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Frequently Asked Questions

Browse helpful information about our services and treatment options.

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Earwax Removal FAQs

  • What is Earwax?

    Earwax is a naturally occurring substance secreted in the ear canal. Earwax has many benefits such as cleaning and protecting the ear canal. However, when earwax builds up and causes a blockage of the ear canal it may lead hearing loss, tinnitus, fullness or itching.

  • Why Get Earwax Removed?

    Did you know wax build up can cause tinnitus? This is because it can stop some of the sound input getting to your auditory system, causing your brain to compensate for that sound, leading to tinnitus.

    Wax can also affect your hearing at any stage during your life. That’s why when you experience things like hearing loss, an earache, some discomfort, loss of balance or dizziness, it’s important to have your ears and hearing checked.

    There’s no need to worry – it could just be wax build-up in our ears. Using the latest in wax removal technology, Ótologie’s audiologists will quickly and efficiently remove any excess wax from your ears which may be negatively impacting your hearing or contributing to your tinnitus.

  • How is Earwax Removed?

    Òtologie’s specially trained clinicians will remove the ear wax using the advanced technology of the Tympa system. Removing earwax with the Tympa System uses a high-powered microscope to provide a clear view of the ear canal and a specially designed small vacuum to remove the earwax in a safe and effective manner.

  • Do I Need to Prepare for Wax Removal?

    To prepare for earwax removal, we advise that you use ear drops such as Earol for 5-7 days before the wax removal appointment. Ear oil softens and loosens wax making it easier for the audiologist to remove.

Healthcare Professionals FAQs

  • How do I refer my patient?

    You can make a referral to our patient coordinator team at the contact information below:

    Email: refer@otologie.com

    Post: Ótologie, Suite 36, Hermitage Medical Clinic, Old Lucan Rd, Dublin, D20 W722

    Phone: +353 1 253 1448

    Alternatively, your patient can submit their own request at otologie.com/how-to-book/

  • Can I receive updates about my patient’s treatment?

    Absolutely. If you leave your contact details when you are referring your patient we will provide you with an update about their treatment and any next steps.

Hearing Aid FAQs

  • How do hearing aids help tinnitus?

    Did you know that hearing loss is a common cause of tinnitus? Sometimes, when your brain adapts to hearing loss it can result in you experiencing tinnitus. Improving your hearing with hearing aids can help you better manage your tHearing aids may reduce tinnitus by providing auditory stimulation. Research suggests that tinnitus may be caused by loss of input; when hearing aids amplify sound it provides stimulation to the auditory nerve and increases overall auditory input. In addition to this, with an increase in overall amplification the tinnitus itself may be less noticeable. This may be particularly beneficial to those who experience tinnitus most in quiet environments.

  • How long does it take for my hearing to adjust to a new hearing aid?

    It takes approximately 6-8 weeks for the brain to adjust to the new sound being produced by the hearing aid.

  • Do I need to get two hearing aids?

    If our audiologists recommend one or two hearing aids will depend on the results of your assessment with our audiologists. Based on your audiometric evaluation, our audiologists may recommend you for hearing aids. Depending on if you have hearing loss in one or both ears, they may prescribe one or two hearing aids. Ultimately, the final decision to proceed with one or two hearing aids will be yours.

  • How do you decide which hearing aids to recommend for me?

    Before we recommend any hearing aids for you, we carry out a tinnitus assessment which includes an evaluation of how your tinnitus is affecting your day-to-day life as well as a hearing test. Based the results of this, we may recommend a certain hearing aid based on its performance for your hearing profile i.e. is it suitable to improve your hearing loss.

    Then we can work with you to ensure that your hearing aid is comfortable and fits well as well as allowing you to choose a colour of your choice. We will also discuss additional features with you which you may like, such as tinnitus sound therapy or streaming to mobile devices. Combining each of these factors we’ll arrive at the best hearing aid to recommend for you.

  • How do hearing aids work?

