How Can Ear Wax Removal Help To Improve Your Hearing

Our ears produce a natural substance known as cerumen, more commonly referred to as ear wax, which helps to prevent dust, debris and bacteria from reaching the inner ear.

It is important for the health of our ears that we produce ear wax, however, many people produce excess ear wax which can cause a variety of different issues and therefore removing it is sometimes necessary.

If you suffer from excess ear wax production, it may be worth considering having it removed via ear wax microsuction. One of the most common issues that occur from excess ear wax is a loss or reduction in hearing.

Impacted ear wax can be difficult to remove and has many different causes. It is important to remember to never try to remove ear wax yourself.

You should avoid inserting anything into the ear canal as it can push wax further down the ear canal or push it together, impacting it. You may also risk hurting yourself and even damaging your eardrum which can be very painful.

Those who already suffer with hearing difficulties may find it especially beneficial to have the excess wax removed as it can help hearing aids to work more effectively as well as help your ears to function better as well.

When wax builds up in the ear canal, it can block soundwaves from reaching the eardrum which reduces your hearing abilities. The ear canal is very narrow and therefore it doesn’t take much for it to become blocked.

Removing excess wax frees up the ear canal, allowing the sound waves to flow freely through the passage and to the eardrum, therefore increasing and improving the quality and clarity of your hearing.

This can also help to improve your hearing sensitivity. Sometimes wax will not entirely block your hearing, but it can make it more difficult. This means you may not notice your hearing is affected as only soft or quiet sounds are being blocked.

By removing the wax, you are increasing the range of sounds you are able to hear, therefore improving your hearing sensitivity.

Wax buildup can also cause a range of other issues unrelated to hearing. This can include discomfort or pain. The buildup of wax in the ear can cause pressure to build up behind the eardrum.

This can be uncomfortable and often painful and can leave you feeling as though you have blocked ears or give you a feeling similar to a headache.

In extreme cases, the buildup of wax can cause so much pressure that the ear drum itself can burst, which can be extremely painful. Removing the wax can alleviate the pressure and remove the risk of damage to the eardrum.

Wax buildup can also increase your risk of getting ear infections which can also be uncomfortable and painful. Infections in the ear canal can lead to swelling and inflammation, pain and can also contribute to temporary hearing loss.

What Are The First Signs Of Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is a very common condition and you may well start to experience issues with your hearing at some point, particularly as you get older. 

However, there are many reasons why deafness may start to manifest and there are various treatment options available, depending on the cause, so if you are having difficulty hearing at the moment it may be advisable to seek medical advice to see what can be done.

There are certain signs you can look out for if you’re worried about your hearing and whether it’s starting to go. These include finding it difficult to keep up with conversations, asking people to repeat themselves, having to listen to music or watch TV with the volume up loud and feeling tired from having to concentrate harder while listening.

Causes of hearing loss include age, damage from loud noise (over the course of many years), earwax buildup, ear infections and perforated eardrums. If you have an infection, antibiotics may help clear it up and restore your hearing, while earwax buildup can be treated with eardrops or physically removed.

Earwax removal is appropriate for people of all ages and one of the best methods is microsuction, where a fine suction probe is inserted into the ear canal to gently and safely remove the wax. 

A high-power microscope is used to look inside the ear canal so your audiologist can see what’s going on and you should experience no pain or discomfort during the procedure.

If your hearing loss is down to something that can’t be treated medically, you may be referred for further tests and treatment. Permanent hearing loss can be mitigated by using hearing aids, which make sounds louder and clearer.


Looking for an audiologist in Huddersfield at the moment? Get in touch with Otec Hearing today to see how we can help.

Taking the necessary precautions during the Covid-19 Pandemic

On the 5th of May 2020 Audiology professional bodies including AHIPP, BAA, BSA and BSHAA released joint clinical guidance for Audiology practitioners to update all members on how to practice safely during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The guidance has been collated with input from the infection control society and ENT UK. At Otec Hearing we have now put in place a Covid-19 PPE policy to take all the necessary precautions set out by our professional bodies. These include…

·      Fluid-resistant facemasks for the Audiologist

·      Surgical facemasks for patients

·      Disinfecting clinics between appointments

·      Handwashing between appointments

·      Single-use gloves

·      Sterile single-use testing equipment

·      70% alcohol hand sanitiser

We are committed to setting our high standards even higher to ensure our clients’ needs are met and are treated in the safest way/environment possible. To find out more information or to read the joint clinical guidance please visit BSHAA

What does Ear Wax Do?

