Vision and hearing problems reduce the active participation of older people in various events and activities. Group activities are challenging for older people with hearing problems, as they often have a great deal of difficulty conversing with several people in a noisy environment. The results also showed that people with hearing difficulties perceived their ability to live their lives as they would like as poorer than those with good hearing. Read more about this study http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140806094708.htm
The skin lining the ear canal contains glands that produce cerumen. This yellowish - brown waxy substance protects the tissues, and helps prevent infection by trapping micro-organisms, dirt and other irritants.
Wax is constantly travelling towards the outer ear where it can drop out. Actions of the jaw, such as talking and chewing, help to ‘massage’ the wax out of the canal. The ear wax you see is a combination of cerumen, shed skin cells and dirt.
This is me with the Crimson Projeckt. Basically, King Crimson without Robert Fripp.
They played at the Hi-Fi in West End, Brisbane last Saturday, 28th June 2014.
Left to Right: Tony Levin, Markus Reuter, Julie Slick, Adrian Belew, Me, Pat Mastelotto and Tobias Ralph.
Not only are these musicians some of the worlds best but they are the nicest, most decent human beings you could possible imagine.
This was taken at the Sound Check which some of us were lucky to have bought tickets to.
Big thanks to Grahame, one of my kids, who sacrificed the last hour of the show to relieve the Baby Sitter for his younger step brother and sister and also pointing Adrian and Pat in the direction of the eateries.
Did I ask them any questions on music? No.
I did blurb to Tony Levin, "I've been a long-time fan", to which he politely replied, "Thanks".
I asked Adrian Belew, how his hotel accommodation had been: to which he replied,"Err, nice...thanks...".
Pat Mastelotto was just 'Uncle Pat' and we shared family photos over a beer. For some reason, I could imagine him chopping down trees with just his bare hands.
Julie had funny shoes and could play bass at a million miles an hour (right hand just a blur).
She was also the nicest person I could imagine. I'm single, Julie...
Didn't have much to do with Markus (don't know why, everyone else said he was terrific). He also opened the show with mind altering stick playing.
Lastly Tobias. If he wasn't being one of the worlds most amazing drummers, I'm sure he would have been some kind of angel (probably is). This guy is goodness personified.
At the end of the Sound Check, we were privileged to hear B'Boom, a drum piece played by Pat the Bulldozer on Steroids and Tobias the Sports Car on Amphetamines (metaphorically, not literally).
Reminded me of Homer Simpson on the Vibrating Chair were he is drawn into hyperspace, 2001: A Space Odyssey style. It was like being sucked into something gigantic and overpowering and no escape pod.
At the actual concert about an hour later, we were treated to over two hours of sensational music. A lot of it making more sense played as live pieces.
A big 'Thank You' to very hard working, dedicated and beautiful people.
When the Rapture comes, you guys will be gone.
Nothing worse than giving a talk when you feel that only half of you is present.
It's even worse when you have to pull a face and hold your cupped hand to your ear when someone in the audience asks you a question or you look in totally the wrong direction because you didn't know where the question came from.
Your problem may be as simple as earwax build-up. Believe me, it happens to the best of us.
An assessment costs nothing and if cleaning is required, it's going to be $75 well spent.
No waiting days or weeks for a doctor's appointment and no referral needed either.
After hours and week-ends are available, just what you need if your about to hit the stage.
We clean, we reassure and we refer you on if a hearing specialist is recommended.
Let all of you take to the stage, not just half of you.
Nothing to do with ears...
A little fun for the weekend!
1. You have to make up a string of names that dovetail into one another, the surname being the first name of the next person and so on.
2. All of the names must be people of note.
3. They must have a mention in Wikipedia.
4. They cannot be the guy next door whom we've never heard of.
5. You have to use the correct spelling (no cheating).
6. An example would be: Harold Lloyd George Cole Porter.
7. Harold Lloyd (silent movie actor), Lloyd George (early 20th Century British politician), George Cole (British actor, famous for 'Arthur Daily' in 'Minder'),
My example is short and pitiful. Can you do better?
We at Total Ear Hygiene serve many different people.
Our posters will be published on this site to give you an idea of the many walks of life we aim to serve.
You will be one of them.
We are here to ensure that your ears are healthy, free from wax and allowing you to step onto the public arena with confidence and safe in the knowledge that your ear health is at it's best.
We are affiliated with Brisbane's most experienced hearing professionals and can support all of your hearing and sound communication needs.
