Lonsdale Ear Clinic

Frequently Asked Questions

What is microsuction ear wax removal? And more questions.

We are currently offering microsuction FREE on the NHS to our NHS patients (*subject to eligibility)

Whilst this pilot is running we are not currently offering a private microsuction service. 

If you would like to access our NHS service please contact the Lonsdale Medical Centre online (or in person) requesting assessment for microscution

 

Ear wax, also known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced by the glands in the ear canal. It serves as a protective barrier, trapping dust and dirt particles and preventing them from reaching the inner ear.

Earwax also has antibacterial properties that help prevent infections. Normally, earwax is self-cleaning and gradually moves out of the ear canal on its own. However, in some cases, excess earwax can accumulate and cause discomfort or hearing difficulties. It is important to remove excess earwax only when necessary and to do so safely and effectively to avoid damaging the ear canal or eardrum

While earwax serves an important function in protecting the ear canal, excess earwax can cause discomfort or hearing difficulties. The buildup of earwax can cause a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, ringing or buzzing in the ears, or even temporary hearing loss. In some cases, excessive earwax can also lead to ear infections or inflammation. It is important to remove earwax only when necessary and to do so safely and effectively to avoid damaging the ear canal or eardrum.

At our clinic, we offer safe and effective earwax removal by microsuction, performed by highly trained clinicians using advanced equipment.

Microsuction ear wax removal is a safe and minimally invasive procedure used to remove excess earwax buildup from the ear canal. The procedure involves using a small suction device, typically connected to a microscope or loupe, to gently and precisely remove the earwax. Unlike other methods that use water or ear drops, microsuction does not require any liquid or flushing, which can be uncomfortable or messy for some patients. Microsuction ear wax removal is a highly effective and accurate method of removing excess earwax, providing immediate relief from discomfort and hearing difficulties. Unlike most other clinics, microsuction ear wax removal procedures at Lonsdale Ear Clinic are only performed by a highly experienced team with a specialist interest in ENT (ear nose, and throat) medicine, using the highest quality ENT microscopes. 

There are several reasons to chose us!

a. We are a doctor-led clinic, and the procedure is performed by a highly trained clinician with more than 25 years of experience in treating medical and ENT problems. 

b. We use only the best equipment. We use (very expensive!) ENT microscopes in conjunction with microsuction for ear wax removal, as it is the safest and most effective method available. Microscopes provide exceptional visualization and precision, allowing our highly trained clinicians to safely and effectively remove earwax with maximum accuracy. By using microscopes, we can identify the exact location and extent of the earwax buildup, and remove it without causing any damage to the ear canal or eardrum. 

c. Our clinic is conveniently located in Queens Park, in a dedicated room within a GP surgery and we offer flexible appointment times to fit in with your busy schedule.

d. We are committed to providing affordable care, offering ear wax removal at a substantial discount to our patients. 

By choosing Lonsdale Ear Clinic, you can be assured that you will receive the best care possible for your ear wax removal needs in a comfortable and safe environment. 

The length of time it takes for microsuction earwax removal can vary depending on the amount and consistency of the earwax buildup, as well as the individual patient’s ear anatomy. In general, the procedure is quick and typically takes 5-10 minutes per ear.. However, it is important to note that our experienced clinicians take the time necessary to ensure a thorough and safe removal of all earwax buildup, and may take longer if needed. Very occasionally we may not be able to clear all of the wax in one session, and if that is the case we will invite you back for a follow-up appointment at the cost of £25. Overall, microsuction is a minimally invasive and efficient method of earwax removal, providing immediate relief from discomfort and hearing difficulties

Yes, it is generally safe to fly after having microsuction earwax removal. The procedure is minimally invasive and does not typically cause any significant trauma or damage to the ear. However, some patients may experience temporary changes in their hearing or ear pressure after the procedure, which can be exacerbated by changes in air pressure during air travel. It is recommended to wait at least 24-48 hours after the procedure before flying to allow any temporary symptoms to subside. It is also a good idea to speak with your clinician about any concerns you may have about flying after microsuction earwax removal.

Yes- Microsuction earwax removal is generally safe and effective for individuals with a perforated eardrum. In fact it is the safest method of cleaning the ears if you have had a perforated earfrum. People who have had perforated eardrums must not have their ears irrigated with water or syringed.  However, it is generally important to consult with a medical professional before having the procedure. In some cases, microsuction may not be recommended if the perforation is large or in a certain location, as it could potentially cause further damage or discomfort. Your clinician will be able to assess your individual situation and advise you on the best course of action. If you suspect you may have a perforated eardrum, it is important to seek medical attention before attempting any earwax removal procedures. At our ear clinic, we can assess your eardrum as part of an ear care consultation with the doctor and help advise you on this.

At Lonsdale Ear Clinic, ear microsuction appointments start at £50 for one or both ears. If you also require a private prescription for antibiotics for an external ear infection, or also require the removal of a foreign body these additional costs will be discussed with you at your consultation. Read more about our ear wax removal costs.

