Project Description

Earwax Removal

Earwax Removal

Earwax is an oily substance produced by glands at the entrance to the ear canal, which it protects and lubricates. The amount of wax produced varies from person to person dependent on their lifestyle, diet, age, skin condition, anxiety levels and anatomy of the ear canal.

There are two distinct forms of earwax: ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. Most people in Britain have the ‘wet’ type of earwax. You are more likely to have excess wax if you have a high fat diet, if you are elderly or of an anxious disposition, if you have narrow ear canals, if your parents had excess wax problems, or if you try to remove wax using an object in the ear, such as a cotton bud.

As part of the ageing process the glands secrete less sebum (oily secretion), often causing wax to be drier and harder. This, together with the reduction in movement of the ear canal skin, means that older people are more likely to experience a wax blockage.

Healthy ears produce wax and it does not need to be removed unless it has caused dulled hearing, itchiness or discomfort. The ear canal has a self-cleaning action. As wax is produced only at the entrance to the ear canal and the movement of the ear canal is outwards, some wax may appear on a cotton bud when it is removed from the ear, but the majority of the wax will have been pushed from the normal position, backwards down the ear canal. So please do not use cotton buds!

If you are in doubt then one of our audiologists will be happy to examine your ear and see if wax removal is required. If so we can do it on the spot and if not you will only be charged a £20 consultation fee.

During ear irrigation (syringing), the ear is rinsed with warm water from an electronic irrigator. The wax and water are collected in a basin or cup-shaped device which the patient holds under their ear.

This procedure may be inappropriate if you have:
• A perforated eardrum, or if you have had a perforation in the last 12 months.
• Previously had problems with irrigation, such as pain in your ear or severe vertigo.
• A discharge of mucus from your ear or have had an ear infection in the preceding two months.
• Recurring or persistent infections of the ear canal.
• Had any ear surgery (apart from cases of extruded grommets which had come out at least 18 months beforehand) had a middle ear infection (otitis media) in the past six weeks.

In these cases, we recommend microsuction instead, which uses gentle suction to remove excessive or troublesome earwax. It is performed with the aid of an operating microscope and a finely calibrated suction device, without the introduction of any materials or liquids.

Ear syringing costs £40 for one ear and £60 for both ears and microsuction costs £75 for one ear and £95 for both.

Hearing Care Centre is a multi-award winning, family run hearing care company looking after the hearing impaired from centres throughout East Anglia. They guarantee an impartial, expert and caring approach to all hearing concerns. Appointments are available on Tuesdays. Please use the contact details provided to book an appointment.


0800 096 2637

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