FAQs

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Whether you’ve got a specific question or, would like to find out more about our services, have a browse through our answers to your frequently asked questions.

If you’re still seeking the answer to your question, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to get in contact with your local hearing centre for some extra information and guidance. Or, if you’re ready for your first consultation, use our online form to book an appointment today!

Earwax Removal

What is earwax and how does it become problematic?

Earwax is produced to protect your ear against irritants such as bacteria and water. It is an entirely normal and natural product of your ear which helps it self-clean and stay lubricated.

Earwax is produced in the ear canal and the majority of the time; you won’t notice that it’s there. On some occasions, however, earwax can build-up and become excessive. If you are suffering from an earwax build-up, you may experience hearing loss, itchiness, dizziness and pain. In the most serious cases, an earwax build-up can cause temporary tinnitus, which sounds like ringing in the ears.

What is microsuction?

Microsuction is a harmless and comfortable procedure used to remove a build-up of earwax. The earwax build-up is first identified and inspected using a microscope before a gentle suction pump is used to extract it.

If the earwax is hard or impacted, the ear canal is likely to become slightly sensitive. Microsuction removes this earwax without causing any further pain as it has no contact with the ear canal or eardrum. This cannot be said for all other forms of earwax extraction, such as syringing, which often comes with a much higher risk of further complications.

Is ear microsuction painful?

In almost all cases, microsuction is a quick and comfortable procedure. It is recommended that you use drops for several days before your appointment, as this helps to soften the earwax. Your audiologist will give you more detailed advice on this.

Microsuction can be quite a loud procedure, especially if the wax present is quite hard. Remember to communicate with our practitioners and let them know if you experience any discomfort. They will always take it at your pace.

How frequently should I have microsuction?

There is no set rule for how often someone should have microsuction. It depends on your specific circumstances! Some of our patients have the treatment regularly, but others only require it every 1 or 2 years.

After you have your first microsuction treatment, we’ll send you yearly reminders, just in case you’re having any problems. Remember, though, that you can book a consultation at any time by giving us a call or using our booking form!

Is there anyone who shouldn’t have microsuction?

Unfortunately, there are some people who are unable to undergo microsuction. Any patients that take Wharfrine, have a presence of certain infections, or are currently suffering from a perforation of the eardrum should avoid microsuction as it can cause complications.

We always advise children under the age of 16 not to undergo microsuction. If you’re worried about your child’s ears, bring them in for a consultation and we can suggest an alternative treatment for them.

Finally, if, following a consultation, we are concerned about the severity of your condition, we may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) consultant. In extreme circumstances, their medical knowledge and experience will be better placed to treat you.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you should have microsuction, contact us for more information.

Hearing Loss

Am I experiencing hearing loss?

Unfortunately, we can’t answer this without more information! We can say, though, that hearing loss is common. The majority of us will experience some form of it during our lives. There are many different kinds of hearing loss that you can experience, though.

One kind of hearing loss that we get asked about frequently is sudden hearing loss. In many cases, this is due to a perforation of the eardrum, an excessive build-up of earwax, or something else similar. If you experience a sudden loss of hearing, it’s important that you book a consultation with one of our hearing care specialists as soon as possible.

A gradual loss of hearing is often more difficult to notice, as you experience it over a long period of time. Typically, this is due to ageing. There are a few ways that you can spot gradual hearing loss in yourself and loved ones. Struggling to hear in normal conversation, difficult conversing on the phone, or increasing the volume on the TV or radio higher than normal could be indications of hearing loss.

What is the cause of hearing loss?

Hearing loss is commonly associated with age. This is a natural and gradual process that normally affects both ears. As well as ageing, it’s common for gradual hearing loss to be due to frequent and extended exposure to loud noises or environments.

Gradual hearing loss in one ear is often due to something inside the ear, such as a build-up of skin cells, a bony growth, or some sort of fluid. Sudden hearing loss is almost always due to a burst/perforated eardrum, an earwax build-up, or an ear infection.

