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Ear Wax Removal - Guidance

EAR WAX REMOVAL

 

Ear wax is naturally produced to help protect the ear from infection. This wax normally works it way out itself as new wax is formed. Occasionally this natural process may be disturbed.

 

Wax build up may however occur if you

  • Wear hearing aids
  • Have narrow ear canals
  • Are getting a little older
  • Use cotton buds – this will push the wax further inside the ear canal

 

This may cause

Pain – Dizziness – Deafness – Noise in the ear - Feeling of pressure or mild discharge

 

The best treatment to assist wax removal is to use olive oil drops twice a day for a minimum of seven days (almond oil if not allergic to nuts). Please note that hearing and pain may increase initially caused by the wax softening and moving within the canal.

 

How to instil ear drops

  • Warm the oil to body temperature (put in pocket/hold in hand for 5 mins before use)
  • Use an eye dropper to insert drops or tea spoon if required
  • Wash your hands
  • Lie on side with affected ear up
  • Pull the ear upwards and backwards
  • Hold the dropper just above the entrance to the ear canal and instil drops
  • Gently rub the front of the ear (tragus)
  • Continue to lie on side for 5 minutes
  • Repeat procedure on other side if required

Tick box following oil administration

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Please Note: some oil will run back out of the ear following this procedure. Simply wipe this away with a soft tissue. There is no need to put cotton wool in the ear as fragments of this may get lodged in the ear canal.

 

If drops alone are unsuccessful you may require ear irrigation at your G.P. surgery. If you are not suitable for ear irrigation you will be referred to the ENT Nurse Practitioner at Crosshouse or AyrHospital.

 

Note: once the ear is clear you may benefit from instilling oil once a week to help keep wax soft and aid natural extraction.



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