1What is ear wax?
Ear wax is a natural bodily secretion which, if it builds up, can cause problems with hearing, ear ache, tinnitus and dizziness. In most cases it removes itself, but in others it may have to be removed by a trained ENT health professional.
2What causes ear wax build-up?
There are a number of causes for ear wax build-up: Some people naturally create a lot of ear wax, producing hard or dry ear wax, narrow or hairy ear canals which link the opening of the ear to the ear drum, age because ear wax becomes drier as we get older, bony growths in the ear canal, frequent use of cotton buds and ear plugs or hearing aids
3What are the symptoms of ear wax build-up?
There are a range of symptoms which might improve when the ear wax is removed. These include ear ache, hearing loss, tinnitus, itchiness, dizziness and/or ear infections.
4When is ear wax removal recommended?
If you think you have a build-up of ear wax, do not try to remove it with your finger, cotton bud or anything else you could put in your ear – this can cause damage and push the wax further into your ear. As a general rule, never try to put anything into your ear.
5What does ear wax removal involve?
We use Microsuction, which is a quick and comparatively painless treatment involving a small device which sucks out the wax from your ear. This is usually a safe option even if you have a damaged ear drum.
6Why is Microsuction better?
Depending on the severity of the ear wax build up, a matter of minutes.
7How long does ear wax removal take?
Depending on the severity of the ear wax build up, a matter of minutes.
8What are the results of ear wax removal?
With the ear wax removed, any symptoms caused by the wax disappear quickly.
9What are the risks and complications of ear wax removal?
A pre-treatment assessment should reveal any perforation or tears to the ear drum, which would rule out some treatments. If the assessment does not show up a perforation or tear and you know you have had one, you should let the nurse or doctor know – carrying out some treatments where there is a damaged ear drum can cause problems. Some treatments may cause discomfort or symptom recurrence in people who have conditions of the inner ear such as Menières disease. Again, it is important to let the nurse or doctor know if you have such a condition before treatment begins.
10Is ear wax removal available on the NHS ?
Advanced ear wax removal techniques may not be widely available on the NHS. In order to be treated on the NHS you will need to be examined and referred to an NHS treatment centre by your GP or audiologist. Where ear wax removal is not available on the NHS, or where the number of NHS procedures available has been reduced and has resulted in a longer waiting time, you can choose to pay for your treatment yourself by visiting us.


1What is a hearing test?
A basic hearing test will measure the quietest sounds that you can hear across a range of frequencies or pitches, from low to high. Additional information, such as how rapidly sounds become loud for you, or your ability to hear speech or speech sounds, can also be undertaken, if necessary.
2Do I need to get my hearing tested?
If you feel your hearing is not as good as it once was, or you are struggling to hear, whether in quiet or just in noisy situations, or if you need the volume on the TV turned up , these are signs that it would be worth having your hearing tested. People’s experience shows us that it is much easier to get used to a hearing aid at an early stage, rather than waiting
3What if my hearing is worse only on one side?
It is very important you have your hearing checked out if one side deteriorates. Although rare, there are some serious causes of one-sided (often called single-sided or unilateral) deafness which may need to be ruled out, such as acoustic neuroma
4How can I get hearing aids?
Once you have had your hearing tested, our audiologist will recommend whether a hearing aid might be useful for you. Our audiologist would be happy to recommend and fit the hearing aid best suited for you.
5What is an audiogram?
An audiogram is a graph, which plots the quietest level that you can hear at each frequency tested. This is your hearing threshold. In a hearing test, the Audiologist will test your hearing at a range of frequencies from 250Hz to 8000Hz. These are listed along the base of the chart, on the horizontal axis. The loudness of the sound is listed up the side of the graph, on the vertical axis. The loudness will be between -10dBHL, which is extremely quiet, and 120dBHL, which is extremely loud.
6Interpreting the audiogram
Hearing thresholds measured for the right ear are plotted as circles ¡, and for the left ear crosses Ñ. Ranges are as follows:

● Normal hearing: You can hear quiet sounds of less than 20dBHL (although it is possible to have hearing difficulties even if your hearing is in this range)

● Mild hearing loss: Hearing loss between 20 – 40dBHL (typically you might find that you have difficulty following speech in noisy situations).

● Moderate hearing loss: Hearing loss between 41 – 70dBHL (you will probably find that you have difficulty following speech)

● Severe hearing loss: Hearing loss between 71 – 95dBHL (you will have severe difficulty following speech without a hearing aid)

● Profound hearing loss: Hearing loss over 95dBHL (you may have need of hearing aids, cochlear implants, sign language and lip-reading)