This includes hearing assessment, ear protection and in-ear monitors.
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What does it feel like to have a blocked ear, especially when it goes on for day after day and re-occurs at regular intervals for over 30 years?
For reasons best left to genetics to resolve, I have had regular blocked ears since I was in my early 20’s. No big deal you say “It is just one ear you can’t hear out of”
Here is a segment from a blog I wrote on February 16 last year.
One of my ears was blocked, probably due to a plug of wax with water trapped under it. Nothing major, not life threatening, no need for emergency care but it did mean that I was having blinding headaches, my hearing and balance was badly affected and it was seriously impacting my life to such an extent that I was unable to carry out my normal day to day activities and get decent sleep.
Easily fixed you would assume. Just ring your doctor get an appointment and have the ear syringed out. This was after I had used up two bottles of ear softening liquid that were now making the whole situation worse.
Off I go to my regular doctor who promptly refused to syringe the ear. Apparently they were of the opinion I just needed more wax softening liquid. So what did I do?
I drove straight to the local bulk billing clinic where I was given an immediate appointment. Great I thought this will fix it. Where I waited, and waited and waited and waited. Seriously how much day time TV can you watch.
Finally into the doctor where he refused to syringe the ear out as apparently they don’t seem to be taught how to do this now in medical school or perhaps it has become a highly specialized service. I protested loudly (read I actually started crying and hyperventilating). Eventually he agreed but then took nearly an hour stuffing around while his practice nurse rolled her eyes in the background and tried very hard not to comment on his lack of technical ability.
Eventually he succeeded and I can tell you the relief is instantaneous. Honestly I am not joking but those who have been in my position will be nodding their heads saying “Yes totally agree”.
I really wished I lived in Brisbane because I would have a regular 6 monthly appointment with Gerard, from Total Ear Hygiene. As I can feel the ear getting problematic again I will instead maybe settle for a trip up there for a weekend away. Expensive way to treat what I have always thought is a fairly simple issue, well it used to be back in the 80’s, but clearly doctors think differently now.
This is from a blog done by a lady some months ago. I have chosen not to identify her. Her original blog described in far more detail the distress she was experiencing and the difficulties she had obtaining proper treatment. She was given me permission to publish this on my website and I thank her greatly for her generosity and candid honesty.
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10 Totally Untrue Facts about Hearing
1 Ears are made of rubber.
2 Fish can hear in colour
3 Your ears continue to grow long after you die
4 Due to a virus, an entire colony of Fruit Bats in the outer Brisbane suburb of Indooroopilly was fitted with hearing aids. Furthermore, once a year, each bat has to be caught to have the batteries replaced.
5 Porcupines hear through their quills.
6 Walking around with your hands over your ears for 15 minutes every day prevents loss of hearing in later life.
7 Cats are born deaf.
8 In many societies, husbands communicate by listening.
9 Ear Wax (Cerumen) has the same street value as Heroin.
10 Before the invention of RADAR, rats were trained to listen out for incoming enemy aircraft.
O.K., one of the above is actually true….but which one?
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Total Ear Hygiene is a new service offering the consumer safe and effective ear wax removal.
There are currently three practices:
· Ashgrove Specialist Medical Centre Suite 5a/21 Harry Street Ashgrove 4060.
· Thursday and Friday.
· 299 Boundary West End 4101 & Alexandra Level 1 201 Wickham Terrace Spring Hill 4000.
· All other days (including weekends).
· The telephone number is 0402 650 500
I am also available to conduct home visits, both to private dwellings as well as nursing homes and other institutions.
Scope of Practice
The business is a specialist service, devoted to the health of the ear. It is not meant to replace the G.P., ENT specialist or Audiologist out with this scope of practice..
The practitioner is specifically trained to:
· Assess the health of the ear canal.
· Promote and educate the patient in best practice for the health of their ear.
· Safely and effectively remove ear wax (Cerumen).
· Prepare the ear for intervention and fitting of hearing aids by an Audiologist.
· Report to Doctor or Audiologist
· No doctor's referral required.
A bonus that I see for this practice is that it relieves the G.P. and ENT specialist of having to clean the ear canal (external auditory meatus), a practice which can detract from their other work.
Unlike a G.P. or practice nurse who would only do this type of work intermittently, this service offers a stand-alone professional intervention by a practitioner who has made it their specialist career.
I understand that many G.P.s are now refusing to this type of intervention due to the time and risk of injury to the patient.