It’s no secret, we all have ear wax. It’s a perfectly normal substance that’s created by our body and it’s always going to be around. What many don’t understand, however, is the purpose of ear wax, and how important its role actually is.

Ear wax assists in the removal of unwanted debris from the ear. Naturally, throughout our lives, the ear canal will fill with unwanted dirt and hair and the ear wax’s job is to dispose of this. Generally speaking, wax does a great job at this, and you’ll never really notice it whilst it’s at work. Unwanted debris in the ear canal will be taken care of automatically and can be encouraged by little things such as movement from the bottom jaw.

Ear wax also makes for a fantastic protective barrier for the eardrum, which is an extremely important and sensitive part of the human body. Damaging the eardrum can lead to sensorineural hearing loss, which is often not surgically treatable. In short, it’s important to keep our eardrums safe, and ear wax helps us to do this.

On top of all of this, ear wax contains antibacterial properties, which help keep the ear clean and protect it from infection.

We wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a man’s best friend though. Ear wax is amazing in moderation, but sometimes it can build up excessively – to a point where it’s causing what’s known as an ‘impaction’.

When an impaction happens, you may find that the ear becomes irritated and uncomfortable. It may also be harder to hear and understand people in social situations. When this happens, excess ear wax needs to be removed. A method recommended by professionals is ‘Microsuction’; the removal of excess wax from the ear canal.

Otec Hearing offer Microsuction ear wax removal in the Lincoln & Huddersfield areas. For more information, head over to our Microsuction page, or give us a call on 01522 305400.

Ear Wax Removal at Home

Whether we like it or not, ear wax is part of our body, and it’s something that we all have to deal with. Having wax inside the ear is completely normal, and usually, you’ll never even notice that it’s there. However, occasionally you may find that the wax in your ear may be built up to a point where it’s uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. This can easily end up disrupting your daily life, distracting you, and making simple tasks much harder.

There are several treatments for ear wax removal, which can be done by a professional, either at a clinic or in the comfort of your own home. Whilst this is fantastic, there are some home remedies that you can try, that may help to deal with the discomfort of excess ear wax.

Before we go on to some of the solutions, we have to make it clear that it is not recommended to put objects into your ear in an attempt to remove excess wax. A common misconception is using cotton swabs to clean your ears. This can lead to harming the ear, with the potential to cause irreversible damage. Although it can be tempting, we highly recommend avoiding this.

One of the recommended methods would be to pour a couple of drops of olive oil periodically throughout the day over a few days to see if it makes a positive difference. Olive oil can soften ear wax built up in the ear canal, encouraging it to fall out. It’s a relatively cheap method of removing wax from the ears, and it is a reliable solution for many.

Some with built-up ear wax may also benefit from using water within a syringe to soften and remove wax. Warm water is known to have a similar effect to olive oil, which may soften the wax in the ear canal which helps it to be removed. Irrigation sets can be bought for your own home which includes all the necessary tools to try this. Whilst it is a cheaper alternative to other methods of wax removal, it’s not our top recommendation.

Whilst irrigation has been a relatively popular choice in the past, there are now concerns with the pressure from the water of a syringe when fired into the ear canal, which may damage the ear. There are now other methods of ear wax removal that have been introduced, which are comfortable, quick, and successful.

One method recommended is Microsuction, which is the removal of wax from the ear canal using a suction probe. Microsuction ear wax removal is often described as comfortable and painless and is the recommended method of clearing excess wax by many professionals.

To find out more about Microsuction Ear Wax Removal, visit our Ear Wax Removal page, or give us a call on 01522 305400.

Hearing Aid Maintenance

Looking after your Hearing Aids after having them fitted is extremely important, as keeping your hearing aid in good working order will minimize the potential problems you may have in the future. There are some simple things you can implement into your life to minimise the potential for any cropping up at some point.

