FAQs

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No problem.

We’ve put together some answers to the questions that we get asked most frequently. Browse through the topics below to find the answer you’re looking for and learn more about the services we offer.

If your question hasn’t been answered, feel free to contact your local hearing centre for additional support and advice. Or, if you’re ready to book a consultation, use our online form to set up your appointment today!

Earwax Removal

What is earwax and how can it become a problem?

Earwax is an entirely natural product of your ear which is made in the ear canal. Its purpose is to protect your ear against bacteria, water, and other irritants and also to help your ear canal self-clean and stay lubricated.

Most of the time, you won’t notice ear wax, however, it can sometimes build-up and become excessive. Occasionally, in this scenario, ear wax can cause hearing loss, itchiness, dizziness and pain. In more extreme cases, a build-up of ear wax can cause ringing in the ears, also known as temporary tinnitus.

What is microsuction?

Microsuction is the process undertaken to remove excessive ear wax. It is a safe and pain-free procedure. To begin with, a microscope is used to view your ear canal and any ear wax build-up in detail. A gentle suction pump is then used to safely and efficiently extract the wax.

Often, hard or impacted wax can cause the ear canal to become sensitive. Through microsuction, this type of ear wax can be effectively removed in a comfortable way, as it has no contact with the ear canal or eardrum.

Other forms of ear wax removal, such as syringing, often hold a much higher risk of further complications than the microsuction method that we use.

Does ear microsuction hurt?

Our audiologists take the greatest care to ensure that your microsuction procedure is comfortable and at a pace suited for you. We usually recommend using eardrops several days before your appointment in order to help any discomfort that may be caused by particularly hard wax. In general, though, the procedure is comfortable, quick and just a little noisy at times.

How often should I have microsuction?

Some people only require microsuction every few years, yet others have treatments quite regularly. After your first treatment, we’ll send you annual reminders however, it’s entirely up to you how often you have microsuction. If you’d like to see us sooner, you can book a consultation by calling or through our booking form.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t have microsuction?

The majority of people are able to have microsuction, however, there are a few exceptions. Usually, we advise children younger than 16 years of age against microsuction. Other exceptions include anyone with a perforated eardrum or certain infections, and anyone taking Wharfrine. In some extreme cases, we may decide to refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) consultant for their medical knowledge and experience. Feel free to contact us if you’re unsure about whether you are included in any of these circumstances.

Hearing Loss

How do I know if I’m experiencing hearing loss?

Hearing loss is very common, with almost all of us experiencing some form of it during the course of our lives. There are a wide variety of ways that you can experience hearing loss.

If you notice a sudden loss of hearing then this is likely due to a build-up of earwax, perforation of the eardrum, or something similar. Book a consultation with one of our expert audiologists as soon as possible if you have suddenly lost hearing.

If you experience a more gradual loss of hearing, it is common and likely that this is due to ageing. Indications of gradual hearing loss including finding it difficult to hear people in normal conversation, struggling to converse on the phone, or finding yourself opting for a higher volume on your TV or radio.

What causes hearing loss?

It is common and natural for hearing loss to occur as you age, particularly if this is gradual and in both ears. Similarly, it is common to experience gradual hearing loss in both ears as a result of frequent exposure to loud noises.

If you are experiencing gradual hearing loss in just one ear, it’s likely that this is due to something inside the ear such as fluid, a build-up of skin cells or bony growth. If your hearing loss is sudden, this may be due to an ear infection, a burst eardrum or earwax build-up.

If you are experiencing hearing loss, don’t suffer in silence. Book a consultation with one of our audiologists and receive expert advice and diagnosis on your hearing loss cause.

Is hearing loss permanent?

It depends on the type of hearing loss you’re experiencing. If you are suffering from age-related hearing loss or hearing loss associated with being exposed to loud environments over a long period of time, then it will most likely be permanent. That being said, hearing aids are a solution that could improve your situation drastically.

There are many types of hearing loss that are temporary, though. Ear wax build-ups can cause temporary hearing loss, as can short-term tinnitus. Other situations that can cause temporary hearing loss include certain medical conditions and the side effects of some medical treatments/medication.

If you’re unsure about the nature of your hearing loss, book a consultation and speak with one of our audiologists today.

How can I improve my hearing?

There are plenty of ways that your hearing can be improved, with each option depending on the extent and cause of your hearing loss. If you are experiencing gradual hearing loss as a result of ageing, consistent exposure to loud noise, or a health condition, then hearing aids could be a great solution to your problem.

We tailor our hearing aids to your specific needs and regularly check in with you to ensure that they’re working effectively for you. If you’d like to find out more about our hearing aid packages, visit our hearing aids page or get in contact with us.

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!

How can I prevent further hearing loss?

