What to expect from your ear wax removal appointment
Consent and Examination
Firstly, during your ear wax removal appointment, we will review and discuss your consent form ensuring there are no contraindications (medical jargon for cannot) against the procedure.
Once consent is obtained, we examine the outsides of your ears and surrounding skin, particularly looking for any abnormalities that may be present, swellings or tenderness, which, if found, can be discussed and referred to your GP as needed.
After that has been completed, we look at the internal condition of your ear using an otoscope, which is a handheld microscope with its light source, looking specifically at the ear canal and eardrum if not obscured by wax!
The presence of wax is normal, and we will only recommend irrigation if it is causing a problem such as muffled hearing or discomfort. Occasionally the amount or position of the ear wax present may mean that removal is unnecessary. We can remove if you request, or wait a few months; unlike others, you will only pay for the service provided.
If irrigation is recommended, the procedure involves gently pulsating warm water into the ear canal via a nozzle inserted at the start of the ear canal. The water dislodges the wax which comes out of the ear and is collected in a disposable collection cup. Please note that we use specialist ear irrigation machines designed specifically for this procedure and NOT a syringe.
During the procedure, some people report that they find the sensation soothing, whilst others describe it as a slightly odd feeling, however, you should not feel any pain.
Once the wax has been removed, we will dry your ear canal and then thoroughly inspect your tympanic membrane, more commonly known as the eardrum, and review the condition of your ear canal. Any significant observations will be discussed, and digital photographs can be taken for referral to your GP if needed.
We will then go through advice following the procedure, such as:
Your ear canal can be vulnerable to infection after any wax removal procedure, not just irrigation until the ear produces more wax to protect itself; keeping it dry for a minimum of 4 to 5 days is important.
In addition, if you wear hearing aids, we recommend not replacing them for at least 4 hours after the procedure to allow your ear canal to dry and prevent moisture from being transferred to your device.
However, in the unlikely event that you develop pain, dizziness, reduced hearing, or discharge in the days after the procedure, please get in touch with your GP.
If you were experiencing hearing loss before your ear wax removal, check whether your hearing is restored after your ear cleaning. If not, you may benefit from a formal assessment by a hearing specialist.
We will then go through aftercare advice and leave you an ear care leaflet and discuss any of your questions in depth.
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