Impacted wax and Microsuctioning
It is normal for the ears to produce wax, and usually the ears are able to clear themselves of this. In some individuals however, there may be an excessive wax build up which can cause a blocked feeling in the ears and reduced hearing. This can be relieved easily by wax clearance with Microsuctioning.
At our facilities, we use Microsuctioning to clear the wax under direct vision with the use of a microscope. This can be performed as a clinic procedure, and usually provides instant relief.
It is helpful to apply emollient eardrops such as olive or almond oil to the ears daily, for at least a week leading up to the appointment, to facilitate the Microsuctioning procedure, if you are confirmed to have wax impaction.
Ear infections including outer, middle and inner ear infections
Ear infections are very common. Early diagnosis and the correct prompt treatment is important to help clear the infection quickly. If the ear becomes very swollen and blocked with discharge, it can reduce access for antibiotic drops into the ear; in these instances, we can see and perform microsuctioning to help clear the debris and allow the treatment to reach the ear more effectively.
Adults most commonly experience outer ear infection (otitis externa) which can often result in itchiness, blockage and sometimes discharge.
Middle ear infections (otitis media) are commoner in children and can present with fever, more pain and then discharge from the ear.
Inner ear infections are much less common but can affect both the hearing and balance.
It is important to clarify precisely what type of ear infection you are experiencing, in order to provide you with the correct, suitable treatment.
Sometimes, repeated ear infections can signify a possible underlying cause, which left untreated can cause damage to the hearing and balance. Clinic assessment can help to check for any such potential cause and discuss suitable management options.
Glue ear (otitis media with effusion) is particularly common in young children but can also occur in adults. It results from fluid build-up behind the eardrum, which results in a blocked, muffled feeling and reduced hearing.
Glue ear typically affects both ears but if it is only affecting one ear, particularly in an adult, further assessments maybe needed to check for any potential underlying cause.
There are a number of potential treatment options for glue ear, which can be discussed with you at your consultation.
Eustachian tube dysfunction
Patients can sometimes have problems equalising their ears when flying, which can cause, pressure, pain or a muffled feeling. Sometimes the ears can cause similar problems in day-to-day life, where the Eustachian tubes are not working effectively to equalise ear pressure. In clinic, we can assess and arrange the necessary investigations, and advise on potential available options to help address Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.
Hearing loss is common with increasing age, but it can affect people of all ages. At our facilities we have access to expert audiology services to assess your hearing and we can then advise about the best management options for you.
Depending on the cause of hearing loss, some cases can be treatable. In other instances, if required, we can introduce you to specialist hearing aid providers who have access to the latest technologies.
If your hearing is affecting one ear, you will need to have further investigations, which we can arrange for you, to check for an underlying cause.
If your hearing loss is sudden in one ear (within a 72-hour period), you should seek urgent medical attention within 24 hours, for prompt medical assessment and advise.
Tinnitus is a noise that is heard in one or both ears, and this can vary from a ringing, buzzing, humming, white noise, pure tone or a beating sound.
Tinnitus is very common and affects about 1 in 10 people. It is often associated with hearing loss, and for some, it can be very intrusive. For most patients we are able to exclude an underlying cause and discuss techniques to help manage your tinnitus. Some cases require additional tests which we can help arrange for you.
Balance and vertigo disorders
There are many different systems in the body that help control our balance. The inner ear is one of the important balance organs, and may be related to a number of potential causes, including BPPV, Meniere’s disease, vestibular migraines or labyrinthitis.
We can offer a detailed clinical assessment which can help to establish a diagnosis, and then allow for the correct treatment and advice to be given. Incase your balance problem is not related to an inner ear problem, we work closely with other specialists including Neurologists, and can arrange a prompt onward referral for you.
A hole in the eardrum can sometimes lead to repeated ear infections and a degree of hearing loss. The perforation can often heal itself naturally, but in some cases, surgery may be considered, particularly to reduce frequent infections. We can assess and advise about the options suitable for you.