SELF TREATMENT OF EAR WAX
Using Portia Ear Syringe / Otex Combi Pack – available from most chemists
This is an effective method of relieving the symptoms of blockage and discomfort and because you are in control of the pressure used, has been shown to be a safe alternative to syringing performed by a healthcare professional.
DO NOT SELF TREAT IF YOU HAVE:
- Pain or discharge from the ear d) History of Cleft Palate
- Past or current perforation of eardrum e) History of ear surgery
- Ear infection within 6 weeks f) Latex allergy
- Ever been advised against ear syringing by a health professional
SEEK ADVICE FROM YOUR GP IF YOU EXPERINENCE ANY OTHER ABOVE
Ear wax is a natural cleansing substance for the ears. It helps to protect against infection and water damage. It can become impacted in the ear canal often by using cotton buds inappropriately and causes dulled hearing, discomfort, occasional ringing (tinnitus) or even mild dizziness.
- Soften the wax with ear drops either of sodium bicarbonate or olive oil for at least 7-10 days.
- These products are widely available at the supermarket or a pharmacy.
- The drops should be room temperature and put inside the ear 3 times a day and allowed to soak for 2-3 minutes. If cotton wool is used, coat in Vaseline to prevent it soaking up the oil.
- Oil should be allowed to drain away from the ear.
- Use the ear syringe bulb with body temperature water (approx 37C / 98F) to flush out the wax. Follow the instructions with the bulb.
- Prepare the syringe by squirting water in and out of it a few times.
- Gently pull your outer ear "up back and out" to help straighten out the canal.
- Tilt your head to one side and gently squirt one or more bulb syringes of water into your ear.
- Allow the water to remain in your ear for at least 60 seconds. Gently tilt your head in the opposite direction and wiggle your outer ear. You may note the water which comes out is now discoloured or has chunks of ear wax in it.
- Repeat if needed. You may find more than one flushing per ear may be required to rid yourself of ear wax.
You may need to repeat this process every few days, continuing to soft the wax with oil in between, until the ear feels unblocked.
Very rarely ear flushing can cause dizziness (if water is not body temperature) but quickly settles. Occasionally people develop irritation in the outer ear with itching and redness. If this occurs consult your GP.
If symptoms of blockage do not improve after 2 weeks please contact the surgery to arrange a 10 minute appointment with the Health Care Assistant for assessment and advice only.
If the ear is still blocked with wax following the measures outlined above or you are unsuitable for self-management due to the conditions outlined above you may choose to receive a service privately but can be offered a referral to the NHS Community ENT service although there may be a wait.
Private provider: Clarity Hearing Solutions, Verwood: 01202 820638
Private provider: The ARCH Clinic, Fordingbridge: 01425 650071
After seeking advice from the Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Local Medical Committee (LMC) the Fordingbridge Surgery is unable to provide ear syringing service anymore due to funding limitations