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A new safe and quick solution for ear wax

Sorry, I didn’t catch that?

At our age, we might think hearing problems are part of growing older; but for many, reduced hearing can be caused simply by a build-up of wax in our ear canals.

It seems, according to recent reports, that around 2.3 million people in the UK have problems with ear wax each year.

Wax in the ear is normal and at the right levels, a very useful thing. It cleans, lubricates and protects the lining of the ear by trapping dirt and repelling water. Without earwax, the skin inside your ear would become dry and could become cracked and infected.

The problem is that ear wax can build up leading to blocked or painful ears plus cause hearing problems. Wax can also harden again causing problems in the ear canal.

When this happens, most people are aware that we shouldn’t poke our ears with cottonwool buds or similar; this can cause serious damage to the ear canal and ear drum.

Doctors usually recommend you put in warm oil or other softening drops for a few days, and then return to the surgery to have your ears gently syringed with warm water. Alternatively, there are drops that you can buy over the counter which might soften and loosen earwax.

The big problem with both these solutions is time. Putting drops into your ear blocks the ear canal so that you can be totally deaf for some time until it clears. This can cause immense problems in many aspects of normal life.

Now at last there is easy access to an alternative treatment.

Microsuction is an alternative way to remove earwax. The procedure does what it says: with a very gentle vacuum machine specially designed for ears, it softly sucks out the wax. The process has been available in some hospitals and treatment areas for some years, but is not offered by general doctors in the UK. In fact until recently it has been really difficult for members of the public to benefit from this form of treatment for ear wax.

But of course things change, and at last microsuction is being offered by some private health clinics. Generally, you don’t need a doctor’s referral, you can simply call up and make an appointment.

We decided to find out more. Leading the field is the recognized Clear Ear Clinic in London. Registered with the Care Quality Commission and employing qualified and experienced professionals, it has been working in this area for some years and is acknowledged as an expert. The Clear Ear Clinic now runs a clinic offering affordable ear wax removal for everyone and the whole operation is surprisingly simple.

Appointments can often be made on the same day (as they say, when wax suddenly blocks the ear, no one wants to wait too long). The clinic offers all the comforts one would expect from a private clinic but not the cost. Instead, for under £100, one can pop in, have one’s ears examined carefully, and if appropriate have ear wax removed. This simply means lying back on an examination bed and the practitioner will gently vacuum the wax out. There is a soft whishing noise and a gentle flow of air in the ear canal, but it is very gentle indeed and is over very fast.

It seems soon microsuctioning will become far more widespread for treating earwax. This will be a great improvement for many people who currently have to undergo days of deafness from ear drops before finally having their ears cleared.

More information about the Clear Ear Clinic is at : http://clearearclinic.com

National Health information on ear wax is at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Earwax/Pages/Treatment.aspx

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