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Hear here . . . Oamaru ear health nurse Vanessa Gough tries out her new portable otoendoscope. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Oamaru ear health nurse Vanessa Gough is delighted to have one of the latest pieces of ear-monitoring equipment on the market.

Mrs Gough, who is the licensee of Ear Health Oamaru, recently bought a portable otoendoscope, which is used to monitor the inside of people’s ears.

It runs off a smart device and allows her to take photos and video while it is inside a person’s ear.

“It allows me to show the patient what’s in their ears, it allows a parent to see what’s in their child’s ears, and it allows me to take photos [and identify problems] in people’s ears,” she said.

“The scope that I have has got a range of heights that it can reach, which makes it more portable and easier to use in some difficult-shaped ears.

“With [this] new technology it’s going to be a lot easier.”

She bought the device while on holiday in England several weeks ago. Before that, she only had a larger endoscope, which could often be cumbersome and difficult to operate.

The cost of the new equipment was well into the thousands of dollars, she said.

Before working at the clinic, Mrs Gough was a duty nurse at Oamaru Hospital.

The ear clinic operates out of Community House in Thames St.

The best part about being an ear specialist was being able to restore the hearing of patients who had blocked ears, she said.

“They get this automatic feeling that they can hear again – they’re back in this world.

“It’s very satisfying.”

The hardest part of the job was working with people who had Parkinson’s or dementia.

“You’re desperate to clear their ears but they can’t stay still often.”

Mrs Gough planned to continue in her field of work for years to come.

“I hope I’ll carry this through to retirement – there’s such a need for it,” she said.