Frequently Asked Questions
What is Audiology?
Audiology is a graduate profession for healthcare scientists specialising in ear and hearing care. An audiologist can deliver ear care services, test hearing and balance, and provide rehabilitative services such as ear wax removal, hearing aid provision, tinnitus counselling and balance retraining advice. Whilst commonly offering care as a sole professional, most audiologists have close links with ENT Consultants and other specialists and have a wide knowledge of a variety of ear related problems and available treatment plans.
Ear wax and microsuction
What is ear wax and why does it cause a problem?
Ear wax is a natural protection, lubrication and defence against foreign bodies & infection for the skin of the ear canal. It is normal to produce ear wax and this in itself is not a problem. Difficulties can arise if the normal and natural migration of the wax out of the ear canal is impeded (for example by wearing a hearing aid) or slowed (as can happen as part of the ageing process). Sometimes wax can build up and form a plug spontaneously and for no particular reason. When these type of problems arise, discomfort and hearing loss can occur and the best way to ease this is for the wax to be professionally cleared.
Why is microsuction preferable to having your ears syringed?
Syringing is an option however there are risks associated with this. The eardrum can be damaged by irrigation with water and sometimes the ear wax is actually pushed further into the ear by an unsuccessful syringing. Microsuction is different because the ear canal remains visible to the professional whilst the process is taking place and there is no introduction of water into the ear. It is generally regarded by medical professionals as the preferred ear wax removal technique and is the treatment most likely to provide full and total clearance of problematic wax.
Can anyone have their ears microsuctioned?
Yes, although the client is required to lie still during the procedure therefore it is not always advisable for younger children.
Is microsuction safe?
Yes. There is sometimes a bit of noise as the wax is suctioned away but the treatment is both safe and effective. Our staff are highly skilled professionals with years of experience and relevant training.
Does it hurt?
Not normally. Whilst it can feel a little strange to have wax removed from the ear canal, the process is fast, effective and without pain in the overwhelming majority of cases. Some people with extremely sensitive ears can experience mild discomfort, however this is likely to be the case whichever clearance method they choose to undergo.
How long does it take?
On average the treatment takes between five and ten minutes for examination and clearance of both ears.
Do I need to do anything before I attend my appointment?
Whilst not essential, it is helpful to use a few drops of olive oil or an alternative product* to soften the wax prior to your treatment. There are some cases where this is not a good idea – for example if you have a history of perforated eardrum – however this can be discussed in more detail at the time of booking your appointment. A history of perforated eardrum does NOT prevent you from having wax removed by microsuction.
*See your pharmacist or call us for further advice.
What if the treatment doesn't work?
In rare cases microsuction is unsuccessful at the first attempt. If this is the case for you, at least one repeat treatment will be offered free of charge soon after your initial visit.
How often will I need my ears clearing?
This is very variable between different people. Sometimes one clearance is enough for many years whereas for others treatment is required every few months. We can offer a free examination of your ears at any time and if clearance is required this can usually be done at the same appointment.
Hearing tests and hearing aids
Tell me about hearing tests...
A hearing test is a clinical measure of hearing ability. It tells you how well you can hear particular sounds and assists with hearing aid prescribing and hearing protection monitoring. The client will wear headphones and be asked to respond to audible sounds. Taking less than half an hour in most cases, it is a simple, quick and reliable test to administer and gives useful diagnostic information about hearing function and/or problems.
Why buy a private hearing aid?
Whilst it is true that some hearing aids are available free of charge through the NHS there are several technologies and styles of device which are not. If cosmetically and technologically superior devices are required – and are likely to provide the additional benefit required by the client – then a private hearing aid purchase is a great alternative.
An independant hearing aid dispenser such as djB hearing ltd can offer a wide choice of technologies and hearing aid style to suit all needs and budgets. We would welcome a no obligation discussion to assess these needs and find the best solution for each individual client.
As an independant private hearing aid dispenser we can also offer ‘out of hours’ appointments including evenings, weekends and bank holidays together with a personal touch to ensure that you will see the same audiologist at each of your appointments.
Why should I protect my ears from water and/or noise?
Some people are prone to ear infection if water enters the ear canal – for example after some types of ear operation. Others simply do not like the sensation of water in the ears when bathing or swimming. The wearing of swimming plugs can also help prevent against conditions such as ‘surfer’s ear’ – common with open water swimmers. If you wish to keep water out of your ears, for any reason, our swim plugs are an ideal solution.
It is commonly acknowledged that exposure to high levels of noise can cause hearing difficulties including permanent hearing loss and/or tinnitus (a ringing in the ears). Noise protection plugs significantly reduce these risks and are an important tool in the promotion of good ear health.
Can I park at the clinic?
Yes. During evening, weekends and bank holiday clinics you can usually park on the pavement outside Platinum Finance, right outside our entrance. At other times there is good on-street parking on all surrounding roads. This is limited to 2 hours which would be more than enough time for any of our consultations.
Is the clinic accessible?
The clinic room is on the first floor, up a flight of stairs in a converted terrace property. This will be perfectly fine for anyone who manages their own stairs at home. If stairs are a problem we have a clinic at Prestwich Pharmacy which is accessible by lift. We can also offer a home visit service if required – please see our ‘Prices’ page for details of our call out fees.
Is there a waiting area?
We have a small waiting area at the top of the stairs. This is very limited so we would ask you not to arrive excessively early for your appointment. If you do arrive a little early we would of course endeavour to see you as soon as possible.
How can I pay?
We accept cash and we also have a chip and pin machine for card payments. We cannot accept American Express but most other cards are fine.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
If you need to cancel your appointment please do so as soon as possible by calling us on 07972208918. We are a pre-payment clinic however if cancellation is made more than 48 hours before the scheduled time we will, upon request, refund your payment. Alternatively we can retain the fee and credit a future appointment, which must be booked within six weeks of the cancellation. If an appointment is cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled time we will refund your payment less a £20 administration fee. If we have to cancel your appointment at any time you will be offered the choice of a full refund or a rescheduled appointment at no additional cost to you.
Appointments can be rescheduled at no additional cost, up to the day before. Rescheduling on the day of the appointment will incur a £20 administration fee payable at the time of rescheduling, with the treatment fee transferred to the new appointment date. Rescheduled appointments will incur a £20 administration fee if subsequently cancelled at any time.
In all of the above scenarios, you will need to provide us with a UK bank account and sort code, within six weeks of the changes being made, in order for us to action any appropriate refund. If we have not received your bank account details, or if the appointment has not been rebooked within six weeks, fees will become non-refundable and any future appointments will be charged at our standard rates. It is your responsibility to contact us to provide bank details or to rebook the appointment as we will not make any attempt to contact you again once an appointment has been cancelled or rescheduled, unless there is an issue with our ability to deliver the treatment or we need to provide additional information to you.
Appointments which are unattended without prior notice for any reason are non-refundable. We reserve the right to class an arrival more than 15 minutes after your appointment time as a failure to attend.
Ask A Question
If you have any further queries please call on 0161 962 1700 or 07972 208 918 and we will be happy to help.