Remember, don’t ignore the signs of hearing loss. As soon as you notice the signs, book a consultation with one of our expert audiologists. They can give you advice and help towards finding a diagnosis for your hearing loss.

Is hearing loss permanent?

The permanency of hearing loss depends on what kind you’re experiencing. Age-related hearing loss, or hearing loss associated with exposure to loud environments over a long period of time, is likely to be permanent. Even so, hearing aids can often improve the hearing of those suffering from this kind of hearing loss.

Hearing loss can also be temporary. Short-term tinnitus, typically experienced following a concert or visit to a night club, and hearing loss associated with earwax build-ups will, in most cases, be temporary.

Certain medical treatments, conditions and medications can also cause temporary hearing loss. In these cases, make sure you familiarise yourself with any possible side effects and speak to your doctor if you’re concerned.

Regardless of the kind of hearing loss you’re suffering from, it’s important that you speak to one of our audiologists. Book a consultation today and find out how we can help.

What can I do to improve my hearing?

It depends on the kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing, as well as the extent of it. Hearing loss associated with old age, continuous exposure to loud noises, or some form of ongoing health condition can be improved by using hearing aids.

All of our hearing aids are tailored to suit you. We also check in with you regularly to make sure that your hearing aids are functioning correctly. To find out more about our hearing aid packages, contact us or take a look at our hearing aids page.

For temporary hearing loss, we have many treatment options available. Our earwax removal microsuction service and tinnitus management options are great for this kind of hearing loss. If you’re unsure about the kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing, book a consultation with one of our hearing care specialists today.

We also have other treatment options available for anyone experiencing hearing loss due to a build-up of earwax, tinnitus, or anything similar. Take a look at our earwax removal page and tinnitus information for more guidance!

What can I do to prevent further hearing loss?

Over long periods of time, being exposed to loud environments can cause permanent hearing loss. When you are in these environments, it’s important to wear some form of ear protection. There are a variety of earplugs available that can protect your ears and still allow you to enjoy the show! Doing this can prevent you from experiencing further hearing loss.

It’s also important to remember that this kind of loud noise exposure also applies to your personal music device, such as your phone. Always take notice of the warnings that suggest you shouldn’t put the volume up too high.

Can hearing loss be temporary?

Yes. When hearing loss is caused as a result of a temporary illness or an excessive build-up of earwax, then your hearing should be fine following treatment. This kind of hearing loss can also happen as a side effect of certain medical treatments and/or medications.

What is the cause of age-related hearing loss?

To hear, your ear relies on tiny hair cells. When sound waves enter your ear, they stimulate these hairs. The cells then change the sound into nerve signals, which are sent to your brain. It’s then your brain’s job to turn these nerve signals into recognisable sounds.

Unfortunately, as you grow older, these hair cells can gradually become damaged or even die. Unlike other parts of your body, these cells don’t regrow. As such, most types of hearing loss that are associated with old age are permanent. At the moment, it’s not possible to regrow these cells, so we have to look for other ways to help.

Age-related hearing loss generally starts occurring at around 45-65 years of age. You might experience this earlier depending on a variety of things including whether you smoke, have any other medical conditions, or are regularly exposed to loud noises for long periods of time.

If you’re concerned about your hearing and want to find out more, it’s a good idea to speak to one of our expert audiologists. Book a consultation today and let’s work together to improve your hearing.

Hearing Aids

Do I need a hearing aid?

In short, we don’t know until we see you! To start, though, we recommend taking our online hearing test. This will give you a rough indication of the level of your hearing. If you’re concerned, or the hearing test suggests you might be a bit hard of hearing, it’s a good time to speak to one of our audiologists. Book a consultation today and we can run you through a full hearing test and ear health check.

Will my hearing aids be visible and uncomfortable?

Wearing hearing aids is just like getting a new outfit, everyone has their own tastes! Everyone will have their own preferences and we’re happy to say that we can cater for this. Hearing aids have never been as light, slim, and comfortable as they are today. With our range that comes from 8 different manufacturers, we can provide an array of hearing aids that should match your taste!

