Hearing Centre
Crawley, West Sussex

Award Winning Audiology Plus provides a comprehensive diagnostic Hearing Assessment to determine the type and severity of the potential hearing loss. We also offer Microsuction (Ear Wax Removal), Balance & Tinnitus Management.

Hearing Aids – We wont be beaten on our Hearing Aid Prices

We are proud to offer hearing aids from top brands we buy direct from the manufacturer so we can sell at the lowest price, plus if you buy your hearing aids from us we will take the price of your hearing assessment of your final price*.

Effective communication requires good hearing. Even a fairly mild hearing loss may cause communication difficulty. Hearing aids can make communication easy, however correct fitting of hearing aids is not the final stage. Audiology Plus not only provides hearing aids from leading hearing aid manufacturers but also provides advice, support, counselling and professional treatment. Our aim is to live life without restrictions.

*T’s & C’s apply.

Assessment will include:

  • Patient Medical History
  • Pure Tone Audiometry
  • Tympanometry (Middle ear function test)
  • Otoscopy
  • According to the results of the Hearing Assessment, our Senior Clinical Audiologist can work together with you to decide whether hearing aids will or can be beneficial for your individual’s lifestyle. Audiology Plus provide a wide range of modern digital hearing aids from various manufactures such as Oticon, Widex, Starkey etc. We wont be beaten on price as we buy directly from the manufacturer we offer the lowest prices.
  • Depending on the results of the hearing assessment, we can refer you to the GP or ENT consultant either via the NHS or Privately for further investigation.
  • If you purchase your Hearing Aid from us we will REFUND THE FULL COST* of your hearing assessment.

Follow up Appointment – Within 2 weeks

  • Hearing Aid Fitting and Adjustments as required
  • Fine Tuning of Hearing aids
  • Instructions and guidance for use of hearing aids
  • Consumables – Batteries etc.
  • Information on your Free aftercare plan
  • If you buy your hearing aids from us we will take the price of your hearing assessment of your final price.
  • Free ongoing 15 minute Appointments for the lifetime of your hearing aid
  • Discuss any issues you may have with your hearing aid
  • Top up of Consumables
  • Continued aftercare

OTHER TREATMENTS INCLUDE

Ear wax can easily become impacted in the ear canal causing a blocked feeling, earache or ear infection, itchiness, tinnitus and dizziness. Also ear wax can interfere with the effectiveness of the hearing aids. Audiology Plus provides quick, safe and effective ear wax removal using a Microsuction and curette technique according to UK standards. GP referral is not required. Find out more about Ear Wax Removal here.

Audiology Plus provides a range of custom made noise protection ear plugs and custom made swim plugs. We also offer ear monitors for musicians, noise protection plugs, ear defenders, covert equipment for surveillance purposes, custom Shooting Plugs, and in the ear communication & noise protection for motorsport.

The word ‘tinnitus’ comes from the Latin word for ‘ringing’ and is the awareness of sound in the absence of any parallel external sound. This noise may be heard in one ear, in both ears or in the middle of the head. It is also sometimes difficult for the patient to pinpoint its exact location. This noise can range from a low to high frequency, and it may be a single noise or two or more components. Tinnitus can take many forms, the most common are: buzzing, whistling and hissing, some patients even hear music, nevertheless this is much rarer and is called a musical hallucination, but it is still a form of tinnitus. It can be intermittent or constant. Tinnitus is not a disease or an illness, it is a symptom produced within a person’s own auditory pathways and is not caused as often assume by disease of the ears. The precise cause of tinnitus is still not fully understood.

According to The British Tinnitus Association, around 10% of the population have tinnitus but for around 600,000 people in the UK it can be distressing. Tinnitus is very common in all age groups. There is a widely held misconception that tinnitus is confined to the elderly, but various studies have shown that it can occur at any age, even in quite young children. Mild tinnitus is very common, a majority of people have it all the time, however it may also affect the quality of some people’s life.

Tinnitus can affect people in different ways. Most people are not troubled by it as they have learned to leave with it, some may only notice it at quiet times, perhaps when they are trying to sleep. Others however, find that their tinnitus bother them in their everyday life.

The impact of suffering from Tinnitus is often taken too lightly. Research has shown that, for some people, tinnitus can lead to depression, anxiety, stress and sleep problems. It can also have a negative effect on their personal and professional life. Unfortunately, if you are stressed or anxious about your tinnitus, it is possible that it may worsen. If this happens, don’t worry, there are lots of things you can do to help break this cycle and reduce the impact that the condition has on your life. Specialist support from the audiologist, GP or even counselling can help to alleviate the distress.

Tinnitus is more common in people with hearing loss; however you can have normal hearing and still have tinnitus. There are many different causes and triggers such as those shown below, but many people may have tinnitus without ever having experienced any of these provoking factors:

  • Noise exposure
  • Ear infections
  • Some ear diseases
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Circulation problems
  • Side effects of certain medicines
  • Stress

Straining to listen causes increased central auditory gain (remember it’s the brain that turns up the tinnitus) and this increased sensitivity can allow tinnitus to occur, or if already present, it may worsen. By wearing hearing aids you are reducing this strain and the brains’ desire to increase the central auditory gain to hear the sound. Hearing aids are known to be helpful in the management of tinnitus, even if the hearing loss is relatively mild and an aid would not have normally been considered.

How do hearing aids help reduce tinnitus?

