Having trouble hearing lately? Or does water keep getting trapped in your ear? Chances are, you’ve got a build-up of earwax.
Believe it or not, a small amount of earwax is actually good for your ears. It’s a natural, antibacterial ‘cleanser’ that gathers dead skin cells, hair and dirt from within your ear and carries it out.
The last thing you should be doing is using a q-tip or your fingers to dig around inside your ear. You might think that you’re removing the wax when you see a small amount on the cotton, but in reality you’re just pushing the wax further in towards your eardrum – which further contributes to build-up.
So, unless it’s becoming a problem and you’re experiencing symptoms of earwax build-up – such as hearing loss, earache, blocked ears, hearing ringing sounds, or feeling slightly dizzy – you’re better off leaving your ears alone.
However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, then it’s time to think about earwax removal.
Removing earwax at home
Your hearing is very precious, so it’s important to be safe when removing earwax at home.
When your earwax sits in the ear canal for a long time it starts to become hard and dry, which leads to a blockage. We’re looking to lubricate the canal, helping to soften the wax build-up so it can naturally fall out by itself.
The NHS recommends using medical grade olive or almond oil, which you should be able to find in your local chemist.
Once you’ve got the right kind of oil, lay on one side and put two to three drops into your ear. Stay put for a good few minutes to allow the oil to work its way through your ear canal. When you’re ready, place a cotton ball on top of your ear and turn over on your other side to let the oil drain out. If both ears are blocked, then do the same with the second ear.
It’s best to do this three to four times a day for three to five days. Over a couple of weeks, you should start to notice lumps of earwax falling out.
If no wax falls out, then it might be time to visit an Earwax Specialist Clinician.
Removing earwax at a clinic
It’s always recommended that you book into an ear wax removal clinic, to keep your ears safe in the hands of the experts.
Before your appointment, you’re advised to soften the wax at home using the instructions above, to make sure that the earwax removal is as comfortable and effective as possible.
There are two options to having your wax professionally removed:
Microsuction earwax removal
This is the earwax removal technique preferred by ENT (ear, nose, and throat) consultants. It involves the use of a mini vacuum to gently remove wax build-up.
Irrigation earwax removal
This technique uses water to flush wax out of the ear with a pressure and temperature controlled machine.
After your appointment, you’ll be unblocked and your ears will feel much more comfortable!