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Have you got a build-up of ear wax? Want to know the safest way to remove ear wax? We can help. In this blog, we are going to share the safest way to remove a build-up of ear wax without damaging your ear canal or your hearing.

The Problem With Earwax

Your ears are supposed to clean themselves. But every so often, we get a build-up of ear wax. Unfortunately, a build-up of earwax can cause a series of problems including:

  • Hearing loss
  • Earache
  • Ringing or buzzing in your ears
  • Dizziness

These symptoms are extremely frustrating and can impact our day-to-day life.

How To Safely Clean Your Ears

Ears are self-cleaning, meaning you do not need to put items into your ear canals to clean them. In fact, putting things into your ear canal in an effort to “clean it” can cause problems.

Using objects, such as cotton buds, bobby pins, “ear wax removal tools” or any other sharp objects can push wax deeper into your ear canal, create infection and even cause permanent damage to your hearing.

However, you can gently clean the opening of the ear with warm water to remove extra wax.

What Is The Safest Way To Remove Ear Wax At Home?

If ear wax has started to build up in your ear canal, there are safe methods you can try at home to remove it. The NHS recommends using medical grade olive oil to soften the wax, causing it to fall out on its own.

Simply lay on your side and place 2-3 drops of olive oil (or almond) oil into the ear 3-4 times per day for up to five days. Continue for two weeks. The oil will soften the hard build-up of wax. The wax is most likely to fall out at night when you’re laying down.

Alternatively, a pharmacist will be able to recommend medicated drops that work in the same way as oil. These drops will soften the wax enabling it to fall out. Moving your mouth and jaw (as if you were chewing) can also help to loosen the wax.

If after two weeks the wax hasn’t fallen out, you should speak to a hearing specialist. You used to be able to visit your GP for ear wax removal.

However, as of 2020, ear wax removal is no longer one of the free core services provided by GP’s in the UK. Instead, to have ear wax professionally and safely removed, you should contact an audiologist.

Having Ear Wax Professionally Removed

An audiologist will be able to perform an assessment to check whether there is a build-up of wax in the ear canal. Then they will offer to remove it. There are two methods commonly used by audiologists to safely remove ear wax; ear irrigation and micro suction.

Ear Irrigation

For a long time, ear irrigation was the most popular method used by both audiologists and GPs. It features a syringe-like tool, which is used to insert water or a mix of water and saline solution into the ear to flush out the wax.

Although effective, ear irrigation is not the safest way to remove earwax as it can be uncomfortable and comes with risks (even when carried out by professionals). It can increase the risk of ear infection and perforation (hole in the eardrum).

As the water is pushed against the wax, it can add pressure, compacting the wax more. Pain, vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus are other possible complications of ear irrigation.

Micro Suction

Micro suction is by far the safest way to remove ear wax. If a build-up of wax is present in the ear canal, a trained audiologist will use a soft suction or vacuum to gently loosen and remove the wax. Micro suction is the “gold standard” in wax removal. It is safe, effective and gentle.

If you are based in Lancashire and you require safe ear wax removal, check out Friel Hearing Services. Friel Hearing offers in-clinic and at-home wax removal. At-home wax removal is ideal for those who struggle to leave the home, especially seniors who may not be as mobile as they once were.

It is also ideal for those who would prefer not to visit the clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Andrew Friel is one of the few Private Hearing Aid Audiologists clinically trained for micro-suction removal of wax from the ear.

Micro suction is affordable and costs just £50.00 (in-clinic) or £75.00 (at-home). This price is irrespective of one or two ears.

If upon inspection, a build-up of wax is not present, Andrew can instead carry out a full hearing assessment to get to the bottom of your hearing problem.

Get In Touch

If you would like to book a micro suction appointment with Friel Hearing Services, either at home or in one of our clinics, please get in touch. You can call our friendly team on 0800 111 4779 or email us at [email protected].

We have two clinics, one in Poulton-le-Fylde and one in Blackburn.