Yes! If you would like us to email this to you please send a message:

Privacy Notice

Who we are

Our website address is: www.lonsdale-ear-clinic.com

This privacy notice explains why we collect information about you, how that information may be used, how we keep it safe and confidential and what your rights are in relation to this.

The Lonsdale Ear Clinic Ltd values your privacy and aims to always demonstrate transparency and fairness in the collection and use of client/personal data. This is our Data & Privacy Policy, in compliance with the GDPR Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation [UK GDPR].

WHAT IS PERSONAL DATA UNDER THE GDPR?

The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’ meaning any information relating to an identifiable person (‘data subject’) who can be directly or indirectly identified by reference to an identifier. This definition provides for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, including name, identification number, location data or online identifier, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people. The GDPR applies to both automated personal data and to manual filing systems where personal data is accessible according to specific criteria. 

DATA CONTROLLER

A Data Controller is an organisation that determines the purposes, conditions, and means of the processing of personal data. The Lonsdale Ear Clinic Company is a Data Controller, for the purposes of operating its business. It is registered to process personal data with the Information Commissioner’s Office (visit www.ico.org.uk for further details.

A Data Processor is an organisation that processes personal data on behalf of the Controller. Third party processors with which The Lonsdale Ear Clinic works includes, but is not limited to, providers of: IT, CRM and accounting systems, appliance purchase finance, file sharing/storage systems, contracted appliance manufacturer/repair services, transport/courier services, marketing/advertising services and HR/payroll. 

HOW DO WE USE PERSONAL DATA?

The Lonsdale Ear Clinic uses your data for the following lawful basis and purposes:

  • To enable our business to respond to enquiries, referrals and contacts about the quotation/provision of professional ear care services [including microsuction and other treatments for the removal of excess ear wax] as advertised in print, signage, online at www.lonsdale-ear-clinic.com and through associated social media platforms. Enquiries, referrals and contacts include those received through phone calls, emails and post; or in response to e-newsletters/online, print advertising and social media.
  • To enable provision of contracted ear care services according to your personal instruction, or the instruction of your nominated representatives (for instance a POA).
  • To advise or remind you about your appointments with us and to perform pre-appointment triage.
  • To record your clinical data via industry-standard Cliniko software system encrypted and controlled and fully compliant.
  • To maintain a client record card detailing your hearing health history / details of any procedures performed, and any prescriptions issued. These records are stored securely and a copy of this record is available on request.
  • To keep in touch with you during the planning and delivery stages of the ear care treatments and services you have contracted us to provide. 
  • To instruct third parties, where appropriate, who may be assisting us in the provision of the ear care treatments and services you have contracted. 
  • We may occasionally contact you by email or letter to follow up about the service(s) you have received or to inform you of similar services we offer that may be relevant to you. You will be invited to opt-in to our mailing list or you can subscribe online at www.lonsdale-ear-clinic.com. You can unsubscribe at any time and we never share our mailing list contact details with third parties. 
  •  

We will keep your personal and clinical data on our secure systems indefinitely as a requirement of insurance and to enable the continued provision of your ear care services (unless you request removal or transfer according to your rights under the GDPR).

SECURITY OF EVENT DATA

We operate a ‘safe file’ system in our clinic and the site locations and staff are trained in data security. This applies to client files and contacts whether securely stored in physical files or held on desktop/hand-held devices. Non-essential paperwork is routinely shredded and recycled. We use a secure online platform for clinic notes and record keeping called Cliniko: encrypted using HTTPS (end-to-end encryption).  

PAYMENT/FINANCIAL SECURITY

When making credit card payments to The Lonsdale Ear Clinic Ltd your details are destroyed after payment has been processed through our payment terminal. If providing us with other financially sensitive company details, for instance for credit references, that data is securely stored according to our ‘safe file’ system.

YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE GDPR

Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have the following rights with respect to your personal data:

  • The right to request a copy of your personal data which Lonsdale Ear Clinic holds 
  • The right to request that the Lonsdale Ear Clinic corrects any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date.
  • The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for The Lonsdale Ear Clinic to retain such data.
  • The right to withdraw your consent to the processing of personal data at any time.
  • The right to request that the data controller provides the data subject with his/her personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability).
  • The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing.
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data.
  • The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

 

CONTACT DETAILS

To exercise all relevant rights, queries or complaints please in the first instance contact our Data Protection Officer: S Read, and write to: The Lonsdale Ear Clinic, 24 Lonsdale Road, London NW66RR

Contact the ICO on t: 0303 123 1113/email: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/ or write to: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Reviews of and Changes to our Privacy Notice

We will keep our Privacy Notice under regular review. This notice was last reviewed in April 2023

 

Otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear, is an inflammation or infection of the ear canal, which is the tube that extends from the outer ear to the eardrum. It is usually caused by bacterial or fungal growth in the ear canal and can be painful and uncomfortable.Symptoms of otitis externa include:Ear pain, especially when touching or pulling on the earItching in the ear canalSwelling or redness in the ear canalDischarge from the earTemporary hearing loss or muffled hearingA feeling of fullness or blockage in the ear

Treatment for otitis externa usually involves cleaning the ear canal and using eardrops to control the infection and reduce inflammation. In severe cases, oral antibiotics may also be prescribed. It is important to avoid putting anything in the ear canal, such as cotton swabs or other objects, as this can further irritate the ear and potentially worsen the infection. Prevention involves keeping the ears clean and dry, avoiding swimming in contaminated water, and using earplugs or a swim cap when swimming.

