Impacted ear wax can be a real problem when trying to communicate especially if you are a key worker and need to hear instructions or concerns. In the current climate we would ask you try and remove the wax using conventional methods such as olive oil to soften the wax.
Please be considerate when making an appointment and do not put yourself or others at risk. If you are displaying any of the symptoms of COVID 19 please do not attend the clinic. If you are in the vulnerable category, please do not attend the clinic.
Lanarkshire Hearing Centre has the right to refuse any patient who is deemed at risk or a risk to our staff or themselves. We ask you to be patient with us during this extra ordinary time.
*99.9% of ear wax can be removed the same day. If you have used a cotton bud you may have impacted the wax and it may be too hard to remove with one appointment. We would advise a few days oil before a visit if this is the case. If you require a second appointment because of cotton bud use this will be charged @ £20.
|✓||Pain or ear ache|
|✓||Loss of hearing particularly sudden loss|
|✓||Irritation and itchiness|
|✓||Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)|
|✓||Clicking or squelching sound or feeling (as the wax moves)|
|✓||Earol (our personal favourite as it uses natural olive oil with no nasty chemicals).|
|✓||Otex – uses hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals to mix with oxygen and break the chemicals up. Although in the main very safe there are some conditions the user should be aware of. Consult your pharmacist or click this link to find out more about otex and if its right for you. The claims that it busts wax completely out your ear are not entirely true in my opinion.|
|✓||Sodium bicarbonate - as well as sodium bicarbonate there is also the active ingredients of glycerol (e422), purified water and dichlorobenzyl alcohol (preservative). Breaks up ear wax and softens it. Can cause irritation of the skin. Always consult your GP if sodium bicarbonate does irritate your ear canal.|
So what is the most common cause of tinnitus or ringing in your ears? What is the most common cause of hearing loss? The most common cause of acute deafness?
Would it surprise you to know that ear wax is the most common cause of sudden deafness or tinnitus?
For lots of people sudden deafness or hearing loss is a cause for real concern. Why does the whole world sound muffled? Why is everyone mumbling? Am I going deaf? Do I need a hearing aid? What happens if there is something wrong with me? Could this be you?
If this is you then a simple ear wax removal appointment could change all that. At the very least you should encourage yourself to have someone to look in your ears and give them a basic health check.
The same goes with tinnitus. So many people worry about that ringing noise in their head or their ears. Is there something wrong with my brain? Tinnitus can create great concern in people’s minds which leads to stressful and unhelpful thoughts and guess what!! More perception of tinnitus.
Again a simple health check of your ears could reveal that the cause of both your hearing loss, deafness, ringing in your ears or tinnitus could simply be impacted wax?
Do you wear a hearing aid? Did you know the most common cause of whistling with hearing aids is ear wax blocking the sound?
Forms of ear wax removal –
So there are many forms of ear wax removal some good, some well……pretty awful really and some a complete gimmick.
The absolute no no of ear wax removal. Cotton buds are the most dangerous form of ear wax removal bar none. Generally this is a self-performing attempt at ear wax removal.
As its self-performing you can’t see down your ear canal and there is extreme risk of damage to your ear drum, ear canal, middle ear bones which could result in permanent hearing loss and permanent tinnitus.
If you don’t do permanently damage and wax is in your ears think about this…. If you are poking a fluffy ball down your ears how can you expect to pull a blob of wax out the way? You may see your cotton bud is all covered in ear wax but what you don’t see is the ear wax you are pushing further down your ear which will in time create a hard ball of impacted ear wax.
As Granny used to say ‘Nothing smaller than an elbow should go down your ear hole!’
or ear wax removal candles or ear wax candles or even ear candles whatever name they want to call them are a complete gimmick. The amount of people who have told me they’re revolutionary only for me to put my video otoscope down there ears for them to see a great big ball of ear wax sitting in their ear.
They claim to suck the wax out of the ear by creating a suction. They also turn brown at the end where they have been inserted into your ear which potentially leads you to the conclusion that you have had ear wax removed. In actual fact the fabric which is cotton and beeswax is the real cause for discolouration. It has also been registered that they do not create a negative pressure to remove the wax.
If it’s a pleasant feeling you’re after and not actually getting your ear wax removed then this is the choice for you!!
This is deemed as a bit of an old school method now and not practised as much. The main dangers with this method are poor application of the water down your ear, perforated ear drum and water rushing through it and let’s not forget you are forcing water at quite high speed down the ear canal.
If you have a really good practitioner there can be in general no problem with ear wax removal using this method IF there is no perforation in the ear and you are not sensitive to pressure in the ear canal.
If you get a bad practitioner shooting water down your ear well the dangers are similar to that of cotton buds. Water shooting down the ear at high speed heading directly to the ear canal can cause damage to the ear drum and the middle ear. This can result in permanent hearing loss and tinnitus.
No method is without its dangers. To say so would be misleading and also dangerous. That being said there are gentler methods which are far safer than those listed above.
Ear wax removal by irrigation is one of the new popular methods of removal of ear wax from a patient’s ear. It is a relatively safe procedure that involves a slightly warm stream of water being pumped round your ear by a machine. The machine controls the flow so it is a nice steady and easy flow that does not cause much risk to the patient’s ear canal. The main risk with irrigation is we cannot see behind the wax and introducing a stream of water to an ear drum with a potential perforation can cause excruciating pain.
This method still generally needs you to put drops in the ear for one to two weeks so not the best method for a quick result.
Probably the most popular form of ear wax removal now is ear wax removal by microsuction. Ear wax removals using this method are done by a small pump that basically sucks the wax right out of the ear. The benefit of this method to remove wax from the ear is that you are not forcing something down the ear therefore if you have a perforation then this will not complicate your ear drum condition unless of course poor practice is the reason.
Micro suction also has the benefit of in most cases being able to remove your ear wax in a same day appointment. No need for 2 weeks of drops in your ears in 90% of cases 1 day of drops can be adequate enough.
So there you have it the definitive guide to ear wax removal! I hope you found this article useful and hopefully we might see you in our clinic in the near future.
No cost if we don’t remove any ear wax.
Steven Ross (MSHAA, RHAD)
58 Cadzow Street,