Accumulated wax is often present in a normal ear canal. It can prevent proper inspection of the skin lining the canal or ear drum, and its presence can interfere with diagnostic testing. Excessive wax blocking an ear canal can cause hearing loss and therefore affect the results of pure tone audiometry or interfere with the free passage of water during the caloric test. Flakes of wax may also block the small soft rubber ear probes used with tympanometry, Eustachian tube function and Otoacoustic emission testing.
Typically wax is removed by inserting a small suction device through a sterile plastic speculum using the microscope, a procedure termed microsuction. This is normally a painless procedure. Syringing the ear canals with clean warm water has been a traditional method for removing wax, but requires special care or this procedure may result in permanent damage to the ear. ENT surgeons are reluctant to recommend syringing because there may be underlying problems obscured by the wax, such as a perforated or weak ear drum, which significantly increases the risk of causing permanent damage or infection.
As part of our on-going commitment to providing high standards of treatment to our patients, we are proud to be registered with the Care Quality Commission under the Care Standards Act 2000.
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Dr Gerald Brookes is regularly consulted by the media for his expertise. He has been interviewed by the Daily Mail, featured on Channel 4's Embarassing Bodies, looked after The X-Factor contestants and recently, appeared on BBC Radio 2 with Chris Evans.
Media: Channel 4
Adele was experiencing dizziness and balance problems so severe that she could barely function. In desperation, after consulting her GP to no avail, she got in touch with Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies team. The show then contacted Dr Gerald Brookes, who was able to diagnose her rare condition as Basilar Migraine.
Catherine Eade was having dizzy spells and balance problems. When inexplicably she started suffering memory loss too, she consulted Dr Gerald Brookes at The Harley Street ENT Clinic who correctly diagnosed her problem as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
The Harley Street ENT Clinic looked after The X-Factor TV show contestants for many seasons. At the end of the 2010 season, Dr Gerald Brookes was interviewed by Nicky Broyd of Boots WebMD on the perils of high pressure performing.