Earwax usually falls out on its own, so there's no need for extra help. Occasionally, it can completely block up your ear canal leading to hearing loss. It then may need to be removed.
Earwax also sometimes needs to be removed so that an impression of the ear canal can be made for a hearing aid mould. It can also be removed if the earwax is causing the hearing aid to whistle.
Eardrops, available from your pharmacy, can be used to soften and loosen the earwax, which may help it to work its way out naturally. Speak to your pharmacist about which eardrops are suitable for you.
Eardrops should only be used when they're at room temperature. Pour a few drops into the affected ear and lie on your side for a few minutes, with the affected ear facing upwards.
This will allow the eardrops to soak into the wax and soften it. Repeating this two or three times a day for between three and five days will cause the plug to soften. The wax should then gradually fall out of your ear bit by bit.
Eardrops should not be used if you have a perforated eardrum (a hole or tear in the eardrum).
Ear irrigation (or "syringing")
Ear irrigation may be recommended if your earwax blockage persists, even after using eardrops. It involves using a pressurised flow of water to remove the build-up of earwax.
A metal syringe is used to enable a controlled flow of water which is squirted into your ear canal to clean out the earwax. The water is a similar temperature to your body.
While irrigating your ear, the healthcare professional treating you may hold your ear at different angles to ensure the water reaches all of your ear canal.
They may also look inside your ear several times using an auroscope (an instrument that's used to examine the inside of the ear) to check whether the wax is coming out.
Ear irrigation is a painless procedure, but your ear may feel strange as the water is squirted around your ear canal. Tell the person who is treating you if you experience any:
These symptoms may be caused by an ear infection and will need further investigation.
If ear irrigation is unsuccessful at removing earwax from your ear, your GP may recommend:
When ear irrigation is not recommended
Ear irrigation isn't suitable for everyone. It shouldn't be used if you have:
Ear irrigation isn't recommended if you have a grommet. The grommet creates a passage in your middle ear, which allows water to enter during syringing.
Grommets come out naturally and the passage created by the grommet should eventually heal. Once the passage has healed, you can have ear irrigation.
You shouldn't have ear irrigation if the ear to be treated is your only hearing ear. This is because there's a small chance it could cause permanent hearing loss.
Young children who cannot tolerate it and some people with learning difficulties may also not be able to have ear irrigation.
Should ear drops or ear irrigation prove ineffective at removing your earwax, or if you're unsuitable for these treatments, there are some alternative options that you may want to consider. These are described below.
Microsuction and aural toileting can be performed at One Care Clinic Hougang. Please call for an appointment with Dr Jack Lee.
Ear syringing can be performed at all One Care Clinics.
(Adapted from NHS UK)
Feedback & Enquiries
We'd love to hear from you!
Boon Lay - Boon Lay Shopping Centre, 221 Boon Lay Place #01-152, Singapore 640221, Tel: 62611580
Bukit Batok - Blk 630 Bukit Batok Central #01-148, Singapore 650630, Tel: 65636913
Bukit Gombak MRT - 802 Bukit Batok West Avenue 5 #01-16, Singapore 659083, Tel: 62558472
Bukit Panjang - Blk 547 Segar Road #01-05, Singapore 670547, Tel: 62508533
Canberra - Blk 105 Canberra Street, #01-09 Singapore 750105 Tel: 62513778
Choa Chu Kang - Blk 810, Choa Chu Kang Ave 7 #01-09, Singapore 680810, Tel: 67666146
Hougang - Blk 104 Hougang Ave 1 #01-1125, Singapore 530104, Tel: 65250325
Loyang Point - 258 Pasir Ris Street 21 #02-14, Singapore 510258, Tel: 63857435
Marine Parade - 81 Marine Parade Central #01-644, Singapore 440081, Tel: 63441620
Punggol Plaza - 168 Punggol Field, #02-09A Punggol Plaza, Singapore 820168, Tel: 69043511
Raffles Place - One Raffles Place, 1 Raffles Place #04-12, Singapore 048616, Tel: 65322692
Tampines - 827 Tampines Street 81 #01-142, Singapore 520827, Tel: 6443 5938
Tampines MRT - 20 Tampines Central 1 #01-27 , Singapore 529538 Tel: 67853702
Tiong Bahru - 11A Boon Tiong Road #01-08, Singapore 161011, Tel: 63582568
Woodlands - 4, Woodlands Street 12 #02-57, Singapore 738623 Tel: 63632919
Yishun - Blk 431 Yishun Ave 1 #01-04, Singapore 760431, Tel: 63342373
Aljunied MRT - 81 Lorong 25 Geylang, #01-03 Aljunied MRT, Singapore 388310, Tel: 69045871
Copyright 2018 OneCare Medical | All Rights Reserved