Ear Conditions

The ENT Partnership can assess, diagnose and treat the following conditions:

Ear Infections | Eardrum Perforation | Tinnitus | Prominent Ears | Cholesteatoma | Dizziness and Vertigo | Hearing Loss | Why Consider Private Hearing Aids?

Ear Infectionstop

Ear infections affect either the external ear (ear canal) or middle ear. Sometimes an external ear infection develops very quickly and so we will try to see you as quickly as possible to start treatment.  This often involves ‘microsuction’ to clean the ear and then treatment of the infection itself.  Middle ear infections (otitis media) are common in children but less so in adults.  Usually an ear infection occurs with a cold but sometimes a perforation can cause recurring ear infections and in rare circumstances collapse of the eardrum may be a cause.  It is therefore important that the ear is examined carefully under the microscope to make a correct diagnosis and then appropriate treatment can be given.  Middle ear infections in children occasionally require Grommets.

Click to download information booklet: Grommet Insertion

Eardrum Perforationtop

Perforations can occur suddenly as a result of infection or an injury to the ear; usually they heal in time but sometimes they become ‘chronic’ which can lead to further ear infections and hearing loss. Eardrum perforation can be repaired with a Myringoplasty. 

Click to download information booklet:  Myringoplasty

Tinnitustop

Tinnitus means a noise in the ear. Often this is harmless and only reassurance is required. An audiogram is useful to assess the hearing level as sometimes tinnitus is associated with hearing loss.  If the tinnitus occurs in just one ear, a MRI scan of the ears and brain may be required. More severe cases of tinnitus are referred to our Tinnitus therapist for Tinnitus retraining therapy.  

Click to open the Tinnitus website

Prominent Earstop

Prominent ears may cause low self-esteem and can be corrected with a Pinnaplasty.  This may be appropriate in children at the age of 5 years onwards or sometimes in adults. 

Click to download information booklet:  Pinnaplasty

Cholesteatomatop

Cholesteatoma is a condition in which skin debris accumulates in the middle ear. It can result in ear infections, hearing loss and other more serious complications. Treatment is usually by surgery to remove the skin pocket and repair the ear drum.  Sometimes the small bones which carry sound through the middle ear can be damaged and may also need repairing. 

Click to download information booklet:  Cholesteatoma

Dizziness and Vertigotop

Dizziness may relate to many differing causes but vertigo indicates an inner ear problem. A common cause is Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) which can be easily diagnosed and treated with the Epley or Particle Repositioning manoeuvre. Other causes include Menieres disease which can usually be controlled with medication but occasionally an injection of Gentamicin into the middle ear may be necessary to control the symptoms.  Labyrinthitis often occurs as a sudden attack which usually gets better on its own but sometimes recovery is slow and treatment is needed.  We work alongside our Physiotherapy colleagues who can help in the rehabilitation process with vestibular rehabilitation exercises.

Useful websties for vestibular patients:   www.vestibular.org   www.brainandspine.org.uk  www.labyrinthitis.org.uk  www.menieres.org.uk

Hearing Losstop

Hearing Loss may result from a conductive cause (outer or middle ear problem) or sensorineural cause (inner ear problem). Conductive hearing loss in children is often due to ‘glue ear’ which occasionally can be treated with an operation such as grommet insertion.  A perforation in the ear drum may cause a hearing loss and so surgical repair by myringoplasty may improve the hearing.  The small bones within the middle ear are a very delicate structure and damage to these will cause hearing loss – they can sometimes be repaired by surgery, ossiculoplasty.  Sometimes these bones become fixed and so stapedectomy may be necessary to replace part of the chain of bones. 

Hearing aids are the usual treatment for a sensorineural hearing loss and we can access the very latest in digital hearing aid technology including the recent ‘open fit’ hearing aids through our audiology colleagues.   Sometimes conventional hearing aids cannot be worn so a bone anchored hearing aid www.cochlear.co.uk may be an alternative option. If the hearing is worse in one ear, a MRI scan of the ears and brain may be required.