    A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing loss by amplifying sound. Hearing aids require configuration to match the hearing loss and acoustic characteristics of the hearing aid user. Hearing aids work by amplifying sound through a three-part system: The microphone receives sound and converts it into a digital signal. The amplifier​ increases the strength of the digital signal. The speaker (or receiver) produces the amplified sound into the ear. The main aim of the hearing aid is to amplify speech sounds, with the most important frequencies for speech occurring from 250 to 8,000 Hz.

  • How many people with hearing loss also suffer from tinnitus?

    Hearing loss is a common cause of tinnitus. Estimates from the Hearing Loss Association of America have put the number of people experiencing tinnitus at 80 – 90%.

  • How long do I need to experience tinnitus for before I can get hearing aids from Otologie?

    Generally, we wait until you have had a tinnitus for 3 months before we would recommend any of our treatment options, including hearing aids. The reason for this is that after 3 months, tinnitus is classed as chronic. If you have started to experience tinnitus recently, it may fluctuate more significantly than if you have been experiencing it for longer or potentially subside without treatment intervention. At 3 months we can be more confident that your tinnitus is stable, allowing us to better assess and prescribe suitable treatments to manage it.

  • What type of hearing aids do you provide?

    We provide a range of difference hearing aids from GN Resound. Our audiologists can discuss the different options available to you in great details if are thinking of proceeding with hearing aids.

  • How often should I wear my hearing aids?

    Ideally, hearing aids should be worn everyday and taken out at night time (to preserve battery while not in use).

  • Are my hearing aids rechargeable?

    Yes, your hearing aids are rechargeable and your charging case is included in your package when you purchase your hearing aids.

    If you wish, you can get the same hearing aids which are not rechargeable.

  • What do I do if my hearing aid breaks?

    Your hearing aids come with warranty, if they break you can contact your patient coordinator directly and we can discuss your warranty and repairing or replacing your hearing aids.

  • What payment options do I have?

    Health Insurance Cover for Hearing Tests

    Patients with Vhi, BUPA or Aviva health insurance can claim back up to €40 for their hearing assessment. Tax relief can be claimed for medical expenses for the highest rate of tax you pay. This includes hearing assessments and hearing aids. For more information go to www.revenue.ie

    Social Welfare Grant for Hearing Aids 

    A grant is available, under the Treatment Benefit Scheme, for those who have made PRSI contributions for 5 or more years. You may also qualify for the grant through your spouse’s contributions. If you qualify, you are entitled to up to €1520 towards the cost of your hearing aids. More information can be obtained at the Treatment Benefit Scheme section of the Department of Health and Children website: www.dohc.ie.

  • How long will my hearing aid last?

    The life of a hearing aid is about five to six years. Many hearing aids are still functioning well after six years, while others may need a tune-up or repairs.

  • Are two hearing aids better than one?

    In instances in which there is a hearing loss present in both ears, yes two hearing aids are better than one for the following reasons:

    • Better hearing in a noisy environment: Hearing in a noisy environment can be improved if the signal reaching each ear arrives at a slightly different moment in time. This time difference can help the brain process a speech signal more efficiently.
    • Improved signal vs. noise level: Sound source matters: If you have a hearing aid in only your left ear and the person speaking to you is on your right side, much of the speech signal is lost by the time it gets to your aided ear, while the level of the noise in the room enters the aided ear at its normal volume level.
    • Improved ability to localize sounds: The brain uses the sound entering the ears from the right and left side of the head to determine the direction of the sound source. Having a hearing aid in only one ear can alter this sense of direction.
  • If I use a hearing aid can I get Lenire?

    People with hearing aids can use Lenire. However, if your hearing is outside the range required for Lenire we can discuss whether or not hearing aids would be a suitable treatment option for your tinnitus. If you wish to proceed with hearing aids our team will create a treatment plan for you whereby we give you an appropriate amount of time to adjust to your day to day life with hearing aids and review their impact on your hearing and tinnitus. We typically recommended for people to wear hearing aids for at least 90 days before being fit with Lenire. We also recommended that patients take hearing aids out 1 hour before treatment and keep them out 1 hour after treatment.

  • Why does Ótologie offer hearing aids for tinnitus?

