THE GOLDEN RULE

Never ever put anything in your ear canal unless

 on advice from a Doctor or Specialist.

and

The two following criteria have been met

  1. You have been asked and you have given a a complete past and present history of your ear health.

  2. A thourough visual inspection has been made of your ear cannal.

 Why?

Your ear cannal is a tube, it is 2.5 cm long at most about the width of a 2p British coin.

it is 0.7 cm wide.

At the end of the ear cannal is the ear drum, the tempanic membrane.

The ear canal needs to be clear and open for this to work properly.

This membrane is the sounding board for your hearing.

It is very very delicate

it is only 0.1 mm thick. Yes 1 10th of a mm!!​

So I am sure you will now appreciate there is no room for error.

Nothing should go past the Ear Drum.

The ear drum seperates the outer ear the ear cannal, from the inner ear

If ther is or has ever been any damage to this the ear drum membrane 

If you push anything be it a cotton bud (Q Tip) or your finger then you dont have far to go before you could cause serious damage and your ear drum is extreamly thin and sensative.

If this membrane has any imperfections or damage then STOP.

But how do you know if it has?

A visual inspection is a help. However, if you do have ear wax then this view may be obstructed, Then it;s guesswork.

That is where your ear health comes into force,

Asking the relevant questions can rule out dangers.

If either or both of these safeguards are passeed then an informed course of actiion may be prescribed

Liquid of any kind should not be put in your ears for any of the below 

  • Any Perforation of the eardrum.

  • Mucus Discharge in the last 12 months.

  • History of Ear Infection in the last 12 weeks.

  • Previous Ear Surgery. (excluding grommets extruded at least 18 months previously and discharged from an ENT department.)

  • Existing Grommets.

  • Any evidence of Otitis Externa. (outer ear infection)

  • Cleft Palate existing or repaired.

  • Any Foreign Bodies.

  • Any Confusion, Agitation or Inability to Cooperate.

  • Hearing in One Ear. (If the hearing ear is the one that needs the treatment.)

 

 

We cannot stress enough how important it is to seek professional medical advice before putting anything in your ears.

There are many reasons that any oils or liquids advised as treatment may not be suitable or in certain circumstances dangerous.

Your ears must be checked visually and questions about your past and present medical ear health asked before any treatment is undertaken and that includes putting any liquids in your ears.

 

Even after advice, if you feel unsure or what you are doing makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, then trust your instincts and stop and seek specialist advice.

STOP   If you  can taste the fluid you are using.

             If you experience pain.

             If you feel worried or panicky.

              If it seems to be making the problem worse.

This is not a comprhensive list. Trust your doubts.

There are various methods of ear wax removal. Some can be performed at home, while others must be performed by a specialist. On this page we have given descriptions and the benefits and disadvantages of each method.

Ear Drops

Ear drops available over the counter at your local chemist are the simplest and cheapest method of wax removal, but be careful to choose the correct one. 

It is also important not to use too much oil. Prolonged appliction of oil can lead to its own problems. Oil shhoul, if it is going to work, give results in 3 to 5 days.

Olive Oil & Almond Oil

Olive and almond oil ear drops are the best tolerated by the majority of people, though first consider alergies. The oils help by softening the outer surfaces of the wax. Some more expensive brands contain added menthol to produce a cooling sensation, or eucalyptus to give a pleasant smell, but these are not necessary.

Pros:         

 

  • cheap

  • gentle

  • generally well-tolerated

Cons:

  • can take a long time to work on its own

  • can make the ear feel bunged up

  • added ingredients may not be so well-tolerated

Other Oil Blends

Some branded products contain blends of light oils that soften ear wax.

Pros:

  • Gentle.

  • Possibly faster than other oils.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda ear drops are alkaline, while ear wax is acidic. Therefore they work by chemically dissolving ear wax rather than softening it, and work much quicker than olive oil. They can be used for a day or two by most people without any problem. ​

Pros:

  • Cheap

  • Can have fast results

Cons:​

  • Can leave residue

  • Can cause wax to dislodge and slide futher in.

  • Can strip the protective lining of the ear canal.

  • The above cann lead to infection.

Cons:​

  • More expensive.

  • Can cause wax to dislodge and slide further back.

Peroxide-Based

Some ear drops, including branded and chemist own-brand, are based on peroxide in some form, often urea peroxide. When compared to sodium bicarbonate drops, peroxide-based drops are similarly effective, but also effervesce.

Pros:

  • Quick

Cons:​

  • More expensive

  • Can cause wax to dislodge and slide futher in.

  • Can strip the protective lining of the ear canal.

  • The above cann lead to infection.

  • Contains Peroxide (Bleach)

  • Can cause pain before and after.

  • We Do Not Recommend unless as part of an ongoing treatment under direct advice and monorting of a specialist.

In general, ear drops can sometimes take weeks to work, and hearing will often get worse before it gets better. There is also the possibility that the wax will slide further down the ear canal, form one large lump, and completely block the ear. Ear drops are not recommended if you have a perforated ear drum, an ear infectionlknlknlknklnkln

Ear Sprays

Ear sprays can be water-based or oil-based. They usually incorporate a conical nozzle that is placed into the entrance of the ear canal and the spray is then applied.

Water-Based

Water-based ear wax removal sprays can be help if the amount of blocked wax isn't too great. They are often simple saline, or may be sterilised sea water.