Although it sounds pretty straight-forward, it needs to be mentioned. Hearing aids are not waterproof so make sure you do not shower or carry out any water sports with any hearing aids in. This tip is fairly obvious but understand that a hearing aid can very quickly become something you forget about when you’re using it throughout the day. We recommend you be cautious when just starting with a hearing aid and remember to take them out when necessary. It’s also advisable not to leave your aids in the bathroom, as any condensation can damage the electricals in the aids.

Using a drying kit for your hearing aids is a good way to keep them free from moisture. Custom-made aids usually cause the most condensation as they are fitted to the contour of your ear. Using a special drying kit will keep the aids in good working order.

It’s not just water that can harm a hearing aid, however. Body care products such as hairspray can block the microphone ports, so it’s advisable to remove your hearing aids before using any products such as this. When not in use, it’s also recommended that hearing aids are put in a carrying case to prevent any potential damage from happening to them.

At Otec Hearing as part of your lifetime aftercare, we offer a routine 6 monthly service call appointment. This is to protect your hearing aids from dirt or greasy hands, which is important, as the small microphone ports can become blocked through them being mishandled.

Private Hearing Aids vs NHS Hearing Aids

When it comes to hearing care and choosing a hearing aid, an individual usually has a choice between going through the NHS or a private practitioner. There are some benefits and drawbacks to both options, which could be useful to know when deciding on going with one or another.

With an NHS aid, you are very limited in choice as to the style of the aid that you will be provided. Typically, you’ll be fitted with a ‘Behind the Ear’ with an ear mould or a thin plastic tube. Whilst this type of aid will do the job, they do tend to be lower-priced, with quite a basic technology level. This can result in a user having difficulty understanding speech clarity. There are clear benefits to this, however, as hearing care with the NHS is a more affordable option than going private in many instances.

In contrast, privately supplied aids often offer a much wider range of advanced technology and include the most invisible, discreet models to suit the individual wearer. A person has much more variety and choice when choosing a private hearing aid, and with so many options in 2020, there is no denying how beneficial it is for an individual to fully explore the different types of aids available. They can then take the recommendation from a professional on which model is best suited for their budget and lifestyle.

So, at the end of the day, there isn’t one choice right for everyone. The decision does come down to the individual and their needs and requirements. At Otec Hearing, we offer free lifetime aftercare as part of your solution. Our lifetime aftercare programme enables us to ensure you’re getting the optimum benefit from your hearing solution. As your hearing changes, we have the scientific knowledge and experience to fine-tune your hearing aid to give you the best possible listening experience. The technology levels we have available also means we have hearing aids to suit any type of hearing loss with a budget to suit everybody’s needs and lifestyle.

With a free hearing test where we come to you, it’s always worth seeking what a professional has to say and weighing up both options before committing to one or the other.

Top 5 UK Industries Developing Hearing Problems

Many of the working class don’t think about their health, especially their hearing when thinking about their job. There are, however, some clear links to certain health problems and job occupations, some of which may surprise you.

According to the Office of National Statistics, it was estimated that 260,472 people in the UK suffered from some type of Hearing Problem in 2017. It’s very alarming how little people know about the risks associated with their job, and the complications it can have on their health later down the line.

5.) Someone working within skilled trades may be at higher risk of having troubles with their hearing, some studies suggest. Taking all main occupations into account, it is estimated that Skilled Trades make up for 10.28% of the total number of workers within the UK suffering from hearing difficulties. Those working in construction, including bricklayers, joiners, and welders, are prone to persistent and loud noises from machines and equipment within the workplace. This can result in sensorineural hearing loss, having the potential to cause hearing problems later in life.

4.) The next occupation most likely to develop a hearing problem is those within the Educational industry. According to a recent NEU survey, 74% of school support staff in the UK confirmed that they work additional uncontracted hours. These added pressures are known to lead to stress and anxiety, which both are known to have a profound impact on one’s hearing. For this reason, added pressures within this field are bound to correlate with why it is fourth on this list.

3.) Managers and Senior officials are job occupations that are linked with hearing problems. Similarly, to those working in the educational industry, the added stress in the workplace can take its toll on one’s hearing over a prolonged period. Although this may not be due to working extra hours, a reason for this may be the added responsibilities that are intrinsic to their job role. It is estimated that 14.23% of UK workers with hearing difficulties link back to this industry.