    Otologie is a specialist service for tinnitus care where we offer a range of different treatments. After an assessment, our clinicians recommend the treatment we believe is best suited to help you manage your tinnitus. Hearing aids are one of those treatment options. Studies have shown that hearing aids can help improve the symptoms of tinnitus by improving hearing.

  • Will my hearing aid have specific features for tinnitus?

    We provide a range of hearing aids which come with specific sound therapy features for tinnitus which allow you to play soothing tones and noises, and custom sounds directly from your hearing aids. As part of your decision making process about whether or not to purchase hearing aids, we can discuss how the feature works and provide you with guidelines about how it can be best used by you whilst wearing your hearing aids.

  • How do I know if I need a hearing aid?

    A hearing aid is recommended if hearing loss is affecting the patient’s quality of life on a day-to-day basis. Early indications of hearing loss include difficulty hearing speech in background noise environments, difficulty in distinguishing clarity of speech and difficulty in group situations. Family members may notice a change in a patient’s level of hearing. The role of the audiologist is to carry out audiological assessments to determine if there is a hearing loss present and to facilitate an appropriate management plan which may involve hearing aids.

  • Are there follow up appointments to check my hearing aids are working?

    Yes, your package includes 3 follow up appointments to check on your progress and to make sure your hearing aids are performing for you. Your first appointment will be scheduled a few weeks after you start using your hearing aids, to give you time to adjust to them.

  • What hearing aids do you provide?

    We provide a range of difference hearing aids from GN Resound. Our audiologists can discuss the different options available to you in great details if are thinking of proceeding with hearing aids.

  • What proof do you have that hearing aids help with tinnitus?

    A number of research studies have been carried out globally which show that hearing aids can provide benefit to people with tinnitus. Usually, the most prominent benefit is that tinnitus becomes less noticeable because your hearing aids amplify external sounds which can provide sufficient activation of the auditory nervous system to focus your attention away from tinnitus.

    Here is an example paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0079612307660324

  • How can hearing aids improve my day-to-day life?
  • Could hearing aids make my tinnitus worse?

    It’s extremely rare but it can occur where hearing aids worsen tinnitus symptoms. We reduce this risk by carrying out a tinnitus assessment which includes a hearing test before we prescribe hearing aids for you. This allows us to ensure that your hearing aids are suitable for not only your hearing profile but also your experience with tinnitus. Follow up appointments which are included as part of your package allow us to check on your progress and adjust your hearing aids if necessary.

  • What colour can I get my hearing aids in?

    We offer a range of neutral colours for you to choose from which combine well with natural hair and skin colours so your hearing aids are discrete when you wear them.

  • Is there a mobile app I can use with my hearing aids?

    Yes, we provide a range of hearing aids which come with a mobile application to play sound therapy as part of the package you purchase. If you are considering purchasing hearing aids, our team will be able to show you the app, how it works, as well as provide recommendations about your use of it as you adjust to hearing aids.

  • How will my hearing aids work?
  • How do you configure hearing aids for my hearing?

    Your hearing aids are configured to your hearing thresholds based on the results of your tinnitus assessment which includes a hearing test. Once the hearing aids have been configured for your hearing thresholds/levels, the clinician can make some further adjustment or the clinician can fine tune the hearing aids further. This allows us to best match the hearing aid to your hearing profile.

  • Do your hearing aids link to smartphones for calls and audio?

    Yes, some of the hearing aids we offer include a feature which allows you to link your hearing aids to your smart phone via Bluetooth so that you can play audio from your phone directly from your hearing aids into your ears.

  • How do I adjust the volume of my hearing aids?

    Your hearing aids come with an app for your phone which allows you to adjust the volume of your hearing aids whenever you need to. We’ll show you how to use it during your fitting appointment with us.

  • Are these hearing aids wireless?
  • What types of tinnitus are hearing aids suitable for?

    Hearing aids are typically useful for subjective tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus is where you experience a sound which has no external source. The vast majority of tinnitus cases are subjective. Objective tinnitus is where you experience a sound but there is an external source, perhaps due to blood vessels. Within subjective tinnitus, people can experience tinnitus differently either constantly or intermittently, and it can present as different sounds such as whistling, ringing, or something else. Regardless of how your subjective tinnitus presents, hearing aids can be useful.

