EARWAX REMOVAL (SYRINGING)
- It is normal for the external ear canal to produce earwax. Earwax may be yellow and soft or dry and flaky.
- Dead skin cells on the surface of the ear canal gradually travel towards the earlobe, carrying the earwax with them. Normally, earwax is removed from the ears in this way, so you do not need to have them specially cleaned.
- Earwax can build up in the ear canal, causing a feeling of blockage and deafness. This is more common if you use cotton buds to clean your ears.
- If you have a build-up of hard earwax you can use wax-softening ear drops, available from your chemist, or olive oil.
- If the wax does not disperse with oil or drops, your ears may need to be ‘syringed’. This involves a machine with an ear probe that directs pulses of warm water into the ear. The water is directed at the roof of the ear canal, so that it passes over the earwax to force it out from behind. The water and earwax are collected in a kidney-shaped dish held under the ear.
- Ear syringing can also help clear infections of the external ear canal.
- Ear syringing can sometimes cause dizziness, but only for a few minutes. Occasionally, it may be necessary for you to attend an ENT clinic to have the earwax removed using a microscope and suction device.