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What is Earwax?

We are often asked why we have ear wax. It is not as a result of poor hygiene as many people think, but a clever mix of ingredients which have an important role in protecting and cleaning our ears.

In addition to trapping dirt and any creepy crawlies, ear wax lubricates the skin, and provides anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties - ensuring the ear is kept healthy.

Ear wax naturally moves out of our ears. In fact, every time we talk, chew or yawn we are encouraging this process. Whilst many people remain unaffected by ear wax problems, ear wax can be a real issue for some.

So how would you know if you had an ear wax build up if you can’t see it?

The most common symptoms are a blocked sensation, a drop in hearing, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness and discomfort. The best way to clean the ears is to use a warm washcloth when in the shower, and gently clean the outer ear up to the opening of the ear canal only. NEVER use cotton buds as you could damage your ears. They also may compact the ear wax - making it impossible to come out in the usual way. Also, using cotton buds stimulates the ear canal to produce more wax and exacerbate the problem!

If you do suffer from wax build up and would like advice please call 01865 910 202

What is Microsuction?

Microsuction is a method of ear wax removal. Ear wax is removed using a gentle suction and a microscope to view the ear canal and drum. It is the preferred method used by Ear Nose and Throat consultants.

Microsuction is safe, gentle and very effective. It does not require lengthy softening and, in most cases, relief is instant.

It is appropriate for:

  • Impacted wax
  • Urgent removal due to poor hearing or prior to flying
  • Perforated ear drum
  • Previous surgery/problems in ear canal where syringing is unsuitable
  • Hearing aid users

To book your appointment, call the practice on 01865 910202

What to expect?

Following an initial discussion regarding your health and hearing, we begin by examining your ears using a fibre optic camera. The camera sits just at the entrance of the ear, and enables both you and the audiologist to view your ear canal and ear drum on a large screen.

We will examine both ears, before proceeding with any wax removal required. Following treatment, we will show you your ear canals and drums again, this time without any wax blockage.

How long does the appointment last?
Appointments last approximately 10 - 30 minutes dependent on the treatment needed. Occasionally, an individual may need to return for some follow-up work if there has been an ear infection or some trauma to the ear canal.

Does microsuction hurt?
The procedure is performed slowly and should not cause any discomfort. If a client has any concerns during treatment the procedure is stopped immediately. Microsuction provides instant relief and is usually a revelation!

To book your appointment, please call the practice on 01865 910 202.

Do I need to use softening drops?

Microsuction does not require lengthy softening, although we do advise you to place drops into your ear 24 hours prior to your appointment.

Softening ear wax drops are available at most large food stores as well as Boots and other pharmacies. If you are unsure of the best way to insert ear drops, please read our guide below. Alternatively, please contact the practice if you wish to discuss using drops or if you have any other concerns. For a detailed fact sheet on the types of drops available, please click here.

How to use ear drops:

  • Lie down on your side with the ear requiring drops facing upwards.
  • Pull the outer ear backwards and upwards (just backwards in children).
  • Drop 2 or 3 drops of oil, at room temperature, into the ear canal and then massage the the skin just in front of the entrance to the ear canal – this enables the oil to run down the ear canal more easily.
  • Stay lying down for 5 minutes and then get up and wipe away any excess oil with a tissue. DO NOT put cotton wool in the ear following the drops as this absorbs the oil.

To book your appointment, call the practice on 01865 910202

Appointments

Appointments:

We recognise that people lead very busy lives and having a blocked ear can be both irritating and debilitating. Therefore, we aim to offer an appointment within 48 hours if needed.

Monthly Saturday Clinics Available

If you do not have any wax issues but do have concerns about your ears, we are also able to offer advice and look for the best solution.

How Much Does it Cost?

Our charges are as follows:

Ear Check & Wax Removal £75
Service Appointment £75
Initial Consultation/Hearing Tests/Consultations £140
External Ear Care Clinic £85
Service/repair of hearing instrument Dependent on model and level of service required

Oxford Aural Care Study Day

Ear Examination and Irrigation Technique

This course has been approved by the Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust since 2004 and appears in their Learning Directory as a recommended element for the role of the primary care nurse.
To date, in excess of 400 Nurses have attended.

The course will enable nurses to:

  • Refresh their knowledge base surrounding anatomy and
    physiology of the ear.
  • Enhance their knowledge and competence in the
    identification of common ear problems.
  • Provide the practice skills required for ear irrigation and aural
    toilet/dry mopping following the Propulse Irrigation procedure.
  • This is necessary in order to prevent secondary otitis externa
    following irrigation.

To find out more about the day please call us on 01865 910 202

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