Caythorpe and Ancaster Medical Practice gifted new ear microsuction equipment
New ear microsuction equipment has been gifted to the Caythorpe and Ancaster Medical Practice.
The Margaret Brown Trust, which was created to promote the advancement of health and saving lives, provided the funds to the practice to allow them to buy the machine.
The equipment is vital to the practice for the safe, comfortable, and painless removal of earwax.
Dr Simon Robinson, senior partner at the practice, said: "An excessive amount of earwax can cause hearing loss or ringing in your ears.
"Some people experience vertigo, which increases the risk of falling, and we see some correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline.
"In elderly patients, it’s fairly common.
"It seems like such a basic thing, but it’s one of the most common reasons people present for hearing-related problems.
"It can cause embarrassment and lead to isolation."
Hearing loss is a major public health issue affecting around nine million people in England.
Age-related hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss.
For patients with dementia, impacted earwax can cause problems and worsen their symptoms.
It can impede their communication, worsen aggression and lead to isolation.
The effects of ear wax removal can be immediate, as a recent study found significant improvements in hearing and cognitive performance in elderly patients with memory disorders once impacted wax was removed.
Dr Lindsay Bomford, GP and locality clinical lead for dementia said: "Deafness in the elderly population is significant as hearing loss increases the risk of developing dementia five-fold, research has shown that there could be a nine per cent reduction in dementia cases if hearing loss is treated.
"Untreated hearing loss can exacerbate the symptoms of dementia and make management more challenging.
"This can be distressing for both patients and families.
"Micro-suction as a method is less invasive and better tolerated by patients with dementia and the frail elderly.
"By providing this service in the locality, this vulnerable group of patients can benefit significantly."
By using a binocular microscope which magnifies the ear, the operator can view the ear canal and remove any obstructing ear wax by using a very fine low-pressure sterile suction device.
It is a dry procedure without the use of water being rinsed into the ear.
The addition of a head loupe makes this a domiciliary service which can be offered to the most frail and vulnerable patients who are either housebound or living in care homes.