resulting from an increased sensitivity of the brain to sound. Tinnitus is heard in one or both ears or in the head. The nature of the sound varies from one individual to another. Tinnitus is extremely common, affecting 1 in 10 people. For a small minority it can be distressing.
Our team of specialists assess and treat patients with troublesome tinnitus. Our aim is to identify the cause and/or the perpetuating factors of an individual’s tinnitus and suggest appropriate interventions. There are many ways to significantly reduce the perception of tinnitus and the distress it causes.
We use evidence based interventions including information counselling, sound therapy (including hearing aids and white noise generators), methods of relaxation, wellbeing/stress management advice and cognitive behavioural therapy techniques. The actual treatment used depends on the individual and the cause of the tinnitus.
Our team includes a clinical psychologist (on a part time basis) who can provide further emotional/psychological support for those tinnitus patients who require it
We also treat patients with hyperacusis, a heightened sensitivity to everyday sounds, and misophonia, an intense dislike of specific sounds. These symptoms can occur on their own or in association with tinnitus.
If you experience tinnitus, your GP may refer you to an ENT doctor, or to Audiology. At these appointments your ear health and hearing levels will be checked, and your symptoms discussed. Further investigation and/or management may be suggested.
Many people describe an awareness of tinnitus but find that this does not cause them any concern. For people who experience a greater degree of anxiety or disruption from their tinnitus, a referral to a hearing therapist or tinnitus audiologist may be made.
Central perception, whether altered through aspects such as stress, anxiety or muscle tension can change how our brain interprets sounds we hear. Below we have linked a series of muscle relaxation, breathing and mindfulness based exercises, which have been recorded by our clinical psychologist:
Progressive Muscle Relaxation - https://soundcloud.com/royal-berkshire-hospital-audiology/progressive-muscle-relaxation/s-FPWoo
The Mountain Meditation - https://soundcloud.com/royal-berkshire-hospital-audiology/the-mountain-meditation/s-VeDQt
Rhythm Breathing Exercise - https://soundcloud.com/royal-berkshire-hospital-audiology/rhythm-breathing-exercise/s-5XbxB
Further information relating to tinnitus (including information for British Sign Language users) can be found on the NHS choices Tinnitus website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tinnitus/
West Drive Buildings
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Reading RG1 5AN
Phone: 0118 322 7238
Fax: 0118 322 7075