top of page

Guides / How the ear works

google logo.png

How The Ear Works

How we hear sound and what happens with hearing loss

Flexible Appointments

Highly Qualified

Personalised Care


How We Hear Sound

Our ears or pinna are organs that allow us to pick up sound around us which is then processed by our brains for us to make sense of. We have two of them which allows us to have stereo sound. This also allows us to tell where a sound is coming from-localisation. 

We generally take our hearing and ears for granted and don't really pay attention to how much work our ears do for us day to day. These little organs are also responsible for our balance and most of you will be aware that they are linked to our nose and throat. So, if you've had a heavy cold or a chest infection, for example, you may also feel blocked up in your ears. Our ears also cleverly work with our eyes to help focus on a target around us. This helps us to remain balanced. 

Changes to our to our hearing and balance can occur for several reasons but one of the most common, is ageing. This is also known as presbycusis. 

pinnaclear hearing test hearing aids hearing aid fitting.jpg

Parts of the Ear


The Outer Ear

The ear or pinna funnels sound waves from the air, through the ear canal or external auditory meatus towards the middle ear. Wax often builds up in the meatus and whilst ear wax is quite normal, it can become an issue when impacted. Hearing aids can also whistle due to wax build-up. Pinnaclear can remove any ear wax under direct observation, by microsuction​.


Having hearing issues? Talk to us

With almost 20 years experience in the NHS and private sectors, you are in good hands. Finding the right treatment can be confusing so the audiologists at Pinnaclear are here to make things clearer and easier for you to understand. 

Meet the audiologist

Unlike larger chains, we focus solely on your unique needs, ensuring unbiased recommendations and tailored solutions that truly suit you.

20 Years of

clinical experience

Licensed and certified with First Class BSc (Hons) in Audiology

Trained in microsuction earwax removal & behavioural therapy for tinnitus 

Experience working within the NHS and private sector

Rated Excellent

Very professional service, I had a lot of ear wax and also a funny sensation in one ear which Hafiza took the time to explain and show me what was going on. Professionally cleaned, my ears and I are very happy 🙂

Raneesha Manoharan

Rated Excellent

Great service, well explained, well delivered, very pleased with outcome. I would recommend to anyone.

Lee Goulden

Rated Excellent

Very happy with the service at Pinnaclear. Hafiza was absolutely lovely and explained everything clearly before, during and after the treatment. Extremely pleased with the result and can now hear clearly again. Thank you

Tracey Carey

Why our customers choose us

google logo.png

An PinnaClear we aim to provide an audiology service that offers a personalised and holistic approach to hearing health. We combine cutting-edge technology with experienced professionals to provide accurate treatment plans to empower individuals to fully engage in their daily lives with optimal hearing clarity.

  • Why do I get ringing in my ears?
    Ringing in ears (or head) is also known as tinnitus. This is a sound that usually occurs inside, without an external sound source. Tinnitus can occur for a number of reasons but the most common reason people experience tinnitus is due to reduced hearing levels. The first step would be to arrange a hearing assessment.
  • Do I need to soften my earwax before getting them cleaned?
    Unlike syringing, most people don't need soft wax for microsuction earwax removal to be successful. However, using a softening agent such as olive oil can mean a quicker and more comfortable microsuction earwax removal procedure.
  • What are the common hearing loss signs and symptoms?
    Patients usually report difficulty in hearing conversation, particularly in busy social settings. Quite often, family and friends notice hearing difficulties first. If you feel your hearing is deteriorating, then a hearing assessment will indicate the degree of hearing loss. The audiologist will then advise on the best treatment plan for you.
  • Can I get an invisible hearing aid?
    Hearing aids have advanced massively over the years; they are available in a range of colours and sizes. The type suitable for you will depend on a number of factors such as the shape of your ear canal and the degree of hearing loss. Your audiologist will advise on the best type of hearing aid for you, book an appointment today.
  • What is microsuction earwax removal?
    Microsuction earwax removal is the removal of stubborn earwax using a suction device. The procedure is performed by trained professionals and involves wearing some magnifiers to make it easier to view the wax and eardrum.
  • Do I need to soften the wax with olive oil before microsuction?
    Unlike syringing, softening earwax the same way isn’t necessary. However, it can mean the procedure is more comfortable, particularly if the wax is stuck against the ear canal.
  • What is the best way to clean your ears?
    Ears will naturally withdraw any earwax. If you do not have any pre-existing medical ear conditions you can use a little bit of olive oil to help soften any earwax and clean your ears. If you have earwax that is causing your hearing aid to whistle or cauging you discomfort then it is best to get your ears cleaned professionally.
  • How much does ear cleaning cost?
    The current charges at PinnaClear are £50 to £70, depending on the location and whether it is one or both ears that need cleaning. Home visits vary depending on the distance needing to be travelled.
  • Is microsuction earwax removal safe?
    As with any medical procedure, there are always risks involved. These risks are minimised by providing an accurate medical history and booking in with an experienced, fully trained professional.
  • What is the difference between going to Specsavers and coming to PinnaClear?
    The main difference is the level of training and experience. Quite often, the staff at Specsavers are minimally trained as hearcare assistants or hearing aid dispensers and will usually work off a checklist. At PinnaClear, all services are offered by a senior audiologist with several years of NHS and private audiology work.
  • Will the wax come out by itself if I just use olive oil?
    Olive oil ear drops can help to soften any ear wax so that it can naturally work its way out. If there is too much earwax or the wax is hard and impacted against the ear drum, the olive oil will soften the wax and help with professional microsuction ear wax removal.
  • Do hopi ear candles work?
    There is a misconception that hopi ear candles help to draw wax out of the ears, however, several studies have shown that this is not the case and instead hopi candles leave residue inside the ears, increasing risk of infection. There is also an increased risk of burning the ear with incorrectly performed procedures. This is also an unregulated procedure which means the risks can vary greatly.
  • Is it ok to use cotton buds?
    The skin inside our ears is very sensitive and cotton buds peel away at the protective layer in our ears. If there is wax it can become impacted as you push wax deeper against the ear drum. This can reduce your hearing and cause pressure inside your ears.
bottom of page