2.) From our findings, those within the Associate, Professional and Technical industry are estimated to make up for 15.42% of all UK workers suffering from some type of hearing problem. Engineers and technicians are known to work within a loud environment with loud machinery consistently in use throughout the working day. Although ear protection is recommended when working on machines, prolonged exposure to loud noises throughout the day is bound to have consequences for those working within this field.

1.) The industry affected the most is one that many would not initially suspect. Those within professional occupations are estimated to make up for 16.62% of all workers in the UK suffering from hearing issues. Although this is surprising, there is a valid explanation as to why this is so high. Job roles in this category include doctors and lawyers. Working within this type of environment is often intense and puts high amounts of pressure on those workers, due to the high stakes involved within their day-to-day roles. With stress and anxiety corresponding with hearing problems, especially long-term, it makes a lot of sense as to why this was the industry ranking at number one in terms of workers with hearing issues.

Hearing loss is one of the world’s most common health problems and unfortunately it is also one of the most ignored problems too. This is very unfortunate as hearing loss and its psychological effects are highly treatable. Hearing tests are often free and come with worthwhile advice on looking after your ears. It’s highly recommended to book in for a consultation with an Audiologist such as Otec Hearing if you have any concerns on your hearing.

What Happens During a Hearing Test?

Hearing tests are something that many people will have at some point during their lives. If you’re someone who has never had a hearing test, we hope this article can be useful in telling you what to expect if you do need to attend one later down the line.

A hearing test is carried out by a qualified Audiologist. The purpose of a hearing test is to gain a clear concise picture of your hearing health. The results can indicate what type of hearing loss you may have, it can show us the severity of the loss across a range of frequencies and what type of hearing aid may be suitable for your hearing loss. At Otec Hearing, our expert hearing aid dispensers will take their time in understanding your lifestyle, needs for a hearing aid and any personal challenges you may have.

A thorough medical history is also discussed to determine any health effects on your hearing. Once this has been completed a medical device called an Audiometer will be used to carry out the hearing test. The test is carried out by the Audiologist who will ask you to wear some calibrated headphones. This is known as air conduction – the sounds you can hear via headphones. Once you have the headphones on you will hear a range of different beeps and buzzes at different frequencies. The Audiologist will ask you to respond to the quietest sounds you can hear by pressing a response button.

Testing is also carried out with a headband called a bone conductor; the bone conductor is placed on the back bony area of the ear. The patient again responds to the quietest sounds with the response button.
Air conduction and bone conduction results and plotted on a graph called an Audiogram. The Audiologist will discuss the hearing test results with you and inform you of the severity of your hearing loss. If you have a free hearing test at Otec Hearing, our experts will then offer you certain hearing aid solutions and discuss which one may be the best to suit your lifestyle and needs. If there is a hearing loss present the Audiologist will offer a demonstration to show you the difference in rediscovering your hearing. At this point, you also have the option to start your free hearing aid trial on the day so you can experience your hearing ability with the equipment in various environments.

Preventing Hearing Loss

Hearing loss affects 1 in 6 people, this is almost over 10 million people in the UK who suffer. Hearing loss cannot always be avoidable as it is part of the gradual ageing process. There are some steps you can take to avoid damage to your hearing system no matter how old you are.

Firstly, it is best to avoid situations where there are excessive background noises, you can make a judgement on how loud peripheral noises are if you are having to raise your voice in order to be heard. Other red flags are if you struggle to hear the person next to you or if you experience pain in your ears. Prolonged noise exposure in these environments can cause permanent damage to your hearing. To keep your ears healthy, it is recommended you minimise your time in areas with high noise pollution.

It is quite common for an individual to have their headphone or earphone volume higher than it is recommended. But what effect does this have? Using headphones or earphones excessively at high volumes can cause hearing impairment. It is advisable to have the volume level at no more than 65% of the maximum volume. Headphones with noise-cancelling technology are the better choice to use as this will prevent you from having to turn up your overall volume in order to block out surrounding sounds.

If you work in a particularly noisy environment it is the duty of your employer to make changes to your working conditions to reduce as much noise pollution as possible. This can be done by changing the job/machinery you work on. Make sure you are not exposed to loud noises for prolonged periods. Your employer must provide you with hearing protection if it’s required.

We hope this article has been helpful, if you still have any questions regarding preventing hearing loss, feel free to get in touch with us by emailing us or giving us a call on 01522 305400.