What to do if you have an ear infection;
If you need medical assistance, the NHS advice during the COVID pandemic is as follows;
Use the NHS 111 online service at www.nhs.uk or call the 111 helpline number if you cannot get help online.
Call your GP who may offer a consultation over the phone, by video call online or arrange an appointment if absolutely necessary.
You can also call our emergency helpline on 01494 733840. Only go to A&E if it is an emergency.
What to do if you have ear wax:
Ear wax is not usually a problem unless there is an excessive build up which may cause infection, temporary loss of hearing or become painful. You should never try to remove ear wax yourself and seek professional help, but in these difficult times when audiology services are unavailable you can try using warm water and olive oil, used sparingly, a couple of times a week. This should soften the ear wax to make it easy to wipe away with a clean, soft cloth.
Be certain to NEVER poke anything into the ear canal to try to remove wax. This can cause damage to the eardrum and increase the risk of infection. If ear wax is a persistent problem, causes pain or discharge from the ear then seek help from your GP.
What are the risks (if any) to hearing from Covid-19?
To date there is no specific information available on the risk to hearing of contracting the virus. What is known is that it affects the upper respiratory tract causing flu-like symptoms, often with a dry cough and raised temperature. It can also cause headaches and fatigue and symptoms vary between individuals.
If you experience ANY changes in your hearing do not ignore them but seek advice as soon as you can. Either call your GP, NHS 111 or our helpline number 01494 733840.
These are uncertain times and anxiety and stress can exacerbate the symptoms of Tinnitus. It is important that you try not to worry about the tinnitus and take steps to help you relax. Take time away from listening to the news or social media posts and engage in something that is diverting or calming. The British Tinnitus Association Have more information and have staff working from home to provide confidential tinnitus support throughout this period, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can I talk to about my hearing concerns?
Most routine ENT outpatient services are unavailable through this crisis, except for clinical ENT emergencies.
Our doors may be closed but we are still taking phone calls and answering emails. We fully appreciate that living with hearing loss is challenging and that these are worrying times for everyone. We will do our best to help and invite you to call us and share your concerns.
You can reach us on 01494 733840 or text 07970 547999/07977 522150
Alternatively email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I have a hearing emergency eg SSHNL
If you find your hearing has suddenly changed or you lose hearing in one or both ears then you need to seek professional advice. Call our helpline on 01494 733840 or the mobile numbers above. We will advise you on the best action to take and if necessary refer you to an ENT department as an emergency or recommend you go straight to A&E.
The Government is emphasising that A&E departments are still open for non-Covid related emergencies and have precautions in place to safeguard you if you have to visit. You should also continue to attend appointments for ongoing treatment, unless you have been told not to.
Most GP practices are also still running and will either offer telephone consultations or online services including video calls. Help with this can be found on the NHS website www.nhs.uk . In exceptional circumstances GPs offer some face to face appointments with full PPE. Only visit your GP if advised to do so by a healthcare professional.