    However, the first step is for our team to assess your tinnitus so that we can get a better understanding of it to make the right treatment recommendation for you.

  • How do I clean my hearing aids?
  • Will hearing aids completely reverse hearing loss?

    Hearing aids cannot restore your hearing to a normal level, but rather help to amplify and distinguish sounds in a wide range of listening environments.

  • When should hearing aids be taken out?

    Hearing aids are water resistant as opposed to waterproof. Therefore they should be taken off when patient is exposed to high volumes of water, for example while showering or while walking in the rain. Hearing aids may also be taken out when exposed to loud sounds that do not require amplification (i.e. loud concerts, mowing the lawn, operating loud machinery).

  • Can hearing aids prevent further hearing loss?

    Indirectly, hearing aids can help to prevent hearing loss. If a patient has a hearing loss, they are more likely to increase the volume of applications to a level which may cause further hearing damage without the patient noticing for example access to the sounds of music, television and radio. A hearing aid provides access to these sounds without the need to increase the volume of applications to a harmful level.

  • Should I wear hearing aids when I’m asleep?

    We do not advise you to wear hearing aids while you’re asleep. Storing them overnight in your charging case will help to preserve the battery for the day time and sleeping with a hearing aid on may cause discomfort.

  • Why do you provide GN Resound Hearing Aids?

    We partner with GN Resound to provide their hearing aids as they have brought a number of significant innovations to the hearing aid market in recent times such as being the first hearing aid company to offer microphone and receiver in ear (m&rie) hearing aids. Their strong customer care also enables us to provide you with better clinical service for repairs and replacement hearing aids.

  • What’s the difference between the various hearing aids you provide?

    The difference between the hearing aids we offer is primarily based on performance and style. Depending on your lifestyle, you may require a high performing hearing aid which can better amplify a wider range of sounds with more nuance. You also may prefer a certain style of hearing aid with the receiver in the ear or behind the ear, depending on how they look.

  • Can I get my insurance to cover my hearing aids?

    Yes, it’s possible to get your hearing aids covered by an insurance policy. Some providers allow them to be covered on your home insurance policy and some offer specific hearing aid insurance policies. All I can recommend is that you contact your insurance provider directly to find out what options are available to you.

  • What is the battery life of my hearing aids?

    Your hearing aid batteries are designed to last for a number of days when fully charged. They are rechargeable, and your charging case is included in your package. So we recommend that you take your hearing aids off when sleeping to charge them so they are always ready for day time.

  • What improvements have your patients seen from hearing aids?

    We cannot share details with you regarding the improvements of individual patients using hearing aids due to privacy but GN Resound, the manufacturer of the hearing aids we prescribe, have released a study following tinnitus patients who used their hearing aids and saw positive outcomes.

    Here is a link to the study: https://www.otologie.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/GN-Resound-Long-Term-Benefits-of-TSG-Study.pdf

  • Do your hearing aids provide sound therapy for tinnitus?

    Yes, included in your hearing aid package is the ReSound Relief app. This allows you to play sound therapy for tinnitus directly to through your hearing aids. It also offers meditation and relaxation guidance. If you decide to progress with hearing aids, our clinicians can discuss the use of the app alongside your hearing aids and give you best practice guidelines about using it to manage your tinnitus. Our audiologists can also activate specific sound therapy features on your hearing aid.

  • Is my tinnitus guaranteed to improve with hearing aids?

    As tinnitus is a complex neurological condition, we cannot guarantee that every patient’s tinnitus will improve. However, studies have shown that hearing aids are beneficial for the majority of people with tinnitus and we offer a trial period with a money back guarantee.

    It’s also important to define what you mean by improvement. For some people, it can mean that they notice their tinnitus less, or that they are better able to engage in social situations due to improved hearing and decreased awareness of tinnitus.

    Our clinicians will discuss your tinnitus with you during your tinnitus assessment, so we can understand how your tinnitus is affecting your day to day life and prescribe the right hearing aid, or other treatment, for you.