Why consider private hearing aids? top

The NHS offers good, mid-range digital hearing aids but with limited or no choice to the patient’s preference. The private market offers an extensive range and is able to customise amplification far closer to the individual needs of each patient.

Private NHS
Cost
  • Range from £300 to £2500+ per aid.
  • The price of the hearing aid normally includes a review and maintenance within the guarantee. Maintenance is usually two years.
  • Most private dispensers offers a money-back guarantee of 28 days after fitting. Though this will not be 100% as the test and fitting is normally included in the price.
  • No Cost.

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Time
  • The hearing test can be arranged within a week and the fitting usually within two weeks.
  • Review and repairs are easily accessible.
  • From the initial testing to the actual fitting can take up to 18 weeks on the NHS.
  • Accessing repair clinics for essential maintenance is often very challenging and time consuming.
Size
  • Wide range from completely-in-the-canal (CIC) to Behind-the-ear (BTE).
  • Also offers receiver-in-the-canal (RITE) fitting on slim tubes that offer better sound quality with more natural directionality than behind the ear receivers.
  • Slim tube fitting is available for severe hearing loss with power tips (micro moulds).
  • Only BTE hearing aids unless there is a significant ear abnormality.
  • Not regularly available.
  • Slim tubing fittings (also known as open fitting that allows BTE fitting without a standard ear mould) is only available for mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss.
Technology
  • The private market offers a choice of entry level through to highly advanced technology with options for:
  • Superior signal processing like floating linear gain
  • Advanced feedback cancellation
  • Superior noise management systems
  • Blue tooth technology to customise amplification in difficult sound environments like restaurants or cars.
  • Devices enabling telephone calls or television audio to be streamed straight to the hearing aids.
  • Only offers a midrange, digital hearing aids with limited or no choice to the patient.

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  • Not available on the NHS.

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Hearing Aids
With such a host of advanced hearing technologies available today, the key to successful amplification is the independent advice from an experienced clinician.

The ENT partnership offers the latest technologies and devices tailor made to each patient’s unique requirements.

Hearing Aid Styles

Behind the ear (BTE) with a standard ear mould: Open fitting Hearing Aid:

In the ear (ITE) hearing aid: Completely in the canal (CIC):


Specialist Communication Systems
We offer specialist devices for many purposes including covert operations and two way communication for the broad casting and motor sport industry.

Musicians Hearing
We fit custom made In-Ear-Monitoring systems that offers exceptional sound quality, response and reliability as well as custom made ear pieces for Smart Phones and MP3 Players.

Noise Defense
For musicians and music lovers there are calibrated flat response noise plugs available that protects ears from loud music exposure but still give the true sound and frequency range of the music.

For shooting
We offers specialist noise defense with excellent noise suppression which still provide audibility to everything around the wearer, including the ability to hear sounds such as wing beats and animal cries for hunters.

For industrial noise
We fit custom, moulded soft silicone earpieces that offer the highest degree of comfort whilst providing a highly effective acoustic barrier.

For Motorsport
For motorsport we offer discreet, effective protection that fit under crash helmets and are ideal when clear incoming communication and noise protection are needed while driving.

Swim plugs
Custom made swim plugs for children with middle ear ventilation tubes (grommets) as well as top of the range swim plugs made of the finest medical grade silicone materials that offers maximum seal and protection and will last for many years.

Resume of Private Dispenser and Clinical Scientist with the Partnership - Charlene Coetzee - Charlene qualified as an Audiologist & Speech Language Therapist in 1997 in South Africa. She worked as a private Hearing Aid Dispenser for a number of years post grad in South Africa before moving to the UK. For the past twelve years she has gained extensive experience as a Clinical Scientist in Audiology for the NHS, and in recent years as a Hearing Aid Dispenser for the commercial market as well. Charlene is currently the team leader of Audiology at Frimley Park Hospital.

Registration: British Society of Audiology Health Professions Council (Clinical Science and Hearing Aid Dispense)