Offering a cheaper but specialist service to the patient without the additional cost an ENT specialist would incur, it also reduces the risk of a negative outcome to the patient as any procedure is carried out by a dedicated specialist.
The client does not require a referral from a doctor or other specialist and can simply call, either themselves or through a caregiver.
As some alternative therapies are available for rebate, I am hoping that this procedure, which is a clinical intervention, could gain the same credibility.
The current cost for treatment, which involves examination and any wax removal is $75.
The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.
The treatment involves an initial Metabolic Study to determine a baseline physiological presentation. This involves taking base-line vital signs (Temperature, Pulse, Respiration and Blood pressure). Clients can present with a possible Otitis Externa or Otitis Media without realising. They can be referred to their G.P. for appropriate treatment before any procedure would take place by the Ear Hygienist.
The next step is an examination of both of the patient's ears.
This begins with an overall visual impression of the external ear (also known as the pinna or auricle).
Next, an examination of the ear canal is carried out.
Detailed, high definition photographs are taken via a Digital Otoscope. This records a permanent record of the ear canal at the time of the examination.
It is also used to compare the canal before and after any treatment.
Clients are offered the opportunity to have the photographs emailed to them, free of charge.
Method of Cleaning
I currently prefer using two techniques in my practice.
The first is the use of hand held instruments, wax curettes, also called Jobson Horne probes.
These are of different sizes and are used to manually remove ear wax from the ear canal.
The second is a Low Pressure Irrigation System.
This delivers water, at low pressure, through an applicator which is aimed towards the wall of the ear canal in order to gently remove wax which is too close to the Tympanic Membrane to remove manually.
Contrary to other practitioners, I do not use a Low Pressure Suction Method as a first line of treatment.
I have found the technique convenient but not as gentle as the irrigation method.
I have a machine available should I feel it to be clinically indicated.
Clinical indications can be; perforation of the tympanic membrane, a history of 'wall down' surgery or client preference and previous experience.
Clients who have impacted ear wax and/or where the tympanic membrane cannot be observed are offered softening agents to take home and use for a few days prior to having wax removed. They charged for one consultation and treatment only.
As part of the service, clients are taught the most effective methods for looking after their own health in respect to their ear hygiene.
The object of Total Ear Hygiene is not to create a dependent clientele but to offer people the ability to make informed decisions regarding their hearing.
This is in a relatively simple format and can be verbal, as well as, handouts or information pointing to valid resources found on the internet.
The maxim, ‘Do no Harm’ is a major philosophy with Total Ear Hygiene.
My intention is to:
· Relieve Suffering and Distress
· Aid in the Return of Function
· Promote Health and Hearing
· Offer Support
· Empower and Enlighten
· Referral to an Appropriate Service Provider.
Documentation and Reporting
A suite of documents are completed for the clinical pathway the client will navigate.
· Client Information (with Consent form)
· Case History
· Report to Referral Source
With the client’s permission, a report detailing assessment, treatment and outcome can be sent to any preferred health care provider or specialist. This can include G.P., Audiologist, ENT Specialist or Key Stakeholder.
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The mechanism of balance
Your ears are not just for hearing. They also contain a natural apparatus that tells you how your body is placed in space and what is happening to it.
Your vestibular system has two main components: the semi-circular canals, which detect rotation; and the otolith organs, which detect linear acceleration.
Each ear has three semi-circular canals, like little curved spirit levels (but with no bubble). Each canal is aligned to a primary axis of motion; pitch (up and down), roll (rotation) and yaw (left and right). When your head moves, the fluid in the canals presses against tiny hairs, which transmit the sensation of movement to your brain. Most of the time you don't notice this.
The otolith organs are, essentially, tiny rectangular bones, one set oriented vertically, and one horizontally. As in the semicircular canals, tiny hairs detect inertia and send signals to the brain. Think of the otoliths as a bar of soap resting on a brush.
Your vestibular system helps your body balance, regulate its posture, and see clearly when moving. But it, and the proprioceptive signals that come from the skin and muscles, (the 'seat of the pants') are mechanisms designed for earthbound life, but can be easily fooled, especially in situations of flying.
A modern passenger plane can have you all over the sky avoiding bad weather, and you’d never know. All you experience is some occasional turbulence and a safe flight to your destination.
Referenced and adapted from the CASA Flight Safety On-line Magazine March 2014.
Total Ear Hygiene makes the effort to ensure that the advice offered is up to date and appropriate to your needs.