Over time, consistently loud situations can cause permanent hearing loss. Therefore, it’s important to always wear ear protection. Protective earplugs such as reusable earplugs or musicians earplugs are great for shielding your ears against further hearing loss. This is particularly important in loud scenarios such as clubs, concerts and cinema visits.

You should also remember to keep the volume low when listening to music on your personal music device. Always pay attention to warnings that suggest you don’t turn the volume up too loud!

Can hearing loss be temporary?

Yes. If you are experiencing hearing loss as a result of a temporary illness or a build-up of earwax, then your hearing will, most likely, be fine after treatment. However, unfortunately, many hearing loss problems are not temporary. Hearing loss as a result of tinnitus and ageing is, at this time, incurable.

Temporary hearing loss can also occur when suffering from certain medical conditions or as a side effect of medical treatments/medications.

What causes age-related hearing loss?

Your ear relies on tiny hair cells to help you hear. Sound waves enter your ear and stimulate these hairs, which change them into nerve signals that are sent to your brain. Your brain then translates these nerve signals into sound.

As you get older, these tiny hair cells can become damaged and die. Unfortunately, unlike other cells, they don’t regrow when they die. This means that hearing loss related to these hair cells dying is, currently, permanent.

Hearing loss related to age generally starts around the ages of 45-65. This can be experienced earlier depending on your genes, being exposed to loud noise for long periods of time, smoking, or other medical conditions.

If you think you’re suffering from age-related hearing loss, it’s a good time to speak to an expert. Book a consultation today with one of our audiologists and we’ll help you to rediscover great hearing.

Hearing Aids

Do I need a hearing aid?

Until you have had a hearing check with one of our audiologists, it’s difficult to say whether you require a hearing aid. However, a great start is taking our online hearing test. The test will give you a good indication as to whether or not you might require an expert to take a closer look at your hearing. If you believe you need hearing help from a professional, book a consultation with one of our audiologists. During your consultation, they’ll run through a full hearing test and health check.

Will my hearing aids be visible and uncomfortable?

If you’re concerned about the look and feel of your hearing aids, we understand. However, with today’s advance in technology, hearing aids are lighter and slimmer than ever! We offer hearing aids from 8 different manufacturers, providing a huge range for your individual tastes. We also offer custom, invisible hearing aids that allow you to keep your device hidden.

Furthermore, with our 14-day free trial, you’re also able to test your new hearing aids without paying a thing. If they’re not the right match for you, we’ll help you find something better suited! Once you’ve decided on your hearing aid package, you’ll also get 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

How much will my hearing aids cost?

We have a range of different hearing aid products and packages on offer. For more information about the individual prices of each package, please visit our Price Guide page.

Tinnitus

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition that around 17% of the population suffer from. It is usually hearing ringing or whistling noises that sound as if they are coming from within your ear. It can also sound like a humming or buzzing noise.

Tinnitus is often temporary, however, if it lasts for a long time or is particularly irritating, it’s worth speaking to an expert. For just £140, we’ll provide a full consultation with one of our audiologists, a 2-week trial of the treatment that we think will work best for you, and a follow-up appointment to assess your progress.

How is tinnitus caused?

Although we aren’t completely sure how tinnitus develops yet, we are aware of many ways in which it might be caused. Usually, tinnitus arises as a result of a change within the ear. This might be due to an earwax build-up, a perforated eardrum, an ear infection, or other forms of illness.

Certain medications can also cause tinnitus in some patients, therefore it worth checking the side effects for any medication that you are taking. If you think that medication could be causing your tinnitus, it’s worth consulting your doctor to see if a substitute is available.

Aside from medical causes, tinnitus can also be triggered through exposure to loud noises over a prolonged period of time. Often, musicians suffer from tinnitus as a result of this. Loud concerts, nightclubs, or even listening to your music too loudly can all cause temporary tinnitus. However, over a prolonged period of time, this can lead to chronic tinnitus. Consider wearing musician’s earplugs if you’re going to a concert or nightclub, and always listen to your music at a sensible level.

Is there a cure for tinnitus?

Unfortunately, there is no single cure for tinnitus and often, all we can do is tackle the symptoms. However, frequently tinnitus can be cured by dealing with the cause of it. For example, if your tinnitus is being caused by a medical condition such as an ear infection, it is possible to combat the tinnitus by treating the infection.

How is tinnitus treated?

The first step to treating tinnitus is to conduct a full hearing assessment. This will help us understand how your hearing has been affected, and the steps needed to take in order to treat the problem. Usually, this will greatly benefit you and relieve your tinnitus symptoms.

As well as treating hearing loss, we can use many other treatments in order to reduce your tinnitus symptoms. Although there is no definite cure, there are always ways to relive the effect and provide some relief.

One effective solution is sound therapy, which often lessens the internal tinnitus noise through relaxing external sounds. Tinnitus can also be a result of stress. We can provide you with relaxation exercises which can relieve symptoms and help you better deal with tinnitus.