Advice to Help you Manage and Prevent Ear Wax Blockage
Ear wax only becomes a problem if it causes deafness or discomfort. If you experience any of the following, you should seek advice from one of nurses at Fownhope Medical Centre:
- Discharge or bleeding from the ear,
- Sudden deafness or buzzing,
- Foreign bodies in the ear,
If you are not experiencing any of the above, we recommend that you manage the blockage as following:
Olive Oil Drops
The following needs to be done 2-3 times daily for 21 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 lying on your side to allow the wax to soak in for around 10 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 21 days, the wax will have softened sufficiently to encourage the wax to come out without further intervention. However, if you feel your hearing is still impaired, please make an appointment with a doctor for further advice and management.
If your ears are regularly becoming blocked with wax, after clearing the blockage we will usually suggest you use olive oil drops as above around once per week to keep the wax soft and encourage the natural process of wax expulsion.
Is no longer performed at this Practice.
Although the risks are low and our nurses are specially trained to perform this procedure, there is still a small chance (thought to be around 1 in 1000) of complications occurring – such as a perforated ear drum, middle ear infection, external canal infection or causing ringing in the ear (tinnitus).
If you do have stubborn ear wax then you may be suitable for a referral to ENT. (Please be aware that there may be a significant wait for an appointment).
Alternatively, there are other options that you could consider. These private companies offer microsuction and wax removal services*.
Non-urgent advice: Notice
*Please note that inclusion in the above list does not constitute an endorsement of services offered and patients should make their own decision about where to seek treatment.