How’s your hearing?

Round & About


Don’t suffer in silence, EarLab can help get you enjoying life again

It can be difficult to tell someone you think they need to get their hearing checked. Even for older people, the stigma of hearing loss and hearing aids leads many to ignore the problem for years.

Hearing loss can be frustrating but also socially isolating, meaning people withdraw from busy environments or background noise.

Even from the age of 40, without ear disease, we start to lose our ability to hear high pitched sounds. Some, with a family history of hearing loss or with ear disease, will lose hearing more appreciably at a faster rate. Hearing loss in this respect is due to inner ear loss (sensorineural) and not usually reversible.

Some hearing loss, however, is conductive. This means sound cannot get to the inner ear due to obstruction in the canal (wax, infection, abnormalities) or problems with the ear drum and bones of hearing.

I would encourage patients with hearing loss to get checked out by a professional. A good start is to have the ears checked and cleared of wax at which point a proper assessment of the ear health can be made. After this hearing tests and occasionally referral to an ENT clinic may be advised.

l Mr David Walker
Consultant ENT Surgeon, EarLab, Haslemere

Ear wax removal and specialist advice
£85 for both ears

Hear clearly

Round & About


Try ear microsuction as a way to help hearing loss

Any readers who have experienced painful or blocked ears will know how troublesome it can be. The loss of hearing resulting from a blocked or damaged ear can leave us disorientated, imbalanced or even socially isolated.

Ear wax (cerumen) is a normal product of the ear canal. It is produced by glands in the skin and traps dust, dead skin cells and whatever else ends up in the ear.

A build up of wax can be due to small ear canals, skin conditions such as eczema, or overuse of earbuds which push wax deeper into the ear. GP Practice Nurses used to provide ear syringing (flushing the blockages with warm water) but increasingly this isn’t provided.

Ear microsuction is the procedure to remove wax from the ear safely. In hospital Ear, Nose and Throat clinics it is how we clear ears for examination, treatments and as part of surgery. Using a microscope and a miniature suction device, wax and blockages can be removed safely and precisely within a few minutes. Patients who particularly benefit are hearing aid users, in whom a build up of wax can cause feedback and discomfort.

If performed by trained and experienced professionals, this is an excellent way of keeping ear canals clear. If you have blocked, painful or itching ears, this treatment could be a simple fix and avoid the wait for a GP appointment.

Mr David Walker MBChB FRCS (ORL-HNS) MSc Consultant ENT Surgeon, EarLab, Haslemere

Contact 01428 870111 or