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Types of earwax removal techniques

4 Min read

13th Jul 2023

The different types of earwax removal techniques

Here at our private hearing centres in Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of auditory health and services. Today, we want to take some time to discuss an often overlooked but crucial aspect of hearing health: earwax removal.

Signs you may need your earwax removed

Earwax is not created as a bad thing. It is actually a protection mechanism for the ear canal; the issue only occurs when there is too much. You may need it removed if you have:

  • A feeling of fullness in the ear.
  • The sensation that everything you hear is muffled.
  • Mild Tinnitus (a ringing in the ear).
  • Sudden hearing loss after swimming or showering.(Earwax is like a sponge, it soaks up the water and expands within the ear canal, completely blocking it.)

Earwax removal techniques

Earwax removal

There are several methods to safely remove earwax, and we are proud to offer these services right in our clinics in Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon. 

  1. Microsuction

Microsuction is a popular and safe method of earwax removal. It involves using a microscope to view the ear canal and a small medical suction device to gently suck out the wax. This method is generally quick, painless, and usually doesn’t require any pre-treatment with ear drops.

  1. Ear Irrigation

Ear irrigation is another common method. This technique uses a pressurised flow of water to dislodge the wax buildup. This method is used if the wax is very soft and wet. This is often the case if the patient has been using lots of aggressive ear drops such as Otex.

  1. Endoscopic Earwax Removal

This method uses a narrow tube-like instrument with a light and a camera lens at the end (an endoscope). The endoscope allows us to look deep into the ear canal and remove the earwax safely and effectively. This procedure is often more comfortable than microsuction and can be highly effective for complex cases or difficult-to-reach wax.

How much is earwax removal?

All our methods are charged at £80 and we will decide at your appointment which would best suit you. This includes a 30 minute appointment, involving a video otoscopy to record images of your ear drums before and after the procedure and ear wax removal for one or both ears as required.

If a second, or follow up appointment is required, this will be charged at a reduced rate of £40. If no ear wax is found, we will perform a Tympanometry test to measure your middle ear function and rule out any fluid or congestion in the middle ear, this will be a fee of £40. We will give advice or arrange an onward referral to an appropriate medical specialist if required.

Why choose our clinics in Stratford-upon-Avon and Worcester

At our hearing centres, we have a team of highly skilled audiologists who are experienced in these earwax removal methods. We understand that every ear is unique, and so we personalise our approach based on your specific needs.

Our Audiologists are all hospital trained Clinical Audiologists. They have been trained in the specialist NHS Rotherham ear care unit and examined for competency in ear wax removal procedures by ENT surgeons. All our audiologists have also performed procedures on 100s of ears in logged training under the supervision of Victoria Dixon, who has been teaching ear wax removal in the private sector for 15 years.

At our Stratford and Worcester hearing centres, we use medical ENT microscopes or high spec surgical loupes, which give a much higher level of magnification than magnified glasses commonly used by makeshift earwax removal clinics in many national companies, pharmacies and opticians. This ensures the Audiologist has a clear view of what he/she is doing and accurate depth perception maximises safety and effective outcome of the procedure.

We use clinical, highest specification, ENT suction units, made by Otopront. These suction units are substantially more advanced than the small portable off label home suction units commonly used by other companies.

Maintaining your hearing health is our top priority. So, why not take the first step today and book an appointment with us? With locations in Stratford-upon-Avon and Worcester, professional help is right around the corner.

If you have any questions or concerns about earwax removal, or if you’re experiencing symptoms like hearing loss, discomfort, or tinnitus, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is ready to assist you on your journey towards better hearing.

Let us help you unblock the silence and enjoy the sounds of life again.



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Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon Director of Audiology

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Earwax removal in Stratford-upon-Avon & Worcester

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Earwax removal for £80 in Stratford-upon-Avon & Worcester

Earwax buildup is a common problem that can cause discomfort and even hearing loss if left untreated. At our Stratford-upon-Avon & Worcester hearing centres, we offer earwax removal services for just £80.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the signs that you may need your earwax removed, as well as our methods of removal and why you should choose us.

