Earwax Removal

Using cotton buds? Stop now!


If you’re a regular here then you’ll be aware that the body produces earwax naturally to collect and trap dirt and bacteria in your ears. Removing earwax isn’t necessary unless you have a large build up that is affecting your hearing; only a healthcare professional should remove this. We’re not going to beat around the bush today – inserting a cotton bud, or any other object for that matter, into your ear risks damaging your eardrum or ear canal.


Earwax: bad or good?

Earwax, which is sometimes known as cerumen, is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Traps dirt and dust before it gets too deep inside your ear
  • Absorbs dead skin cells
  • Prevents the skin inside the ear from drying out
  • Stops infection and bacteria from getting into the inner ear

It’s worth reminding you that earwax is completely natural and is actually a useful function of the body. Sometimes though, earwax does build up and cause discomfort. If you are suffering with blocked up ears, it is instinct to want to clean them. We all know it’s so tempting to reach for the cotton buds!! Pushing a cotton bud into your ear could have the exact opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve; the earwax can be pushed further into your ear making it even more difficult to remove the wax. You could even accidentally damage your eardrum or ear canal.


Most of the time if you have a build up of earwax, you will need to have it removed by a healthcare professional. However, if it is just a little you may be able to remove it yourself at home by trying the following things:


Olive Oil Drops

There are olive oil drops that you can buy from a Pharmacy or online which will help to soften the earwax so that it will eventually fall out of your ear. It is also recommended that you use these drops before an earwax removal appointment. The best way to use them is to lie down with your head to one side for around 10-15 minutes (to allow to oil to sink in). You should do this 3-4 times a day for 4-5 days consecutively.


Warm Damp Cloth

If the wax you need to get rid of is just on the outer ear and you can see it, the safest way to remove it is by using a warm damp cloth. You can place you finger under the cloth and run it around your ear’s curves (on the outside only!) and it will collect any excess earwax or debris effectively. It’s important to state again at this point that inserting anything into your ear is likely to do more harm than good; cotton buds, ear candles, tweezers and syringes are things that people regularly try to use but this could cause an infection or worse. It is worth noting that there is no medical evidence to suggest that ear candles work.


If you’ve got more of a build up, you will need to see a hearing healthcare professional to get the wax removed. They can use microsuction or irrigation to remove the earwax safely and cleanly from your ear. We offer these appointments in the comfort of your own home and it can be completed in under an hour, often much less!

Get in touch if you’d like some information about our appointments. We hope we’ve convinced you to stay away from the cotton buds!

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