Microsuction is a very effective treatment for persistent otitis externa, particularly when there is a lot of blockage or discharge or where this has not cleared with a course of antibiotic drops. The infection is removed with microsuction and antibiotic drops or spray can then be applied in the cleared canal. 

At Lonsdale Ear Clinic you can have this procedure performed by an experienced clinician and if needed a private prescription for the antibiotics be provided. 

Cancellation/Missed Appointment Policy

Missed appointments are charged at the full appointment fee – any partial refund is completely discretionary.

Cancellations: if you give us at least 24 hours’ notice for any cancellation you will receive a full refund minus a 2.5% administration fee. Please email us at info@lonsdale-ear-clinic.com or message us on WhatsApp 07457 404811 to notify us of any changes or cancellations.

Cancellations of appointments less than 24 hours from the time of the appointment incur a fee of 50% of the value of the missed appointment, including a 2.5% administrative charge to process the partial refund. 

These terms cannot be altered due to reasons beyond the Lonsdale Ear Clinic’s control. This includes weather conditions, natural disasters, strikes, transportation, illness, childcare, patients developing Covid-19 symptoms, etc.

Booking an appointment online or via telephone implies acceptance of these terms.

Payments

Lonsdale Ear Clinic appointments are pre-payable either online or by phone, credit, or debit card. After you’ve been seen in our clinic, if your appointment fee is more than the amount you have paid (e.g. if you require additional treatment such as prescriptions, swabs, or a different type of appointment), this will be payable after your appointment is finished by debit or credit card.

What if ear wax is not present when I am seen?

If there is no ear wax or debris to remove from a patient’s ears following examination, it may be that microsuction is not necessary. Depending on your symptoms, this may result in a discussion with the clinician about likely causes of hearing loss and potential further investigations the patient may need.

Some patients may not have symptoms to discuss, but microsuction not being performed during an appointment does not entitle patients to any kind of refund of their appointment fees, as being seen in the clinic takes up an appointment slot and clinician time. The fee charged reflects your appointment time slot and the time a clinician spends consulting with you. The clinic cannot be held responsible for lack of requirement for microsuction in specific patients. There are multiple causes of hearing loss and sometimes this symptom is not related to wax buildup. If clinically indicated, our clinicians are able to consult with patients regarding other causes of hearing loss and may suggest further investigations or referrals. Any partial refund returned to patients is completely discretionary and is decided by the individual clinician seeing the patient. The reduced follow-up appointment fees displayed only apply to one follow-up appointment within one calendar month of the initial appointment.

 

What happens if I experience ear blockage symptoms after my initial consultation or follow-up appointment?

Sometimes, patients may experience ear blockage symptoms, reduced hearing, or pain after being cleared of wax at an initial appointment. If this is the case, patients are able to book a follow-up appointment to review the situation if necessary. All follow-up appointments are chargeable, as you’ll be paying for the Doctor’s time to see and examine you.

Experiencing ear blockage symptoms or developing reduced hearing after your original appointment is almost never due to wax not having been successfully removed the first time – it is usually due to the patient having a different underlying cause for their symptoms.

If the doctor seeing you for a follow-up appointment feels that wax was not fully removed the first time, at their discretion, they can charge a lower fee accordingly.

Outer ear canal infection following microsuction is a very rare complication (less than 1%). Patients who suspect they have this ought to book an appointment in the usual way. As above, a fee (at a reduced rate) also applies to follow-up appointments for patients with ear pain or suspected infection.

Please note, the NHS microsuction pilot that we are running at the Lonsdale Medical Centre requires a clinician review first to make sure that you fit the criteria for this service. The service is not for mild/ normal/moderate cerumen buildup, it is intended for patients who have impacted wax or wax that has not resolved with normal over the counter treatment. The following patients are eligible:

• Children 12 years of age and above
• Referring clinician must have examined the ear
• Patient is able to lie very still for at least 5 minutes
• Impacted ear wax with failed attempts at clearance with ear drops
• Inorganic foreign bodies
• Chronic/Recurrent Otitis Externa not responding to antibiotic ear drops
• Partially obstructed ear wax in hearing aid wearer 

 

 

or patient in need of further (cognitive,
falls or hearing assessment)

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Maria