Signs you may need your earwax removed

Firstly, let’s take a look at the signs you may need your earwax removed. These include a feeling of fullness in the ear, muffled hearing, mild tinnitus, or sudden hearing loss after swimming or showering.

The cause of these symptoms is through excessive earwax buildup, which can be safely and easily removed by a professional.

Our earwax removal methods in Stratford-upon-Avon & Worcester

At Stratford-upon-Avon & Worcester hearing centres, we offer three methods of earwax removal. These are Microsuction, Ear Irrigation & Instrumentation, and Endoscopic Earwax Removal. 

Microsuction earwax removal

  • The procedure is undertaken with a microscope and a finely balanced medical suction device.
  • No liquids are present during the procedure, making it extra comfortable for you.
  • Because we can see the ear canal and what we are doing clearly, it is exceptionally safe.

Ear irrigation & instrumentation

  • This consists of pumping water into the ear canal at a controlled and steady rate, to dislodge and flush out ear wax.
  • We place a metal basin beneath the ear to collect the water and any earwax.
  • This method is for when the wax is very soft and wet. This is often the case if the patient has been using lots of aggressive ear drops such as Otex.

Endoscopic earwax removal

  • This method has clear advantages over any other removal method.
  • Newly introduced procedure that removes ear wax with the help of an endoscope.
  • We then use an endoscope to view the ear canal while the earwax is being removed.
  • The endoscope allows us a high definition, extra wide view of the ear canal – making the removal even safer and easier to perform.

Why choose us for your earwax removal

  • Our audiologists are all hospital trained Clinical Audiologists in the specialist NHS Rotherham ear care unit. Additionally, they are examined for competency in ear wax removal procedures by ENT surgeons. 
  • We also use medical ENT microscopes or high spec surgical loupes and clinical, highest specification, ENT suction units made by Otopront. These advanced tools ensure that our procedures are safe and effective, as well as our team being well-equipped to provide you with the best possible care.
  • We offer state-of-the-art facilities that are fully equipped with the latest technology, all in place to offer you a luxury patient experience.

Pricing and appointment details

The fee for our ear wax removal appointment at both Stratford-upon-Avon & Worcester is £80, which includes a 30 minute appointment and ear wax removal for one or both ears as required. If you need a second appointment to complete the procedure, it will be at a reduced rate of £40. If there is no earwax, we will perform a Tympanometry test to measure your middle ear function and rule out any fluid or congestion in the middle ear.

Our cancellation procedure

Finally, if you need to cancel your appointment, please do so at least 24 hours prior to the allocated start time. We will not rebook appointments that are not attended or cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice. This is unless a £40 no show fee is paid.

Don’t let excessive ear wax cause discomfort or hearing loss. Contact Stratford-upon-Avon & Worcester hearing centres today to schedule an earwax removal appointment for just £80.





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Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon Director of Audiology

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The difference between wet and dry ear wax?

3 Min read

23rd Feb 2023

What is the difference between wet and dry ear wax?

Earwax, also known as Cerumen, is a natural substance produced by the ceruminous glands in our ear canal. It plays an important role in protecting the ear from dust, bacteria, and other foreign particles – but not all earwax is created equal. There are two types of earwax: wet and dry.

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between wet and dry earwax and what causes earwax.

Wet Ear wax

Wet earwax is the most common type of earwax and is produced in larger amounts. It is soft, sticky, and yellow or brown in colour. Wet earwax acts as a lubricant and is important in trapping foreign particles and dust, preventing them from reaching the eardrum. This type of earwax is usually removed naturally as we move our jaw and when we talk, chew or yawn.

Dry Ear wax

Dry earwax, on the other hand, is less common and is produced in smaller amounts. It is flaky and brittle and can be yellow, grey, or brown in colour. Dry earwax is not as effective as wet earwax in trapping foreign particles and is more likely to cause blockages in the ear canal.

What Causes Ear wax?

The production of earwax is a natural process that is controlled by the ceruminous glands in our ear canal. The exact cause of earwax production is not known, but it is believed to be related to the pH level and moisture in our ear canal.