  • How do I change programmes on my hearing aids?
  • How to insert and remove hearing aid domes
  • How do I insert and remove wax filters for hearing aids?
  • How do I put on and take off my hearing aids?

Lenire FAQs

  • Is Lenire the only treatment device you provide?

    Our team assess your tinnitus to give you more information about your tinnitus and to make the best treatment recommendation for you. We offer other treatments than Lenire. If you’re not suitable for Lenire, we will refer you to another treatment to get the best outcome for you.

  • Can Lenire Be Returned?

    Lenire is not a consumer device and, as such, no money back guarantee can be offered. Lenire is a medical device used as part of a treatment plan supervised by a qualified and experienced clinician. Purchase of the device is a single upfront payment. In the event you decide to terminate (cease) treatment, the upfront payment is non-refundable.

  • Does Lenire have a warranty?

    Yes. Lenire comes with a three year warranty. Patients own Lenire after purchase.

  • How effective is Lenire?

    Lenire is proven across three clinical trials to reduce the severity of tinnitus.

    • TENT-A1 (Trial 1): 86.2% of compliant trial patients had improvement in tinnitus severity after 12 weeks of treatment, as measured by THI score.  
    • TENT-A2 (Trial 2): 91% of compliant trial patients experienced sustained improvement in tinnitus severity when evaluated 12-months post-treatment.
    • TENT-A3 (Trial 3): 70.5% of patients with moderate or worse tinnitus who used Lenire for six weeks had a significant tinnitus reduction when six weeks of sound-only stimulation had little impact.

    83% of 500+ Lenire trial patients would recommend Lenire to treat tinnitus. Real world independent studies are consistent with findings in Lenire’s clinical trials.

  • How many Lenire appointments will I have?

    The number of appointments you have will depend on your treatment plan. Every patient will have an assessment of their tinnitus to ensure Lenire is the right treatment for them. Following that, a fitting appointment lets you get used to using Lenire under the guidance of our clinician before you start treatment from home. We provide up to three follow-up appointments to check your progress with Lenire and provide further guidance about managing your tinnitus.

  • How do I know if Lenire is suitable for me?

    Your initial tinnitus assessment will determine if Lenire is a suitable treatment option for you or if another treatment is recommended. You can choose an initial tinnitus assessment with one of Òtologie’s Audiologists In-Clinic or Online.

  • How long do I use Lenire for?

    Lenire should be used for two thirty minute sessions per day. These sessions can be back to back. You will be advised during your visits to Òtologie about the treatment plan length but typically initial treatment with Lenire can last at least 10 weeks. We will advise you about continued use of Lenire after your treatment plan is completed.

Tinnitus FAQs

  • What are the symptoms of tinnitus?

    People’s experience of tinnitus differs greatly. Most commonly, you will hear it described as an annoying ringing in the ears.

    Tinnitus is often described as a buzzing, humming, hissing, or whistling sensation. It can be perceived as being in one or both ears, in the head or even outside the head in certain cases. For many, it’s a constant or fluctuating sound that they will hear all day long and even more so when it’s quiet (during the night, for example, when there is less noise to mask tinnitus) but for others it may be something that comes and goes.

    Some sufferers will report hearing one single sound whilst others can hear a multitude of sounds. On top of all of these common variations, the sound itself can also vary in both pitch and loudness.

  • Who is affected?

    Though not as widely discussed as some other health concerns, the reality is that around 10-15% of a population will experience bothersome tinnitus. To put that into context, if you take the latest population figures from the US (which, in 2019, was just over 328 million), that’s 32-49 million people who will live with tinnitus symptoms. People of all ages can get it; even children. Statistically though, it’s more common in adults as it is associated with hearing loss which is believed to increase with age. Many people get tinnitus for a short period of time (‘acute tinnitus’ is tinnitus that lasts for a maximum of three months). It can manifest after being exposed to loud music, perhaps at a concert or via headphones, but it can also arise due to an excess in ear wax, or as a result of a cold or a flu. In a lot of these cases, it will pass, but for some, it doesn’t go away, and can be a chronic and bothersome issue.

  • What are the types of tinnitus?

    Generally speaking, there are two types of tinnitus: Subjective Tinnitus and Objective Tinnitus.

