Aural Care Clinic
What is ear wax?
Ear wax keeps our ears clean and healthy. It usually works its way out of the ears by itself, but sometimes too much wax can build up and block the ears. Ear wax is a normal substance that protects the skin of your ear canals.
It’s made up of:
- Dead skin cells
- Debris such as dust
- Cerumen, which is the natural wax produced by glands in your ears.
When does ear wax need to be removed?
Ear wax doesn’t usually cause problems, but if too much is produced, it can build up in the ear, leading to:
- Hearing loss (the most common symptom)
- Ear discomfort, earache and the feeling of having blocked ears
- Tinnitus (noises in the ear(s) or head)
- A cough, though this is rare.
You may also need to have ear wax removed if:
- Ear wax is preventing a doctor or audiologist (hearing specialist) from viewing your ear canal and eardrum
- You’re getting a hearing aid and the audiologist needs to take an impression of your ear for the earmould
- You use a hearing aid and ear wax is causing it to whistle.
If you use hearing aids, it’s very important to make sure that your ears aren’t blocked with wax. This is because if the wax blocks the earmould or soft tip by going into the tubing. It can block off the sound and cause you to think that the hearing aid has stopped working. If you think that the tubing of your hearing aid is blocked, please contact us to get it cleaned or replaced.
Can I remove ear wax blockage myself?
No. You should never insert anything into your ears to remove wax, such as a finger, cotton bud or towel, as this can:
- Damage the wall of the ear canal and cause inflammation
- Cause the wax to be compressed by pushing it further into the ear
- Tear the eardrum.
Where can I get help?
If you experience any of these problems, please see your GP. If it’s confirmed that your ear problems are caused by a build-up of ear wax, please get in touch with us and our qualified and registered experienced ear care professionals will remove it.
You do not need a formal referral from your GP to access our Aural Care service
A wax blockage may give you mild, temporary hearing loss. For this to happen, the wax has to completely block the canal or press on the eardrum. Please note that if your GP looks in your ears and you don’t have wax blocking your ears and you still feel your hearing is down and you often have difficulty hearing the TV or radio, or if you miss words in conversation, ask your GP to refer you for a hearing test as you may have hearing loss caused by a condition in the middle or inner ear.
At NDA we specialise in the microsuction technique to remove excessive or troublesome ear wax. This is generally accepted to be the safest and most effective method. It is performed with the aid of an operating microscope and a finely calibrated suction device and is completely syringe free. The procedure commonly takes a few minutes for each ear and is usually comfortable and pain free.
You may be asked to use olive oil spray or drops, such as Earol, for 2-3 days beforehand. This will make the treatment easier for you. Occasionally we may need to use other instruments to remove hard wax. The microsuction technique means that we can always see what we are doing and can avoid touching the skin of the sides of the ear canal which makes the process a lot more comfortable.
How much does it cost?
We would like to be able to offer this service for free, but even as a charity we can’t raise all the funds we need from other sources to offer our services free of charge to the public.
To cover the costs of the Aural Care Service and ensure that we maintain it at high quality, and run it with professionally trained and experienced staff, we charge £30 for the procedure.
Making an appointment
For an appointment or more information please ring or complete the form below (including the simple sum at the bottom that protects us from spam).