In our own Liverpool Hearing Centre we recently welcomed Otovent to our arsenal for dealing with blocked ears. We haven't used the product for long enough to gain any useful feedback so we asked our colleagues in the hearing care community. We got some really positive comments. So good in fact that we decided to stock it in the store and now we are the exclusive provider to independent hearing centres.
Like so many other hearing centres, micro suction has become a large part of our overall business and naturally, we come across many patients whose blocked ear problem isn't wax. Commonly it ends up being identified as a middle ear issue usually from a cold. We normally conduct a PTA and tympanogram in these cases so we can be fairly sure what the problem is.
Before Otovent, we just referred the patient to their surgery with a written description and a photo to show their GP. We still do this but we now give them an Otovent pack as well. We currently give Otovent away for free but we always charge the full value of their appointment.
What is Otovent?
Drug-free and non-surgical, Otovent is an autoinflation device. The balloons included in the kit are specially pressurised to open the eustachian tube when inflated via the nose. This process allows the fluid associated with glue ear to safely drain away. Referring to clinical trials conducted on children diagnosed with glue ear, NICE recommend that auto-inflation is tried during the watch and wait period before seeing an ENT.
Why you should recommend Otovent
50% of all adult glue ear cases will clear on their own without any treatment. However, the wait for this can be very frustrating and the desire for treatment is of course made especially urgent if the patient's work and social life are suffering. Otovent is the only clinically effective drug-free treatment for Glue Ear and allows you to offer some hope that they might be able to speed up their recovery. You may even help them avoid grommet surgery and did you know that grommets will typically stay in for 6 – 12 months, but in around 1/3 of cases they fall out before the glue ear is resolved?
How to use Otovent
Below is a video recommended by a colleague who has been using Otovent successfully for some time.
When patients visit a hearing centre to help relieve them of a blocked ear, they expect to make some progress. If we can't help them then they will leave disappointed even if we've sent them in the right direction. However, if we can give them something at that same appointment that will likely speed up their recovery, then they'll leave happy, hopeful and feel like they got value from their time with you.