Do you turn up the volume on the television louder than normal?
Do you fail to hear the telephone or doorbell ring?
Do you know people are talking but cannot understand every word?
Do you have difficulty hearing in noisy surroundings?
We all produce wax in our ears and when it blocks the outer ear canal our hearing is dulled. If you think you have this problem, make an appointment to see your doctor who will check your ears. You will then be given advice and asked to make an appointment with the practice nurse.
As we get older our hearing becomes poorer as the hearing mechanism deteriorates and is sometimes associated with noises in the ear (tinnitus). Nothing can be done to repair the damage but the incoming sound can be amplified by a hearing aid. These are available both on the NHS and privately and vary both in size and performance with some of the latest designs being able to be individually tuned to suit your particular hearing loss. Take your time in deciding what suits you best and try and speak to existing users to find out how well they work.
People working in noisy environments should take precautions to protect their ears from the long-term effects of noise. Wear ear-defenders where necessary. Consult your health and safety or environmental health officer if worried.
Children with frequent colds and ear infections may develop fluid within the middle ear cavity. This condition often improves with time, but your doctor may refer your child to the ENT clinic to see if a grommet is required. This is a small tube which is fitted into the eardrum under a general anaesthetic and allows the middle ear to be aerated.