Self Treatment of Ear Wax Using Portia Ear Syringe – approx £3.30 from most chemists
This is an effective method of relieving the symptoms
of blockage and discomfort and because you are in control
of the pressure used, has been shown to be safer than
syringing done by a healthcare professional.
DO NOT SELF TREAT AND SEEK ADVICE FROM YOUR GP IF;
a) Past or current perforation of eardrum
b) Ear infection within 6 weeks
c) History of cleft palate
d) History of ear surgery
e) Ever been advised against ear syringing by a health professional
Ear wax is a natural cleansing substance for the ears. It helps to protect against infection and water damage. It can become impacted in the ear canal often by using cotton buds inappropriately and causes dulled hearing, discomfort, occasional ringing (tinnitus) or even mild dizziness.
1) Soften the wax with ear drops either of sodium bicarbonate or olive oil for at least 2 days. These products are widely available at the supermarket or a pharmacy. The drops should be room temperature and put inside the ear 3 times a day and allowed to soak for 2-3 minutes.
2) Use the ear syringe bulb with body temperature water (approx 37C / 98F) to flush out the wax.
3) Prepare the syringe by squirting water in and out of it a few times.
4) Gently pull your outer ear "up back and out" to help straighten out the canal, which will allow better access for the water.
5) Tilt your head to one side and gently squirt one or more bulb syringes of water into your ear. (This might be best done in the shower so that the excess water does not go on your floor!)
6) Allow the water to remain in your ear for at least 60 seconds. Gently tilt your head in the opposite direction and wiggle your outer ear. You may note the water which comes out is now discoloured or has chunks of ear wax in it. This is a good thing.
7) Repeat if needed. You may find more than one flushing per ear may be required to rid yourself of ear wax.
8) Repeat on your other ear if needed.
Rarely ear flushing can cause dizziness (if water is not body temperature) but quickly settles.
Occasionally people develop irritation in the outer ear with itching and redness. If this occurs consult your GP.
If symptoms of blockage do not improve, continue softening drops alone for a further 7 days and see the practice nurse. You will need to bring the ear syringe bulb with you.