How do I access the service?

Access is via referral from a hospital consultant, there is no direct referral pathway from your GP at present. If you are having problems with dizziness/ imbalance you should first see your GP.  For persistent problems, they may refer you to a hospital consultant who may then request balance testing. 

What happpens when my referral is made?

All referrals are received by our clerical officer, checked and prioritised.  An appointment is then sent to you by post to the address given in the referral.  Sometimes appointments are available at short notice and we may telephone you to see if you can come to one.  

Things you should do before attending your appointment please:

  • One week before the appointment: ensure your ears are clear of wax by visiting your GP/practice nurse and ask them to remove any wax.
  • For the 48 hours before your appointment:
    • Avoid taking any alcohol
    • Stop taking the following medication (Please speak to you GP if you have any concerns about stopping your medication)
      • Prochlorperazine (also known as Stemitil or Buccastem)
      • Cinnarizine (also known as Stugeron)
      • Cyclizine
    • Try to avoid being over tired – get 2 good nights sleep and avoid night shifts if possible.
  • On the day of your appointment:
    • Do not wear any mascara or any other eye  make-up as this will interfere with testing
    • Bring with you any glasses you regularly wear
    • Wear comfortable clothing that allows easy movement
    • Try to get a lift to and from the hospital, it is not advisable to drive immediately after testing so we advise making alternative travel arrangements for your journey home.

What will happen at my appointment?

The appointment will last between 30 and 90 minutes depending on the testing required.

During the appointment the audiologist or clinical scientist will ask questions related to your balance and conduct a number of routine tests. Some tests will involve you performing basic standing and walking exercises, others will be more advanced.

After all the tests have been completed your clinician will explain and discuss the findings with you and suggest appropriate treatment if required.