Ear Wax

What is ear wax?

Earwax is produced naturally by your body to clean and protect your ear canal. It works in a similar way to the tears in your eyes; you need just the right amount, too little or too much can cause difficulties. Normally earwax moves slowly from the inside of your ear canal to the outer part of your ear, lubricating the canal as it moves. Once it reaches the bowl of your ear it will wash away. Excessive earwax is a common problem that occurs when the wax is not able to move through the ear as it should.

How do I know if I have a problem?

Some of the most common symptoms of excess ear wax are

  • Earache
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Itchiness
  • Dizziness
  • An ear infection
  • Sounds such as high-pitched tones coming from inside the ear (Tinnitus)

Once the earwax has been removed the symptoms should subside.

What treatment is available? 

Using 2-3 drops of medical grade olive oil can help lubricate your ear canal and move the wax out of your ear naturally. Using cotton buds, or ‘poking’ anything else down your ear, is not recommended – as this can push the wax further into your ear canal and start a build-up of excessive wax. If the use of olive oil doesn’t ease the issue, we offer an earwax removal service if it is identified that you have excessive wax in your ears.

Pre-appointment

In advance of your appointment, we recommend using 2-3 drops of medical grade olive oil in your ears for two weeks before, usually overnight. This will help soften any wax, making it easier to remove. If you wear hearing aids, then please do not wear them after using the olive oil as it may damage your hearing aids.

During the appointment

At your appointment, we will use a suction device to remove the wax and any debris from your ear. A fine suction tube is gently inserted into your ear canal while being viewed closely through a magnifying headset. If required, we may use a curette to remove wax from your ears. A curette is a small circular loop and this method of wax removal is used when the wax is closer to the outer part of the ear. We will also take a photograph of your ear(s) before and after wax removal, allowing you to see the results.