  • Improve communication
  • Divert attention from the tinnitus
  • Background sounds amplified, decreasing the prominence of tinnitus
  • Assisted hearing has psychological benefits by reducing fatigue, stress and therefore the ability to cope with the tinnitus
  • Less attention is paid to the hearing and consequently tinnitus
  • Ambient noise and internal circuit noise can make the tinnitus less audible
  • Amplified sounds produce neural activity throughout the auditory system which interfere or compete with the central auditory representation of tinnitus
  • Amplified sound divert attention to complex sounds of greater importance or interest such as speech and music

Sound Enrichment

One of the most common comments made by tinnitus suffers is that when it is quiet ‘all I can hear is the tinnitus’. It is important to have some other sound for your brain to listen to when all is quiet, eg: soft music, a fan, water feature, or any other sound that you are likely to find calming. There are inexpensive devices like sound balls that produce environmental sounds, and these are particularly useful at bedtime. Your Audiologist may introduce certain sounds to help with your tinnitus. You can choose from:

  • Soothing, relaxing sound which may reduce stress and anxiety caused by tinnitus
  • Background sound which makes it harder for the brain to detect the tinnitus
  • Interesting sound which helps direct attention away from the tinnitus

Combination Hearing Aids and White Noise Generators

These are white noise generators with a hearing aid. These are fitted when the sufferer finds that the tinnitus sound is very intrusive even when they are wearing a hearing aid. We know that sounds like white noise and pink noise can help mask out the tinnitus. These modern devices allow us to set up the noise with or without the microphone of the hearing aid switched on. This allow the audiologist to adjust the type of noise you hear and the loudness of it. You can also have multiple programmes on your hearing aid to accommodate all needs.

Tinnitus & Balance Management Appointments are 45 Minutes for £150

Symptoms of ETD can vary from mild to severe and may be different for each person.

Common Symptoms include:

  • A plugged feeling in the ears
  • Ears feeling like they are filled with water
  • Inability to clear or “pop” the ears
  • Muffled hearing or partial hearing loss
  • Ticking or popping sounds
  • A tickling sensation
  • Trouble with balance

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)

Eustachian tubes are the canals which run from the upper throat and back of the nose to the middle ear. They are situated on both sides of the face and usually remain closed, but open as a person yawns, chews and swallows. Their three principle functions are to ventilate the middle ear, protect it from pathogens and to help drain secretions from the middle ear cleft. They are prone to blockages due to the canals being small. The sensation of having blocked Eustachian tubes is uncomfortable and can be accompanied by hearing problems. Eustachian tube dysfunction is the term for any of these symptoms. Those suffering with the condition can develop a fluid congestion in the middle ear, which dries into a glue like substance. This particular type of Eustachian tube dysfunction is referred to as Otitis media with effusion or glue ear. In some cases Eustachian tube dysfunction can also develop into a middle ear infection.

Regulation of the pressure

Regulation of the pressure in the middle ear is an important mechanism for the treatment if the middle ear disorders. Normally, negative pressure in the middle ear is equalized by swallowing or yawning. If the mechanisms for regulating negative pressure are not fully effective, then after a few weeks gluey secretions develop that may lead to hearing impairment. This condition is caused by Eustachian tube dysfunction and may follow after an upper respiratory tract infection, an episode of acute otitis media or in connection with flying, diving or pressure chamber treatment.

Equalize the pressure

Using an auto inflation device provides the pressure required to open the eustachian tube helping to equalise middle ear pressure. The middle ear is thereby ventilated, any effusion can be cleared and symptoms relieved.

If the Eustachian tube becomes blocked, the negative pressure within the middle ear will draw the eardrum inwards. A middle ear effusion can develop and if not treated will become glue like in consistency.

By using an auto inflation device the negative pressure will equalise.

Why Audiology Plus?

MEET YOUR THERAPIST

PIOTR SWIATEK

BSc (Hons), RCCP, HCPC

Senior Clinical Specialist Audiologist & Hearing Aid Consultant

Piotr has been working in the audiology field for almost 12 years. He started as an Assistant Audiologist in Surrey Primary Care Trust NHS. He completed his training in Clinical Physiology & Audiology at Middlesex University in London in 2009. He continued his studies and successfully achieved BSc (Hons) in Hearing Science from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

Piotr also completed his BSc (Hons) from the Open University, where he studied modules relevant to employment in health, social work and social care. This course helped him to develop an awareness and gain knowledge about formal and informal framework of health and social care and of ethical, social, economic and political issues that influence delivery of healthcare services.

Piotr has a comprehensive knowledge in clinical physiology, audiology and hearing aid technology. He fully understands the physical and psychological basis of hearing and hearing disorders and the impact of hearing impairment on the individual’s life. He routinely performs audiological assessments, hearing aid fittings, follow ups and aftercare services for hearing aid users. He also has a broad knowledge of Tinnitus and Hyperacusis and the impact this can have on an individual. He performs tinnitus assessments on a daily basis and can fit tinnitus maskers. Audiology knowledge paired with the relevant social skills helps him to identify and deal with hearing impairment, tinnitus and other auditory disorders.

Piotr is currently working as a Senior Clinical Specialist Audiologist at Croydon University Hospital. He is also a wax removal specialist, trained at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. The ENT-led course was organised by the Ear Institute – University College London.

Audiology Plus Ltd is his private audiology practice, offering a comprehensive diagnostic hearing assessment and private hearing aid fitting, tinnitus assessment and fitting of tinnitus maskers, custom noise protection and swim plugs. The aim of his company is to make a difference to patients with hearing impairment so that they may live life without restrictions.

Piotr is a member of the Registered Council for Clinical Physiologists (RCCP) who governs the NHS audiologists. He is also the Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser (RHAD), registered with the Health and Care Professional Council.