Some people produce more earwax than others, and this can be due to genetics or lifestyle factors such as the use of hearing aids, earplugs, or other objects that can block the ear canal.

What are the symptoms of earwax blockage?

When earwax accumulates in the ear canal and becomes impacted, this could cause a blockage. Some common symptoms of this include:

  • Earache: The pressure from the buildup of earwax can cause pain or discomfort in the ear.
  • Hearing loss: Earwax blockage can reduce the amount of sound that reaches the eardrum, leading to temporary hearing loss.
  • Tinnitus: A ringing or buzzing sound in the ear can be a symptom of earwax blockage.
  • Itching: The presence of earwax can cause itching in the ear canal.
  • Dizziness: A blockage of earwax can disrupt the balance mechanism in the inner ear and cause dizziness.
  • Fullness in the ear: A feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear is a common symptom of earwax blockage.
  • Discharge: In some cases, earwax blockage can lead to discharge from the ear.

Suffering with blocked ears?

We can remove your earwax in one 30 minute appointment.

At both our hearing centres in Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon, we provide a range of ear cleaning services to best suit your condition. These include: micro-suction, endoscopic and irrigation earwax removal.

woman having ear wax removed

What to expect at your appointment

  1. You’ll be greeted by our friendly reception staff who will assist you with the registration process.
  2. Our clinical audiologist will then assess your wax build up and decide the most appropriate method of removal.
  3. Removal of ear wax via the appropriate method (microsuction, instrumentation, irrigation or endoscopy).
  4. Application of cetrimide antiseptic cream (to ensure the ear stays calm and no dry skin irritation occurs).
  5. A post procedure assessment to ensure all wax is cleared and a healthy ear is observed. 

Attempting to clear earwax from home could lead to further problems; leave it to our registered clinical specialists. Request your earwax removal appointment today 

Request an Appointment
Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon Director of Audiology

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The Best Ear Wax Removal Method For Wet Ear Wax

3 Min read

27th Dec 2019

The different types of ear wax

Earwax lubricates and cleans the outer ear canal, kills bacteria and traps foreign objects such as dust and fungal spores. So it isn’t actually a bad thing. Unfortunately, sometimes it builds up to the point that it blocks the ear canal, that’s when you have a problem. The thing is, not all ear wax is the same,  earwax comes in two varieties: wet and dry. The type you have is determined by your genes.

Ear Wax Removal

The best ear wax removal process for you is based on the type of ear wax you have and the consistency at the time of removal. Let’s take a look at the types and the ear wax removal methods we use in Worcester.

Wet earwax

Orange-brown, sticky and smelly. Made up of the waxy secretions of the ceruminous glands – specialized sweat glands, which are found in the outer ear canal – plus dead skin and an oily substance called sebum.

Wet earwax removal methods

The best ear wax removal methods for wet ear wax is irrigation, instrumentation or microsuction. In some cases, it may well be a combination of two or all three processes.

Dry earwax

White-beige, flaky and odourless. It is dry because it contains less of the waxy secretion and so is largely composed of dead skin. Dry earwax is caused by a mutation in a gene called ABCC11. There do not appear to be any ill effects.

Dry earwax removal methods

The best ear wax removal method for dry ear wax depends on the consistency. For instance, if it is flaky, well then microsuction will often take it out quickly. However, if it has compacted and it is solid, well then a course of olive oil, followed by microsuction and instrumentation is best.

A Case in Point

Miss Hollingshead-Irrigation

Anthea has been a Worcester Hearing Centre patient for a few years now and during this time; she has had a few earwax removal appointments. Anthea’s earwax type is wet, so she needs a combination of micro-suction and irrigation, depending on her wax build-up.

Microsuction is a safe and comfortable method of earwax removal, no liquids are introduced during the procedure which is undertaken with a microscope and a finely balanced medical suction device. The fact that we can clearly see the ear canal and what we are doing makes it exceptionally safe. With no liquids involved, it is especially comfortable for a Patient and it is usually undertaken in a few minutes.

