Our comprehensive diagnostic hearing consultation at our state-of-the-art audiology clinic in Leicester is performed by award-winning Consultant Audiologist Mr Neel Raithatha. Mr Raithatha begins by taking a thorough medical and ear history to provide an insight into the possible cause of your hearing loss. It also helps to identify any symptoms and conditions that may require a referral to your GP or an ENT specialist for further investigation.
Mr Raithatha then explores in depth with you your specific hearing concerns and how it is affecting you in your day-to-day life. This includes specific listening situations and friends or family members that you are struggling to hear and engage with.
Full Diagnostic Hearing Consultation
- (NB: We no longer provide and prescribe hearing aids)
Next, Mr Raithatha discusses and explains the anatomy and function(s) of the ear and hearing pathway, after which, he assesses your outer, middle and inner ear:
Outer Ear: Using the latest video oto-endoscope called the ‘iCLEARscope®’, developed by Mr Raithatha himself, he performs a visual examination of your outer ear. The iCLEARscope® provides an unparalleled view of your entire ear canal and eardrum compared to a standard otoscope, head loupes or even ENT microscope. This helps to identify whether you have any outer ear abnormalities, infections, ear wax or foreign bodies that may be obstructing the passage of sound through your ear canal. Mr Raithatha takes a video-recording of this outer ear examination which he can provide to you to maintain as part of your personal health and medical records.
Middle Ear: A middle-ear function test using the Titan Diagnostic Tympanometer is then used by Mr Raithatha to evaluate your middle-ear pressure, compliance and volume. This test is known as ‘Tympanometry’. The middle-ear is responsible for transmitting and amplifying sound through to your inner-ear where the organ of hearing, called the cochlea, is located. It is therefore vital to ensure sounds are being transmitted efficiently through your eardrum and middle ear bones to the inner ear.
Mr Raithatha also needs to sometimes perform more advanced middle-ear testing to assess the patency of your Eustachian Tube (ET). The Eustachian Tube is a narrow orifice that connects the middle-ear to a region of the back of the nose called the naso-pharynx. Its main duties are to equalise the air pressure behind the eardrum to the surrounding atmosphere and to allow fluid that may accumulate in the middle-ear to drain away. In addition, Mr Raithatha may also need to perform Acoustic Reflex Testing (ART) to ascertain the status and integrity of your auditory nerve, facial nerve, and stapedial muscle. A tuning fork is often used in combination with tympanometry to provide a full and accurate diagnosis of your middle-ear function.
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Inner Ear: Mr Raithatha performs a hearing test, known as Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA), in the UK’s first glass audiometric booth using the latest AURICAL AUD hearing test device. A hearing test is designed to determine the degree of hearing loss you have in each ear across the entire speech frequency range. It also helps to confirm whether you have a conductive, mixed or a permanent sensorineural hearing loss. If you have a mixed or permanent sensorineural hearing loss, further testing will be performed:
- Uncomfortable Loudness Levels (ULLs): This test provides measures of the loudest sounds that you can comfortably tolerate and any hypersensitivity to sound you may have. The results can be useful when setting the maximum sound level of a hearing aid to ensure it is never uncomfortably loud for you.
- Modified FAAF Test: This test was developed Mr Raithatha himself and assesses both your ability to hear and identify speech clearly in the presence of various levels of background noise and the cognitive listening effort required in order for you to do so. Alongside your specific hearing difficulties outlined in the case history, the results can be useful when exploring different hearing aid technologies that may assist you. This test is also sometimes used within a test battery in the diagnosis of Central Auditory Processing (CAP) disorders, which is a condition were people can still sometimes experience difficulties in processing speech in background despite having normal hearing test results.
After testing is complete, the results of the assessment will be shared and explained to you. Mr Raithatha will also provide you with a written hearing report summarising the findings of the hearing consultation. If you have a conductive or mixed hearing loss, Mr Raithatha is sometimes required to a send a referral to your GP or an ENT specialist as the cause can sometimes be medically or surgically treated. If it cannot be treated or you have permanent sensorineural hearing loss, Mr Raithatha may advise that you would benefit from hearing aids.