Towcester Medical Centre

High Quality Care in a Family Friendly Setting

Ear Care Advice

Ear Wax 

Earwax is a normal, healthy substance with a number of functions.  It cleans, lubricates and protects the lining of your ear by trapping dirt and repelling water.  It usually breaks down naturally and falls out of the ears in tiny flakes.

Earwax can sometimes cause a problem if it builds up.  This can cause discomfort, a sensation of fullness, some loss of hearing or if you wear a hearing aid, some whistling.

Preparing Your Ears for Irrigation

  • Lie down or put your head over to one side with your affected ear uppermost
  • Allow 5mls of olive oil to fall into the ear canal. Massage both in front and behind the ear.
  • Keep your ear in this position for 10 minutes; after which you may wipe any excess oil away.
  • Repeat the procedure on the other ear if required.
  • DO NOT put any cotton wool in the ear as this reabsorbs the olive oil.
  • Olive Oil can be inserted 2-3 times a day, ideally for 7 days before irrigation can be done.

Did You Know

  • Ears need wax for protection, it also destroys bacteria.
  • If you suffer from excess/dry wax; using olive oil once or twice a week can help the ear clean itself.
  • DO NOT use cotton buds/hairgrips, etc, in your ear canal as these can damage the delicate skin of the ear canal and even perforate the ear drum.

When Ear Irrigation May Not Be Suitable

If any of the below apply, please discuss with Practice Nurse prior to your appointment.

  • Mastoid Surgery
  • Perforated ear drum
  • Recurrent or recent ear infections
  • Previous ear surgery
  • Previous ear injury
  • Cleft Palate
  • Hearing in one ear only