Ear irrigation consists of pumping water into the ear canal at a controlled and steady rate, to dislodge and flush out ear wax. As the water runs out, a metal basin is placed beneath the ear to collect it and any ear wax it has flushed out.

Earwax removal has become increasingly difficult over the years to access.  Some surgeries provide this service and some don’t and there doesn’t appear to be any reason why it is different from one surgery to another. Upon attending our centre, our Team of Experts will show you your ear using the latest techniques, video otoscopy, where you will see for yourself the condition of your ear canal.  We will then determine the best method for removal of your wax, and show you again the result at the end of the consultation

To book your earwax removal appointment today, please call Worcester Hearing Centre at 01905 617803 or e-mail us at worcester@wshearing.co.uk
Contact Us

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Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon Director of Audiology

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Earwax Removal, Cleaning Your Ears The Right Way

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Earwax Removal, Cleaning Your Ears At Home

Foreign Objects & Your Ear Shouldn’t Mix

Ever hear the saying nothing smaller than your elbow in your ear? It is one of the famous “Old Wives’ Expressions”, and it is really good advice. Your ear, ear canal and ear drum are really amazing and sensitive pieces of your anatomy. The first rule of cleaning your ears is don’t, and we really mean don’t! go sticking things into your ear canal.

That includes, and this is not an exhaustive list because we know you are inventive, cotton buds, keys, pens, hair clips, and anything else that might look like it fits!  While you may in fact remove some earwax, the only thing you are really likely to achieve is to push the bulk of it deeper into your ear canal. If you keep doing it, it will end up against the eardrum, possibly causing irritation, temporary hearing loss, or even eardrum injury.

Like Other Things in Life, Earwax is a Good Thing, Too Much is the Problem

Ear wax is not just a good thing, it is actually essential, it contains protective, lubricating, and antibacterial properties. When you don’t produce enough earwax, you will suffer with dry and itchy ears. Over-cleaning of your ears produces the same results. So, mostly, earwax is a great thing and there is nothing for you to do other than washing your outer ear. Unfortunately though, for some people thats not the case.

Some people produce too much earwax, this excess earwax can become a blockage. In situations like these, the earwax will have to be removed. In cases like this, the way to go is to have the earwax removed by a professional. With microsuction earwax removal, we can actually see what we are doing, we are also trained to do it in a safe and comfortable manner. However, as you may know, there are kits available to do it at home. Here is what you need to know about earwax and how to remove it in a safe manner.

How Should You Clean Your Ears?

So what should you be doing to clean your ears? Normally, absolutely nothing. Your ears are quite an amazing piece of kit, they are the only part of your body that is self-cleaning. Your skin changes over time, with old skin simply being rubbed off as it comes into contact with clothes. The skin in your ear canal is different, it grows outwards from the middle of your eardrum to your outer ear. In this way the skin is constantly refreshed. Earwax is normally carried along, earwax normally moves from your ear canal to the outer ear and simply drops out. When you try to remove ear wax, more often than not you just interupt the natural process and cause a blockage, your ear continues to generate more wax and it just builds up behind the block.

Cleaning your ears at home

Do Not And We Really Really Mean It, Insert Anything in Your Ear, it is worth saying that again. You can damage the skin of the ear canal and cause an infection. Even worse you could perforate your eardrum, we are talking screaming at the top of your voice and peeling you off the ceiling pain here!. This means no cotton buds and no ridiculous ear candles. Ear candles don’t work, they are complete and utter rubbish. In 2010, the FDA (Yanks, but you got to love them) came right out and said they were dangerous.

Even worse, not just dangerous, absolutely completely useless for removing ear wax. They released a warning against using them, reporting that there was absolutely no scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness. They also warned that their use can bring about serious injuries. They have caused everything from serious burns to skin damage. All that and they don’t even remove the earwax.

