A hearing test may be required and can be performed during your consultation.


What is hearing loss?

Loss of hearing can occur at any age and affects most people at some point in their lives.

Common causes include:

  • Wax
  • Glue Ear
  • Infection
  • Age-related deterioration

Ear Wax

Ear wax helps to lubricate the ear canal skin. It is entirely normal to have ear wax. Some people produce copious amounts which can block the ear canal. This can be aggravated by the use of cotton wool buds which can cause wax impaction. Initial treatment involves the insertion of wax-softening drops such as sodium bicarbonate or olive oil. If this fails to clear the wax, ear microsuction is used.

Ear microsuction is performed in clinic, during your consultation.  The wax is suctioned with the aid of a microscope. It usually only takes a few minutes and is a painless, well tolerated procedure.


Glue Ear

Glue Ear is the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear. It commonly affects younger children. Frequently, it occurs during the winter months following a cold. It usually resolves spontaneously after a few weeks.

If it persists, it can cause the following:

  • speech delay
  • ear infections
  • impaired balance
  • can affect school performance
  • can affect behaviour

If there is significant hearing loss for more than 3 months, with one or more of the above symptoms, surgery may be required, in the form of Grommet insertion.


Ear Infection

An ear infection of the outer, middle or inner ear can cause hearing loss. Outer ear infections (Otitis Externa) presents with a painful, discharging ear. Debris and pus build up in the outer ear. Ear microsuction and antibiotic ear drops are usually required. Middle ear infections (Otitis Media) are usually painful initially. If the drum perforates, then the pus can discharge from the ear. Antibiotics by mouth are sometimes required.


Age-related

Age related hearing loss (Presbyacusis) commonly occurs in the over 60’s. The hearing impairment is usually of a slow-onset and is particularly a problem with background noise. People tend to notice that the TV volume needs to be turned up. Hearing aids are usually beneficial.


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Coronavirus update:

Mr Kirkland offers both video and face to face consultations for his patients. If you are elderly, vulnerable or shielding, a video consultation in the first instance can be beneficial. Quite often, we are able to instigate treatment or investigations following video consultation. If you are happy to be seen in a face to face consultation, we follow strict hospital guidelines regarding COVID-19 to prioritise patient and staff safety.