Rotherham man has less trouble with his ears, at last

Published: Tue Dec 09 2008

Now, further to expert treatment and advice he has been clear of any ear problems for 12 months. Although unsure why, he has had repeated infections of the outer ear, known as otitis externa, at least three times a year for the past thirty years. Otitis externa is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. It is an inflammation and sometimes infection of the skin of the outer ear canal that can cause symptoms such as itchiness, dulled hearing and pain.

Mr Kelsall’s earliest memories of his ear troubles stem back to his childhood when he couldn’t go swimming with the school because of the high likelihood he would get an infection. Swimming is a common cause of otitis externa, especially in regular swimmers.

"Over the years otitis externa has regularly affected either one or both of my ears causing hearing loss to the point where sometimes I have been stone deaf for a few days. I have also frequently suffered with ear pain."

Mr Kelsall has always sought treatment for his infections but is conscious that he has received differing advice and treatments by doctors over the years. "I have been given oral antibiotics, sprays for the ears and had ear syringing, even if there wasn’t a lot of wax to remove. Sometimes I have been told from doctors and nurses to keep my ears dry, other times to get them wet!"

It is only in the last few months that Mr Kelsall has seen a vast improvement in the condition of his ears, having been referred to an ENT nurse.

"When I was first referred, my ear was so inflamed that she could not see into it. However, after one week of treatment when she had started to gently wash out the infected debris, dry my ear canal and place a dressing covered in antibiotics into my ear, she was able to use a camera to show me what it looked like. The skin was very sore and red and there was a build up of dry wax. After two weeks, she was able to further clean my ear, removing the remaining debris and renewing the dressing. After several weeks the ear was totally free from infection.

This was the first time I have had antibiotics placed directly in my ear and so far I haven’t had another infection. Also, last December, I flew without experiencing ear pain and without a loss of hearing for the first time in thirty years. I used to use cotton buds in my ears but I now know they can also aggravate the delicate skin of the ear canal."

Mr Kelsall feels very grateful for the treatment he has received and would encourage anyone, who like him has suffered for years, to seek a referral to a healthcare professional specifically trained in ear care.

Prompt treatment of ear infections or wax build up can stop a minor problem becoming major, yet most people have no idea what to do if they experience pain, itchiness or discomfort in their ears. Guidance is available from Deafness Research UK who have recently published a handy leaflet called ‘Trouble With Your Ears?’, which can be obtained from your local GP or practice nurse, or directly from Deafness Research UK. It also offers valuable tips on self-help for the ears, to keep them healthy and problem-free.

Deafness Research UK is the country's only charity dedicated to finding new cures, treatments and technologies for the deaf, hard of hearing and other hearing impaired people including tinnitus sufferers.

Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Deafness Research UK, said: "Thousands of people have ear problems yet few people realise that many common ear complaints can be avoided with good ear hygiene and preventative measures. Our new leaflet ‘ Trouble With Your Ears?’ is designed to provide people with the information they need for good ear health, and free copies of the leaflet are available from us directly if people are not able to get hold of a copy from their local GP or nurse. We don’t guarantee to solve everyone’s ear and hearing problems, but the leaflet goes a long way to helping people understand exactly what they can do themselves and explain what help is available.
To get your copy of the leaflet ‘Trouble With Your Ears?’ telephone 0808 808 2222 or email For information on research into deafness and other hearing conditions, log on to the website,

Press enquiries
Jon Gardner, BeyondPR. Mobile 07930 697773. Direct line 0114 275 6996. e-mail:
Ref: DRUK0082 – Paul Kelsall TWYE
Contact Name: BeyondPR
Contact Email:

Visit website »