Ear Irrigation ( Ear Syringing)

We are committed to providing best practice and high-quality medical care to our registered patients and have therefore made the difficult  decision to discontinue this service at the surgery from 1st August 2022.

If you have been having your ears syringed regularly, you may be disappointed by this regime. However ear syringing is  no longer considered to be the first line treatment for the clearing of ear wax and is known to lead to ear infections, perforated eardrum and tinnitus (persistent noise). 

We have evaluated our current practice and feel we should encourage best, safe practice. Using drops to soften the wax will enable the natural movement of the wax from the ear/s.

What is earwax and why is it a problem?

Earwax is a naturally occurring substance which is important to the health of your ears. Usually your ears naturally clear earwax so that it does not build up. Some people experience symptoms of excessive earwax which may need treatment.

What should I do if I think my earwax needs treatment?

The first step is always to use a softening drop or oil – this may resolve the issue and will make any subsequent treatment more successful. Do not use cotton buds, as they compact wax and disrupt the natural clearance process in your ear.

Olive Oil Drops –The following needs to be done 2-3 times daily for 14 days.

Lie on your side with the affected ear uppermost

Pull the outer ear gently backwards and upwards to straighten the ear canal

Put 2-3 drops of olive oil into the affected ear(s) and gently massage just in front of the ear

Stay laying on your side to allow the wax to soak in for around 15 mins

Afterwards, wipe away any excess oil but do not plug your ear with cotton wool as this simply absorbs the oil

Your hearing problem may initially worsen after first starting to use the olive oil drops; this is why we advise you to concentrate on treating one ear at a time if both ears are blocked with wax.

In most cases, after 14 days, the wax will have softened sufficiently to encourage the wax to come out without further intervention.

What is microsuction?

Microsuction is the use of vacuum wax clearance under the direct vision of a microscope, it is safer and less uncomfortable than syringing. Microsuction, like syringing, relies upon the wax being soft enough to be removed – therefore the use of a softening agent prior to the procedure is important.

How can I arrange microsuction?

Microsuction can be arranged at a number of local private providers

Is there any risk from the procedure?

Microsuction is a safe procedure. Unlike syringing it is carried out under direct vision to avoid damage to the eardrum. Syringing forces pressurised water into the ear canal – this is not the case with microsuction.