Ear wax is very good for ears and helps to keep them healthy. In particular it helps to transport dead skin and dirt out of the ear. Occasionally wax may become stuck and this is often seen in people with narrow or hairy ear canals and those that wear hearing aids or earplugs. Wax impaction is more common with age as the wax gets harder and more difficult to be naturally transported out of the ear canal. The use of cotton buds in the ear may also contribute to wax impaction by pushing the wax further back into the ear canal. If it becomes too compact then the ear becomes blocked reducing hearing, causing pain and sometimes leading to ear infections.
Removing your ear wax
It is possible to treat earwax build-up yourself by putting 2 to 3 drops of olive oil in your ear twice a day for a week or so. Over the following days the wax may steadily fall out of your ear (especially at night when you are lying down). Irrigation (water washing) is sometimes performed in some clinics but this may not remove all of the wax, can be uncomfortable, and can lead to trauma to the ear canal and ear drum putting the ear at risk of ear infections.
If you have persistent or stubborn wax we can assist you by offering wax removal by microsuction. This is a gentle (normally painless) suctioning of the wax and debris with the aid of a microscope and a small suction nozzle. This ensures that all of the wax is removed, a full examination of the ear is performed and minimises injury to the ear as the structures can be seen in great detail.