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Glossary: H

Health visitor

Health visitors are qualified nurses who have had further training in health care. They give help and advice to families about the care of young children. They see babies for routine developmental assessments. Some health visitors undertake the newborn hearing screen in community clinics at about 10 days of age. 

Hearing aid

Hearing aids amplify sound. Air-conduction hearing aids do this by channelling the amplified sound through an earmould into the ear. Bone-conduction hearing aids convert the amplified sound into vibrations that are transferred across the skull-bone to the cochlea.  The sounds picked up by the microphone are converted into electrical signals. These signals are then converted into data. The hearing aid is programmed to change the data, or certain bits of the data in a similar way to how a computer processes information. The data is then converted back into sound and sent out through the earmould.

Hearing aid analyser (test box)

A piece of equipment used by audiologists and Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs) to check the electroacoustic performance  of a hearing aid. *check the acoustic performance

Hearing aid retainer ('huggies')

A hearing aid retainer is a latex ring with bands that fit around the hearing aid. The latex ring fits around the whole ear to keep the hearing aid in place. Often known as 'huggies'. They are available from your child's audiologist or hearing aid clinic.

Hearing Impaired Resource Base

A specialist provision usually attached to a mainstream school.  It supports deaf students at the school and sometimes deaf children who attend other schools in the area.  Some classrooms in the school may have been adapted for teaching deaf children.  A Hearing Impaired Resource Base is staffed by qualified Teachers of the Deaf. 


Hyperacusis is a term used to describe a general oversensitivity of the hearing so that everyday environmental sounds appear loud, intrusive and sometimes painful to the person affected.