What is ear wax?
- Ear wax is a build-up of dead skin and dust mixed in with the material released by glands in your ears
- It cleans, lubricates, and protect the ears from infection
- Your body has a natural ability to clear ear wax
- Ear wax is NORMAL and should only be removed if causing problems
Why does it cause problems?
Problems occur when there is an excess of the normal build-up due to an imbalance between production and clearance of ear wax.
The use of cotton buds is strongly discouraged as they provide little benefit and can in fact cause harm by:
- increasing the amount of wax that your ears produce
- pushing the wax in deeper
- damaging the ear drums
What can be done about it?
Things YOU can do to soften ear wax and increase natural clearance:
- Use ear drops (can be purchased at pharmacies)
- Use drops of olive oil or almond oil
Or, you can seek advice from your GP or Practice Nurse regarding options such as:
- Suction (only provided by Ear Nurse Specialists)
- Syringing using drops 3-4 times a day for 3 days before ear syringing (do not do this for ear suctioning) will make it easier to clear
After syringing, residual water may remain for a short while inside your ear. This can produce a popping or slightly deaf feeling. This will disappear within an hour or so.
Please phone (09) 235 9102 if you have any concerns such as pain, deafness, discharge, dizziness, ringing in the ears.