Free hearing screening and tinnitus service with Hearing Help Essex

Content from Hearing Help Essex

Please note that all our services are only by appointment: 01245 496347, text 07950406173.

We will offer for the next 6 months the following projects:

Basic Hearing Screening:

The aim of the project is to offer an early identification of hearing loss and support service users with IAG on the next steps.

Hearing loss is often referred to as an ‘invisible disability’, and on average it takes ten years for an individual to address their hearing issues. We often hear our service users share that they can hear, but they do not understand what is being said. In most cases the use of hearing aids can help, but it takes 4 to 6 months adaptation to the hearing aids. The knowledge and lived experience of our staff and volunteer can help many people, who are worried to address their hearing loss.

During the pandemic many people were unable to access the health support for hearing loss diagnostics. The feedback that we received from our service users is that they receive very mixed messages from their GP Surgeries and the many private providers offering free hearing tests. This information can be confusing as to which services are available to them to help them address their hearing loss. We had a few service users coming to our Resource Centre, having been advised by their GPs to seek advice from private providers instead of the NHS Audiology. Many service users have asked us if the free NHS hearing aids still exist. The pandemic and the lack of face-to-face appointments with GP practices has added another layer of complexity for people to address their hearing loss.

Hearing loss is a very gradual process and often happens over a long period of time, which means it can go unnoticed. Due to the lack of visible symptoms is not something people will address without education, support, and advice. Unaddressed hearing loss is the third largest cause of years lived with disability globally. It affects people of all ages, as well as families and economies.

Therefore, we have initiated the service, furthermore all NHS hearing aids are Bluetooth and not many people are aware of that.

Low-level one-to-one emotional support with Tinnitus:

The Tinnitus support service is a 6-month pilot project offering information, advice and guidance to individuals needing Tinnitus support. The trial will aim to gather more information on the provision for a new long-term service and evaluate how we can tailor the service to meet our service user’s needs and identify any risks before substantial resources are committed. The initial idea is for Hearing Help Essex to offer a low-level emotional support and advice on 121 basis.

Tinnitus is a common condition that causes the perception of noise in the ear/s and/or head and it is not caused by an external sound. Every person’s tinnitus experience is different and can have a negative impact on their quality of life. It can be extremely distressing, causing anxiety and depression.