Ear wax removal
With over 2.3 million people in the UK with excess ear wax, it is crucial to take care of your ears and hearing health. Our full ear care service involves an ear health examination and, if wax is present, removal using TympaHealth’s microsuction technology.
Hearing loss, ear ache and blocked ears can all be symptoms of excess ear wax.
Before your ear wax removal
We will begin your appointment by asking you a few questions to understand your ears’ health and needs. We will use an otoscope (magnifier) to assess the ear canal and eardrum.
During your ear wax removal
We will gently suction unwanted skin cells and ear wax from your ears carefully so as not to come into contact with the eardrum. This should be painless but can be a little loud.
After your ear wax removal
We recommend having this procedure every 4-6 months. We also recommended regularly assessing the general condition of your ear and hearing health once or twice a year. This regular monitoring can prevent problems before they start causing issues.
- Why get my ear wax removed?
It is crucial to take care of your ears and hearing health. Almost half a billion people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing loss. Approximately 2.3 million people in the UK each year have problems with earwax sufficient to require intervention. Many factors can affect our ear health, including age, the misuse of headphones, exposure to very loud noises, and wax build-up. Given advancements in recent technology, we can now offer a full ear care service within our pharmacies.
This involves a digital otoscopy examination to check the health of your ears and, if wax is present, we can quickly and safely remove it using microsuction. We can also perform a hearing screener test to establish whether your hearing is normal or if you have a suspected hearing loss.
Although having some ear wax is perfectly normal, sometimes a build-up of ear wax can occur, which can result in the following symptoms: hearing loss, ear pain, itching, odour or discharge, and dizziness.
- How do I know if I need my ear wax removed?
The following signs and symptoms could indicate that you might need to have your ear wax professional removed:
– loss of hearing
– ears feeling full
– ringing and itching
– loss of balance, dizziness
- How long does ear wax removal take?
Having your ear wax removed is a quick and easy process. Generally, it only takes trained professionals around 30 minutes to complete the procedure.
- Can I get ear wax removal on the NHS?
In September 2020, the government confirmed that the NHS is no longer offering ear wax removal services. This means that you most likely cannot access this procedure through your local GP. Waiting lists for ENT appointments on the NHS can be up to a year long.
- How do you remove the ear wax?
In order to remove the wax from your ears, we use a process called microsuction. This procedure is generally accepted as the safest and most effective method of ear wax removal. We use an innovative device, the Tympa system, to gently and safely suction unwanted skin cells and ear wax from the ears. Our TympaHealth system uses magnification to help us remove the wax carefully without coming into contact with the eardrum. We can even show you images and videos of your ears before and after the procedure to show you the difference!
In the past, it was common to use a technique called syringing, where high-pressure water is squirted into the ear to dislodge the wax. However, this procedure is somewhat uncomfortable and unsuitable for children or those with perforations in the eardrum. It also leaves the inner ear wet, which can leave the patient at risk of infection.
- Do I need a referral for an appointment for ear wax removal?
No, you do not need a referral to have your ear wax removed. This process is generally no longer offered on the NHS. Waiting lists for ENT appointments on the NHS can be up to a year long.
- Does ear wax removal hurt?
Ear wax removal should not hurt. It can be noisy, but not louder than household appliances, like your hoover. If you have recently had an ear infection or use particular ear drops that contain peroxide, your ear canal can become more sensitive. If you have caused previous irritation to your ears, the procedure might be slightly uncomfortable but not painful.
- How successful is the ear wax removal procedure?
In the majority of cases, we can quickly and safely remove your ear wax. However, sometimes wax can be especially hard and compacted. If this is the case, we may ask you to use Earol to soften the wax before returning for a repeat appointment.
- Is the ear wax removal procedure safe?
Microsuction is the safest method of ear wax removal, but all procedures carry some risk. Although they are highly uncommon, some risks associated with this procedure are minor bleeding, soreness, mild discomfort, and short-term ringing in the ear (tinnitus). Our staff have completed comprehensive training with TympaHealth ENT and Audiology experts to ensure our service is safe and to minimise any possible risks.
- Can ear wax removal restore my hearing?
Hearing loss can sometimes be caused by a blockage, such as a build-up of ear wax inside the ear. If ear wax is the reason you are experiencing a hearing loss, we can remove this for you, which could improve your hearing. However, a hearing loss could be due to several factors. This procedure cannot cure hearing loss caused by other factors.
- Is there an age restriction to ear wax removal?
Our otoscopy services are suitable for anyone over the age of 16. Our microsuction wax removal service is available to anyone over the age of 16.
- Can I have ear wax removal if I wear hearing aids?
Yes, our ear care service is suitable for anyone with hearing aids. Those with hearing aids often wear them up to 24 hours a day. Simply having these instruments inside your ear can impact how your body naturally removes ear wax. Wearing hearing aids can increase your chance of ear wax build-up, so we recommend having this procedure once or twice a year, depending on how much wax you produce.
- How often should I have micro-suction to remove ear wax?
How much wax our bodies produce varies from person to person. However, we recommend having this procedure every 4-6 months for those prone to ear wax build-up. Microsuction can be carried out as often as necessary.
We would also recommend regularly assessing the general condition of your ear and hearing health once or twice a year. With regular monitoring, we can prevent problems before they start to cause an issue.