To correctly clean your ears at home, take the following steps:

  1. Buy some earwax softening solution at the chemist, you can make it at home but be very careful. You can find instructions for making solutions on the internet, but be very careful. The mixture often includes the use of hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil, and glycerin. Hydrogen peroxide is an irritant, it is not good for your skin and especially so for the sensitive skin in your ear canal. We have heard of people who did severe damage to their eardrum with too much hydrogen peroxide. Imagine if you will it is like using drain cleaner, it will eat the drain as well if your not careful!
  2. Pour the solution into your ears from the receptacle with the kit, or by using a plastic syringe or bulb syringe. If you are using a syringe, do not be tempted to squeeze the bulb hard and add too much pressure. If you squirt water into your ear canal under too much pressure, there is a strong chance that you could burst your ear drum. Tilt your head to the side and allow the solution to work for 5-10 minutes. Time to read a book, contemplate the wall, ponder the meaning of life etc.
  3. Drain the solution out of your ear by tilting your head slowly over a container or the sink, then dry off the outer ear. Repeat until clean.

When You Need To Call Us

We have covered the DIY method, sometimes there are situations when DIY is most definitely not the way to go. If you have an active ear infection, or have suffered a perforated eardrum, you should not attempt to clean your ears at home. In fact, if you have a perforation, earwax removal by irrigation or syringing is not for you at all. If you have made a couple of attempts at self cleaning and you still feel blocked, it is also time to see a professional. This could signify a more extreme blockage that requires professional removal.

Whenever in doubt, leave it to us. Professional ear wax removal delivers the assurance that there will not any damage to your ears or you hearing from the process. In the case of earwax removal by microsuction, it is also easy, comfortable, instant and mess free.

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, give us a call on 01905 617803 today!

CONTACT US

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Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon Director of Audiology

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Endoscopic Ear Wax Removal in Worcester & Stratford Upon Avon

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Endoscopic Earwax Removal, A First For Worcester

Endoscopy ear wax removal

As part of our continual commitment to offering both choice to our customers and cutting edge clinical ear care services, we continually training to make our services better. We are committed to adopting new practices and services if they make sense for our customers and meet the best practice gold standard.

 

In line with this belief, we decided to introduce endoscopic earwax removal to our centre and we are the first in Worcester to do so. Victoria has undergone the training and become certified to offer the service. She was so impressed with it that she believes that all earwax removal should be done in this manner.

What is Endoscopic Ear Wax Removal?

Endoscopic ear wax removal is a newly introduced procedure that involves the removal of ear wax with the help of an endoscope. The endoscope is used to view the ear canal while the ear wax is being removed.

What is an Endoscope?

An endoscope is an instrument used in medical procedures to look inside the body. You may have seen one on TV during operations on medical shows. An endoscope is usually attached to a video monitor for easy viewing.

How is it performed?

The procedure is performed using a specialist endoscope.  We are using a specially designed and developed video oto-endoscope (oto means ear) for ear wax removal called the ‘iCLEARscope’. The tip of the video oto-endoscope is placed into the ear canal to provide a high-definition (HD) view of the ear canal and ear drum to allow us to remove the earwax.

What’s the advantage?

The advantage of the endoscope over any other method is that the video monitor gives a very wide and clear view of the ear canal. It is also very easy to view and allows far easier movement.

How long does it take?

The earwax removal typically takes between 15 to 30 minutes to perform. This of course can vary, there are several factors that the length of time depends on:

  • the amount and type of of ear wax
  • how deep the ear wax is
  • the method of wax removal (manual or suction)
  • whether it is being performed on  one or two ears

What are the benefits of Endoscopic Earwax Removal?

We have a full and direct view of the ear canal while the wax is being removed. The view is even better for us than the microscope. It is also easier to manipulate the suction tool or any other tool we are using. This makes the procedure quicker, safer and more comfortable. Other benefits include:

There is often no need to apply ear drops to soften the wax, which is the case with ear irrigation. However, a spray of pharmaceutical olive oil he evening before your appointment about an hour before bed, will help condition the skin and make the procedure even more comfortable

There is no liquid used, as is the case with other methods of wax removal. The procedure is performed dry which eliminates the risk of infection of the ear canal or ear drum.

Unlike wet methods of ear wax removal like irrigation, the procedure can be performed on people with perforated eardrums or grommets, mastoid cavity and cleft palate.

