Hearing Problems? Don’t suffer in silence

With more than 40% of over 50 year-olds suffering some sort of hearing issues and 11 million people in the country with hearing loss, it has never been more important to look after your ears and to get them checked regularly by an audiologist as part of your normal healthcare routine. A build up of earwax can sometimes be to blame for hearing loss and whilst it is crucial for healthy ears as it protects ears from dirt and germs, a build-up can be troublesome and needs to be safely removed in order to restore hearing functionality. Darren, 59 years old from Dartmouth, visited Devon HearingCare because he was experiencing a dull ache and also deafness with a feeling of being blocked up in both ears. The hearing care assistant used a hand-held microscope and light to assess the inside of his ear. Darren was advised that his ear was blocked with natural wax and it was covering the ear drum which was preventing the sound from penetrating, causing deafness. Once diagnosed, Darren was referred to the in-house wax removal specialist who used ‘Ear Irrigation’ to flush out the wax. The irrigation method is an effective, safe and comfortable way of dislodging the wax using warm water directed towards the sides of the ear canal. Once the short process had finished, Darren’s hearing was restored. Darren said, “I’m so pleased that I went to Devon Hearingcare to get my ears assessed. They saw me promptly and the centre is so accessible. The ear wax removal was quick, and it didn’t hurt at all. I only wish I hadn’t left it for so long, I feel much better now and can finally hear clearly again.” A build-up of earwax is relatively common and if it isn’t causing any hearing difficulties it is best to leave it alone. However, sometimes as in Darren’s case, it can be uncomfortable and cause deafness; it can also cause problems with hearing aids and exasperate tinnitus. Some people suffer with a build up of earwax if they have narrow or hairy ear canals, or sometimes the wax gets too dry causing it to get lodged. The problem can be made worse if the wax has been pushed down too far with cotton buds or hearing aids. Lynn Falzarano, hearing aid audiologist at Devon HearingCare said, “There is still an unnecessary stigma around wearing hearing aids and so we find that people commonly put off a hearing test, which means they are often suffering in silence – sometimes for years. As well as irrigation, we can use manual removal or Microsuction, where we use a small vacuum to clear out debris and wax from the ear canal; whatever the method the results are immediate and the process is quick and painless. We would urge anybody to come in for a chat with our friendly team if they are suffering with hearing problems or living with someone who does. Even if it isn’t just a case of earwax removal, technology has come so far and hearing aids are extremely discreet meaning people can carry on with their lives, hearing clearly, without anyone knowing that they ever had a problem.” For more information visit www.devonhearingcare.co.uk or call the hearing centre on 0800 0121 509.