Pros:

  • Gentle.

  • Well tolerated.

Cons:​

  • Force of spray can push wax further back.

  • Water can become trapped behind wax causing reduced hearing.

Oil-Based

Oil-based ear wax removal sprays are great for softening wax prior to other procedures, and are very effective at penetrating wax due to their small droplet size.​

Pros:

  • Cheap

  • Safe

  • Useful preparation for wax removal procedures such as microsuction or irrigation.

  • Penetrate wax better than drops

  • Penetrate further int the ear to reach wax.

  • Helpful preventative measure.

Cons:​

  • Often does not remove wax on its own

Microsuction is by far the most effective method of earwax removal. Tradionally only performed in ENT clinics due to the size and weight of the equipment, it can now be performed by appropriately trained individuals in smaller clinics due to portable suction pumps and operating microscopes that are now available. Micro suction is made up of two words: "Micro" refers to the operating microscopes that can either be large floor standing units, or can be incorporated into glasses, in whch case they are known as operating loupes. "Suction" refers to the medical suction pump that is attached to a tube and a 2 millimetre suction wand, which is used to suction the wax from your ear. Micro suction requires a good knowledge of the anatomy of the ear, along with training in how to safely use the equipment. For this reason, microsuction is performed by ENT surgeons and Audiologists, who both specialise in the ear, and by specialist nurses who have had further training. Micro suction only removes wax from the ear - because it doesn't spray water into the ear it is safe to use after ear surgery, or when the eardrum is perforated. The Micro Suction Practitioner uses a powerful operating microscope and a bright light source, so he or she can see exactly what is happening inside your ear, so the procedure is the safest of all. People looking for private earwax removal normally opt for microsuction because it is so much safer than syringing or irrigation.

  • Pros: safest method; can be used after ear surgery; can be used where the eardrum is or has been perforared; painless; virtually no risk of infection; usually quick

  • Cons: possible slight discomfort if wax hasn't been pre-softened; can sometimes require a second visit (in the case of severly impacted wax); some people find it a little noisy (although clinical studies show that the noise levels are safe)

Ear Syringing 

Ear syringing is no longer used as a procedure. It has been replaced by Irrigation accross all medical practices. Traditionally, a metal ear syringe was loaded with warm water, the metal tip placed into the ear canal. The water was then squirted into the ear canal and a kidney dish was held under the ear to catch the water and and wax that was flushed out. The syringe would have to be regularly lubricated to allow a smooth level of pressure to be applied, and the nurse would use his or her judgement as to how forcefully to syringe the water. Syringing can't shift hard wax, so it must be softened for up to two weeks before syringing is performed.

Ear Irrigation

Ear irrigation is normally performed by a GP or a nurse either private or NHS.  Nowadays, for safety reasons the metal ear syringe has been replaced by an ear irrigator pump with a jet tip. The pump has a variable, regulated pressure, but the process is essentially the same. Many people have had their ears syringed or irrigated many times without any issue arising. Here are the pros and cons of ear syringing:

  • Pros: usually free on the NHS; when it works it works well

  • Cons: cannot remove hard wax; can push wax further into the ear if the angle of the jet is slightly off; may cause tinnitus; may perforate the eardrum; an undiagnosed perforated ear drum may not be seen due to the amount of wax, causing water, bacteria, wax and dead skin cells to be flushed past the eardrum into the middle ear, potentially causing a painful infection; not recommended following ear surgery; should not be performed when the ear drum has previously been perforated due to the risk of re-perforation

Due to the long list of potential complications listed above, many surgeries are withdrawing their ear syringing service, and are referring all patients to the NHS ENT clinic, which may have a long waiting list.

Pros:

  • ​Usually free on the NHS

  • When it work it works well

Cons:​

  • Any Perforation of the eardrum.

  • Mucus Discharge in the last 12 months.

  • History of Ear Infection in the last 12 weeks.

  • Untoward Experience / Problems following previous Irrigation.

  • Previous Ear Surgery. (excluding grommets extruded at least 18 months previously and discharged from an ENT department.)

  • Existing Grommets.

  • Any evidence of Otitis Externa. (outer ear infection)

  • Cleft Palate existing or repaired.

  • Any Foreign Bodies.

  • Any Confusion, Agitation or Inability to Cooperate.

  •  Hearing in One Ear. (If the hearing ear is the one that needs the treatment.)

Dry Instrument Removal

Dry instrument ear wax removal is normally performed by an ENT surgeon or an Audiologist. The pratitioner uses a selection of different shaped instruments called Jobson Horne probes or curettes. These are like miniature spoons and loops that are used to hook or scoop the wax from the ear canal. It is normally perfomed under illumination. There is a great choice for the practitioner of metal, or plastic disposable curettes, and some of them even have their own light built in. The practitioner will usually apply some Earol to loosen the wax from the ear canal wall before performing the procedure. The tip of the curette is normally pushed past the wax and the drawn back out, bringing the wax with it.

  • Pros: quiet - so great for those who don't like noise; quick - often the wax can be removed in one or two big lumps

  • Cons: small possibility of pushing the wax deeper into the ear; hard wax may be uncomfortable to remove

Micro Suction Ear Wax Removal

Oils and Ear Wax

The Golden Rule

Of Ear Wax

EARS is the trading name of Ear Health Care Services Ltd. founded 2018 incorporated 2019

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