We also offer fully-custom, invisible hearing aid that are placed within your ear. They’re the best option if you want to keep your device hidden!

On top of this, you will get a 14-day free trial which means you can try before you commit to buying. If it turns out that they’re not right for you, we can take your feedback and find something that better suits you. Once you’ve decided on your final hearing aids, we will also provide you with a 60-day money-back trial.

What brand of hearing aids do DigiClear supply?

We supply hearing aids from these 8 different manufacturers:

  • Bernafon
  • Oticon
  • Phonak
  • ReSound
  • Signia
  • Starkey
  • Unitron
  • Widex

What are the prices of your hearing aids?

Our hearing aid packages range in price and specifications. For more information about the packages in their entirety, as well as prices, please see our Price Guide page.

Tinnitus

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition that causes you to hear sounds that seem like they’re coming from within your ear. Typically, this sounds like ringing or whistling but it can take the form of other sounds as well. Approximately 17% of the UK population suffers from some kind of tinnitus.

Often, tinnitus will come and go. That being said, it can sometimes become particularly irritating or last for a long time, especially during periods of high stress or anxiety. If this becomes the case, it’s time to speak to your audiologist.

Book a consultation today and find out how, from as little as £95, can we help you manage your tinnitus. You’ll also get a 60-day money-back trial of this treatment as well as a follow-up appointment.

What causes tinnitus?

It’s not currently known how tinnitus develops, but there are a few things that can cause it. Often, tinnitus is caused due to damage or some sort of change within the ear. This can be caused by a number of things including an ear infection, a perforated eardrum, a severe build-up of earwax, or other kinds of illness.

Some medications can cause tinnitus due to their side effects. If this is the case, and it’s a recognised potential side effect, consult your doctor and see if a different medication is available. This could reduce or even eliminate tinnitus symptoms in some cases.

Beyond medical reasons, tinnitus is widely associated with extensive and prolonged exposure to loud noises. Due to this, musicians commonly suffer from tinnitus.

Have you ever noticed a ringing in your ears after you’ve been to a concert or a night club? This is temporary tinnitus and generally goes away after a few hours. Over a long period of time in these environments, though, chronic tinnitus can develop. It’s a good idea to take a pair of earplugs with you to a concert or nightclub. Musician’s earplugs are a great way to enjoy the experience whilst also protecting your ears!

Is there a cure for tinnitus?

At the moment, there isn’t a known cure for tinnitus. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of uncertainty about how tinnitus develops. Due to this, we can only target the symptoms. Despite this, though, tinnitus can sometimes be cured by trying to deal with the cause of it. As an example, if your tinnitus is caused by medication or a medical condition, treating that condition can get rid of the tinnitus in some cases.

In roughly 85% of tinnitus cases, some kind of hearing loss is involved. Often, treating the cause of this hearing loss, whatever it may be, can lead to the tinnitus subsiding over time.

If you’re worried about tinnitus, the first step is to have a full hearing test. When tinnitus is present, it can be difficult to notice hearing loss due to the constant background noise. Firstly, try taking our online hearing test. This will give you a rough idea of the level of your hearing. Following this, it’s important to book a consultation, where we can give you a full hearing test.

How is tinnitus treated?

Tinnitus can often be attributed to some form of hearing loss. When you come in for your consultation, the first step will be to conduct a full hearing assessment. This will let us find out the level to which your hearing has been affected and enable us to start taking steps to treat it. We take this step first as it can often lead to your tinnitus symptoms easing up.

There are several other avenues of treatment that we can take to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus, beyond those associated with hearing loss. Unfortunately, there is currently no definitive tinnitus cure, but there are some ways in which we can provide relief.

Sound therapy is a treatment that can often help tinnitus sufferers. It works by having the patient listen to a selection of external, relaxing sounds. In this way, the internal tinnitus noises can be reduced. Alongside sound therapy, we often recommend a series of stress-reducing, relaxation exercises that can alleviate symptoms. Stress is a common cause of heightened tinnitus symptoms.

Remember, we’re here to help. Speak to one of our expert audiologists today and start your journey to more manageable tinnitus.