Ear wax is a natural product which forms a protective coating to the lining of the ear canal; the amount can vary from person to person. Plugs of wax can form in some people causing feeling of fullness, discomfort, dull hearing or tinnitus.
If you are not sure it is wax causing the problem or if the ear is painful, book an appointment with a Doctor or Practice Nurse at the surgery.
Ear drops alone will often clear a plug of wax, olive oil is recommended. Other softening agents may cause dryness / irritation of the ear canal and should only be used for 2-3 days.
- Warm the bottle of olive oil by holding it in the hand for a few minutes
- Lie down with the affected ear uppermost and instill approximately 3-4 drops olive oil into ear using a dropper (which can be purchased from chemist)
- Remain in this position for 10 minutes, allowing the olive oil to settle. Do not plug ear with cotton wool as this will absorb the oil. Repeat this 2-3 times daily if possible.
- Repeat for other ear if necessary
If symptoms remain after 7 days of using olive oil syringing may be consider.
It is not safe to syringe the ear if the person has had :-
- Previous ear surgery
- Had problems with ear syringing in the past
- Had recent ear infection
- Has a history of perforated ear drum
If you wish to have your ears syringed, book appointment with a nurse and continue oiling until seen.
SYRINGING WILL NOT BE PERFORMED UNLESS YOU HAVE USED OIL FOR AT LEAST 7 DAYS AS THE RISKS OF COMPLICATIONS ARE HIGHER AND THE SUCCESS RATE LOWER
It is not recommended ears are syringed in the 2 weeks before flying.
General Ear Care
- Don’t put anything into the ear ie cotton buds, in an attempt to try and clean your ears these can damage the delicate lining of the ear canal and may perforate the ear drum.
- Only use ear plugs for limited periods of time.
- Don’t block the ear canal with cotton wool as this will interfere with the natural cleansing action.
- Keep your ears dry.
- Before syringing please inform nurse of any previous surgery, especially mastoid surgery or if there is a history of ear discharge or pain.
REGULAR USE OF OLIVE OIL 1 DROP/WEEK MAY HELP TO PREVENT THE BUILD UP OF EXCESSIVE WAX.