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The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) is a world leader, with a trained team of friendly and experienced advisers for anyone who experiences tinnitus or those simply seeking guidance or information about the condition.
It is well documented that wearing a hearing aid, even if you have a mild hearing loss, can be beneficial for people who experience tinnitus.
Instead of an ear mould, the hearing aid is attached to a flexible tube with a little dome at the end which fits into your ear canal.
Sound will be more natural; the dome is more comfortable in your ear canal, allowing it to be better ventilated. Hearing aid technology is changing all the time, both on the NHS and the commercial market. Cost-cutting GPs are telling patients to do it themselves - but is it safe to syringe out your own ears? When Matthew Becker developed hearing problems in his right ear, he was not overly concerned. In the past, this problem had been solved by a simple trip to his GP to have his ears syringed, but on this occasion, while ear wax was again the cause of the blockage, removing it was more difficult, although his doctor had no idea why.
Concerned that syringing Matthew's ears a fourth time could do some damage, the GP sent him to see an ear specialist. Only then - and using tweezers, binocular-type glasses and a special suction machine used only by ear specialists - could the consultant carry out the delicate task of removing the problem wax. Although a routine procedure, removal of wax through syringing was long thought to require the medical expertise of a nurse or GP, or even - as Matthew's case illustrates - an ear, nose and throat consultant. Yet new research suggests this expertise is unnecessary - patients should simply syringe their own ears in order to free up valuable GP time.
The study, presented earlier this year at a meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care, shows that if patients are taught to clear their own ears of wax - using a soft, plastic bulb syringe - each GP surgery could save nearly 200 consultations a year and thousands of pounds of NHS money. Dr Richard Coppin, a GP from Overington, Basingstoke, who carried out the research, believes the simple procedure has been 'medicalised'. He says: 'The time practice nurses spend undertaking ear syringing in UK general practice is considerable. The suggestion has prompted concern from specialists, who fear that patients could cause themselves permanent damage and problems such as tinnitus.
Our ears - specifically the ceruminous apocrine glands in the ear canal - produce wax all the time. However, some people produce more ear wax than others and, if it builds up and hardens, it can form a blockage. Ear wax can also be more of a problem if you have a narrow ear canal, work in dusty or dirty environments, wear ear plugs a lot or a hearing aid, or if your ear canal is particularly hairy. A GP or nurse will remove the wax using an electronic pulse pump that sends pressurised water into the ear canal. The home treatment suggested by Dr Coppin involves a bulb syringe that squirts warm water into the ear.
While many doctors agree that ear syringing takes up a significant amount of their time, they're worried that it is a specialised treatment and patients could seriously harm their ears carrying out the procedure at home.


Damage caused by ear syringing is already one of the most common causes of complaints against medical staff, says Andrew McCombe, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey. The worry is that if laymen are let loose on their own ears, this would be even more risky. Tinnitus - a condition where patients hear noise or ringing in their ears - is also linked to syringing. Alternatively oil drops can be put in the ear and this may be sufficient to dislodge the wax. Suction using specialist equipment is another method of clearing the ears used by hospital departments. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
A build-up of earwax is a common problem that can often be treated using eardrops bought from a pharmacy. If these treatments don't help, your GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) department for specialised treatment. Earwax can also block your ear if you frequently insert objects into your ear canal, such as cotton buds, ear plugs or hearing aids. Don't try to remove a build-up of earwax yourself with your fingers, a cotton bud or any other object.
If the earwax is only causing minor problems, you can try buying some eardrops from a pharmacy.
There are several different types of eardrops you can use, including drops containing sodium bicarbonate, olive oil or almond oil.
Speak to your pharmacist about the most suitable product for you and make sure you read the leaflet that comes with it. Contact your GP surgery if you have particularly troublesome symptoms or eardrops haven't helped after three to five days. Your GP or practice nurse will look inside your ears to check if they're blocked and might carry out some simple hearing tests. They may suggest using eardrops for a bit longer, or they may carry out a minor procedure called ear irrigation to clean out your ear canal. If these treatments aren't suitable or don't help, your GP may refer you to the ENT department of your nearest hospital for more specialised treatments such as microsuction or an aural toilet.
Some people are naturally prone to earwax building up in their ears and may need frequent treatment to remove it when it becomes a problem. It's not clear if there's anything you can do to stop earwax blocking your ears, although some doctors recommend using eardrops regularly to keep your earwax soft. Don't try to scrape out the earwax with your finger or an object inserted into your ear, as this this can make the problem worse. With an account you can keep track of pages on the site and save them to this tab, which you can access on every page when you are logged in.
Raising your hearing levels will usually help to suppress tinnitus, so the annoying noises take a back seat.


At Salisbury District Hospital, we are using two different makes of hearing aid on flex tubes. If in the past, you have been told that you are not a candidate for a hearing aid, it may be worth asking to be referred again, especially if it is more than three years since you were last assessed. The 35-year-old pub landlord from Farnborough, Surrey, had suffered blocked ears several times before as a result of ear wax. Although most practice nurses feel that syringing ears is a worthwhile use of their time, could that time be better spent? It's a natural self-cleaning mechanism: the wax moves towards the outer part of the ear, carrying with it dirt and debris, keeping the ears clean and unblocked. These are already used by patients in other European countries where they are available over-the-counter in pharmacies.
Wax can also be removed with a metal probe or hook, although this obviously needs to be done by a specialist and is likely to be more painful. This is the safest method, and although noisier for the patient during treatment itself, it does not damage the hearing.
It usually passes out of the ears harmlessly, but sometimes too much can build up and block the ears.
For example, eardrops shouldn't be used if you have a perforated eardrum (a hole or tear in your eardrum). Your pharmacist or doctor can let you know what treatments may work for you and they can tell you about any associated risks or side effects. Comfort is essential to any hearing aid user, but it is particularly important to people who experience tinnitus because any uneasiness will add to their distress. Unfortunately, feedback may occur if the aid is required to respond to a more severe hearing loss. You may notice that your own voice sounds hollow, blocked or you may be aware of a resounding echo. Perhaps best of all is that you don’t have to have an impression taken of your ear and wait for a mould to be made.
Unfortunately, this can have the effect of drawing your attention to your own tinnitus noises. You might even be able to walk away with a nice digital hearing aid at your first appointment. Until comparatively recently, audiologists tried to alleviate this discomfort by modifying ear moulds, venting them and simply counselling patients about acclimatising to the new sensation of wearing an aid.



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