Exceptionally Safe

The view of the ear canal provided while we work allows us to clearly see what we are doing makes this procedure exceptionally safe. Because there are no liquids involved, it is also especially comfortable. I will be undergoing training and certification myself shortly. So if you are looking for earwax removal in Worcester or Stratford Upon Avon,

Request your Consultation Now by Ringing 01905 617803 or Simply Book it Online.

Request an Appointment
Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon Director of Audiology

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Microsuction Earwax Removal, So What Happens

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7th Apr 2015

So What Exactly Happens During Microsuction Earwax Removal?

Micro Suction Earwax Removal

Microsuction earwax removal is a mainstay of the clinical ear care we offer in our hearing aid centre in Worcester and our Stratford Hearing Centre. As part of our commitment to offering cutting edge and comprehensive ear care to our Patients we felt that we needed to offer this service.

In order to offer the service we have invested in the best available clinical ear care equipment available and we designed a purpose-built suite for undertaking clinical ear care. We offer irrigation earwax removal as well, but we find that many of our customers prefer microsuction.

Why Microsuction?

We believe that microsuction is probably the safest, most comfortable method of earwax removal. No liquids are introduced during the procedure which is undertaken with a microscope and a finely balanced medical suction device. The fact that there is no liquids involved in the procedure tend to mean that it is very comfortable with the least possible mess or fuss. Using the microscope we can clearly see into the ear canal as we are working, being able to clearly see what we are doing makes the procedure exceptionally safe.

What Happens During Microsuction?

The microsuction procedure is relatively simple, you will arrive for your appointment and be booked in. At the beginning of the procedure we will ask you a series of ear health questions in order that we get a full understanding of your ear health to date. Some of these questions are designed to give us an idea about any contraindications to performing the procedure. We do this to ensure that the procedure is safe for you. There would be very few reasons why we should not be able to undertake micro-suction.

We will then view the ear canals to assess wax levels if, in fact, you do have wax we will then move onto the removal procedure proper. In some cases, people who think they have a wax problem actually don’t and the ear canals are clear. In this case, we will perform a screening test on your hearing to assess any issues. If we feel there is a problem we will ask you you wish to book in for a hearing examination proper.

Removing ear wax

Removing The Wax

The procedure itself is usually quite quick, but it depends on the amount of wax involved and its consistency. We will use a microscope and a large specula (cone-shaped implement). We place the specula in the ear in order that we can focus through it and get good access to the ear canal. We then use the suction device to remove the wax gently. Once we have finished, we will again view the ear canal to make sure it is clear. We will repeat the process on the second ear if need be.

After The Removal

After the removal procedure is finished, we will always as a courtesy undertake a screening test on your hearing. This allows us to establish some information about your ability to hear. If we see anything that may concern us, we will ask you if you wish to be booked in for a full hearing examination.

If have any questions or if you would like to book an appointment for earwax removal at our Worcester hearing centre or our Stratford hearing centre, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01905617803 or 01789 264111, alternatively book your appointment online now.

BOOK YOUR EARWAX REMOVAL

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Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon Director of Audiology

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Not sure where to begin?

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If you are not sure where to begin with solving your hearing problems we have put together a few questions to help us tailor our support to your needs and guide you to the right place for information that might help.

Do you suffer from hearing loss?

Do you think your issue could be related to a build-up of ear wax?

From the information you have given, you may need Ear Wax removal treatment. An audiologist can asses your situation at your appointment and perform the treatment required. If no wax is present the audiologist will advise you accordingly.

Do the people around you seem to mumble and not speak clearly?

Do you tend to go out less because it is hard for you to follow other people's conversations?

Has anyone ever told you that they often have to repeat things to you?

Is it difficult for you to follow other people's conversations in noisy environments, for example, in restaurants?

Do you find yourself having to turn up the television or radio to hear speech better?

Based on your answers so far, it looks like you might be experiencing hearing loss

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In order to provide you with the bespoke care we offer to all of our customers, we need to know where you are in your journey to better hearing.

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