    Subjective Tinnitus is tinnitus that only the person themselves can hear. This is the most common type of tinnitus, encompassing any and all of the aforementioned symptoms.

    Objective tinnitus is tinnitus that your healthcare professional can hear when they do an examination and put a stethoscope to the ear.

  • What are the causes of tinnitus?

    Hearing loss, as a result of ageing, is by far the most common cause of tinnitus. Other common causes of tinnitus can include hearing loss, middle ear infection, Ménière’s disease, acoustic trauma caused by sudden exposure to loud noise, certain medications, head injury, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and stress.

  • What do I do if I have tinnitus?

    For a lot of people, identifying the specific cause of their tinnitus symptoms proves difficult. For this reason, it’s important that patients experiencing tinnitus go and see their GP for a full examination in order to diagnose the underlying cause. In some cases, resolving the cause may alleviate the perception of tinnitus, such as an ear infection.

    If the GP cannot find an underlying cause, patients may be referred to an ENT Consultant for further investigation or to an audiologist to have their hearing assessed.

    Ótologie’s expert team specialise in treating tinnitus and will tailor a treatment plan to you, following a tinnitus assessment, using the latest evidence-based treatments.

  • Is tinnitus a problem?

    The majority of people who have tinnitus are not particularly bothered by it; they may find it only mildly annoying and ultimately learn to live with it. For some people, however, living with tinnitus can have a serious impact on their quality of life, triggering anxiety, stress, depression and interfering with hearing, sleep and concentration. Whether it’s mild or severe, the good news is that tinnitus is not a life-threatening condition. Fortunately, the majority of people find that their tinnitus gets better over time. This is because the brain gradually learns to ‘filter it out’ and not pay attention to it. This process is called ‘habituation’. Habituation is one of the main goals of tinnitus treatment and management therapies.

  • How do I manage tinnitus?

    There is currently no cure for tinnitus. That being said, treatment and management therapies are available that can help reduce the impact of tinnitus so that people can live a normal active life. The aim of treatments, such as sound therapy, relaxation therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), is to help people effectively ignore or manage their tinnitus to the point where it is no longer a problem. Some treatments also aim to reduce the stress that can be associated with tinnitus. Of course, if there is an underlying cause of tinnitus that can be easily treated, such as an ear-wax blockage or an ear infection, treating this may get rid of the tinnitus.

    Audiologists may recommend one or more of the following options: sound therapy, including sound generators and hearing aids, relaxation exercises such as yoga, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, or Neuromodulation Treatment. Whichever treatment path is recommended to you, it is important to understand that it can take time for things to improve, be it the stress associated with tinnitus or the tinnitus symptoms themselves. If you are living with tinnitus, working on your mindset or your perception of the tinnitus is key. The goal of all treatment plans is essentially the same: to break the negativity associated with tinnitus. Some immediate relief may be achieved, but ultimately the aim is to become more comfortable with the tinnitus, to realise that it’s not life threatening and, most importantly, that patients are always in control of their response to it.

    What’s recommended for each patient will depend on the nature of their tinnitus, how it impacts them and whether they have any other underlying problems, like hearing loss, or stress. It may also depend on what is comfortable or acceptable for each patient.

Tinnitus Therapy FAQs

  • How long is each therapy session?

    Each Tinnitus Therapy session between you and your therapist lasts for one hour, to allow you enough time to make progress on the techniques to better understand your tinnitus and your thought processes related to it.

  • How many sessions will I need?

    Generally, at least six sessions are recommended. However, as each patient is different, your therapist will be able to discuss your individual treatment plan in more detail.

  • Is this therapy specifically for tinnitus?

    Our Tinnitus Therapy is provided by qualified therapists specifically trained in therapy for tinnitus. Your treatment plan will include different therapeutic approaches from behavioural and humanistic therapies specifically designed for tinnitus.

  • What happens at each therapy session?

    You’ll meet with your therapist one-to-one for each session. This means your therapist will lead a guided discussion about your tinnitus to help you better understand your condition. The discussion will be tailored based on your individual experience with tinnitus to best suit your needs.

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