Help and support with hearing loss

If you are experiencing problems with your hearing or have been diagnosed with a hearing loss condition, there is support available from your local council and partnership agencies.

If you would like information for children and young people, there is also our article on hearing loss or deafness in our Local Offer.

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What is hearing loss

Some people are born without hearing or have limited hearing and some people experience hearing loss over a period of time.

Loss of hearing can also be caused by the aging process and a range of conditions including ear wax, ear infection, exposure to a loud noise and Meniere’s disease.  Some of these conditions are treatable and normally temporary.

Getting help

If you are concerned about your hearing contact your GP as they may be able to treat the problem if it is caused by a temporary condition.

If your GP identifies anything that they are unable to deal with they will, with your consent, refer you to an Audiologist for hearing tests

There is sometimes a long waiting list for these tests so you could book a test in a local pharmacy or at an opticians who offer this service.  There could be a charge for this service.

Dual sensory impairment (sight loss and hearing loss)

Dual sensory impairment is when people have sight loss and hearing loss.

If you are dual sensory impaired you can find tailored support, advice and information from Sense and Deafblind UK.

These organisations provide a wealth of information including wellbeing and emotional support, technology, social groups, and holidays.

Further support

If you have hearing loss you may be worried that your condition could affect your social and work life and how you manage at home.

There are several sources of support for hearing loss:

Relay UK telephone system – helps people with hearing and speech difficulties communicate with anyone over the phone, using the national relay service.

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People can provide further information and support with living with hearing loss and the Gloucester Deaf Association (GDA) also provides services in South Gloucestershire with daily living support and deaf awareness training courses.

Lip reading classes

Lip reading classes are a great way to improve your communication skills and learn how to manage your hearing loss better. Classes will help you build confidence in coping with hearing loss, receive support and you also get to meet other deaf and hard of hearing people. Classes are fun, friendly and sociable and cover a range of topics, with opportunities to practice lip reading skills. Everyone is welcome, you don’t need to be an experienced lip reader to attend.

Classes currently take place in the following venues during term time:

  • Yate and Chipping Sodbury: Tuesday 10am - 12pm and Tuesday 7 - 9pm

More classes are being arranged for the above venue. For further information or for an informal chat, email Becca Birtles, Lipreading Teacher, at becca@lip-reading.co.uk

  • North Common: Tuesday 1.30 – 3.30pm
  • Thornbury: Wednesday 1.30 - 3.30pm
  • Warmley: Wednesday 10am - 12pm

For further information or for an informal chat, please call Mary Hall, Lipreading Teacher, on 077902 83939.

Deaf, Deafblind, Deafened and Hard of Hearing Group

Local service users experiencing hearing loss can help influence change in local services by joining our Deaf, Deafblind, Deafened and Hard of Hearing Group.

The group meets four times a year at the council’s Badminton Road office in Yate. Key statutory, voluntary, community and faith sector partners and service users come together to discuss ways to remove barriers and accessibility issues which can make it difficult for people experiencing hearing loss to live an independent life. Since returning to meetings after Covid, we have been meeting virtually however we are returning to face-to-face meetings this Summer 2022.

We are always keen to welcome new members. If you know anyone who might like to join, please contact Laura Powell (Commissioning Officer) at laura.powell@southglos.gov.uk.

Occupational Therapy assessment and assistive technology

You can contact the council to request an Occupational Therapy assessment which can provide information on equipment to manage your hearing loss such as amplified phones, pager systems or hearing loops.  If you would like to arrange an assessment, contact the First Contact team on 01454 868007 or by email csodesk@southglos.gov.uk.

The council also have useful advice on their website about Assistive Technology that can support you in your home and allow you to remain independent.

Benefits

There are certain benefits available to people with hearing loss. These benefits can provide financial help towards the cost of equipment to assist with managing your home, studying or to support you at work.  The Royal National Institute for Deaf People have information on benefits available.

Discounted Rail and Coach Travel

The Disabled persons railcard offers discounted rail travel for people with disabilities.  For further information see the website.

The Disabled coach card offers discounted coach travel for people with disabilities.  For further information see the website.