Frequently asked questions

Will micro-suction wax removal hurt?

There is no reason why it should. Unlike traditional irrigation there is no pressure involved and no need to actually touch the ear canal which can be very sensitive.

You may experience some mild pulling or tickling but it really shouldn’t be any worse than that. See our Micro-Suction page for more details

How much do hearing aids cost?

It depends on the age of the technology, the manufacturer and to a lesser degree the style of the hearing aid itself. They range from £600 a pair up to £3500 a pair.

In order to decide which are the most appropriate hearing aids for you, we need to understand you, your hearing loss, any physical limitations, your budget and your expectations. This will all be discussed at your consultation. 

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What are the first signs of hearing loss?

A lack of speech clarity is usually the first sign, especially in difficult acoustics – for example in noisy places like restaurants and crowds. Sometimes the volume of the TV has to go a little louder than might be comfortable for others. Other people will sometimes sound like they’re mumbling a little and they will be much harder to hear when they have their back turned or speak while walking away.  

When should I see my GP?

If we spot something unusual in a consultation we will advise you to see a GP. If you have sustained pain or discharge then you should see your doctor. Sudden hearing loss (once wax has been eliminated), sudden unilateral tinnitus or vertigo should also prompt a visit to the GP. 

Should I use drops before getting micro-suction?

It’s not usually necessary to soften before micro suction. Drops for a day or two before is okay but preferably no more. Drops can often make the wax rather soft and liquid, so it is then rather tricky to vacuum up.

However, if you have been using drops for some time – don’t worry! If we have to rinse the canal of very soft wax at the end of the procedure then it’s no problem. 

I’ve had a perforated ear drum, is micro-suction still safe?

In a nutshell – yes! As we’re not using any kind of pressure to remove the wax and are not putting water in the ear, we are not going to affect a perforation. If the wax is extremely soft, then it would not be safe to use the final stage rinse as mentioned above.  

I have tinnitus – will hearing aids help?

They can, yes. Tinnitus often accompanies hearing loss. The more dramatic the loss, often the more noticeable the tinnitus. If the hearing loss is treated it effectively restores the missing ambient noise and gives the brain something else to listen to other than the tinnitus. So, it is often the case that people who have tinnitus do not notice it at all whilst their aids are in or at least it is greatly reduced.  

Will wax removal give me vertigo?

If you suffer with some vertigo then many things can trigger it, including micro-suction wax removal, although it is very unusual. Cold water in the ear canal is more likely to trigger an attack which is not part of the procedure.  

I have mild hearing loss; shouldn’t I try and get away with it for as long as I can?

It’s our brain that actually does the hearing. The ears merely send the message, as detailed and precisely as they can. It’s important that the brain has access to as much acoustic information as possible all the time. That way it is constantly being stimulated and processes the information fluidly.

When our ears start to send less information due to hearing loss (i.e. the hairs in the inner ear becoming less sensitive, particularly to softer sounds) the brain has less information to go on. The longer this goes on, the more used to it the brain becomes and the less likely it is to re-learn how to process all the sounds accurately. Hearing loss should be treated as soon as it is noticed. 

Can I bring someone with me to treatments?

Yes! Hearing loss affects everyone – not just the individual with the loss. We would encourage you to bring a friend or family member with you.  

If you want to bring someone to a wax removal appointment then that’s okay too.

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

We are now running clinics in AJ Bass Ppticians in Downton, Wiltshire and Fordingbridge, Hampshire – come and visit!

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