Ear Wax Removal in Adults and Children


Contact us for more details

Are you or your child suffering with Blocked Ears?
Looking for clearer hearing?
Do you have impacted wax or debris from a recent ear infection?

Donna Dady (RGN, BSc, INP) is an Advanced Nurse Specialist who has over 20 years experience in the Ear Care of Adults and Children.

Trained in Aural care in 2002, she regularly examines, diagnoses and prescribes treatment for a variety of ear conditions within NHS Primary Care.

Every patient needs individual assessment. Children may find it hard to keep their head still, so irrigation may be much safer, as the tip of the irrigation device remains at the entrance of the ear canal, while the tip of a microsuction device reaches into the ear canal.

Children with autism may find the sensation and noise of microsuction frightening, yet they may also enjoy the ‘waterfall’ in their ear.

THE NURSE CLINIC takes a flexible approach as to how the ear wax is removed, we consider each consultation different from the next placing safety, patient preference and the child’s individual needs at the forefront of our decision making.

We believe fully in empowering children to join us in the decision making process.

Please ensure you have used olive oil for at least 3 days prior to your appointment. In children we prefer oiling for 5 days or more.

Frequently asked questions

What is ear wax?

Earwax, also known by the medical term cerumen, is a brown, orange, red, yellowish or gray waxy substance secreted in the ear canal of humans and other mammals.

It protects the skin of the human ear canal, assists in cleaning and lubrication, and provides protection against bacteria, fungi, and water.

Earwax consists of dead skin cells, hair, and other secretions. Excess or impacted ear wax is the buildup causing a blockage in the ear canal and it can press against the eardrum or block the outside ear canal or hearing aids, potentially causing hearing loss.

How long does ear wax removal take?

Ear Wax Removal take no more than 30 minutes

Does ear wax removal hurt?

No, but occasionally some people feel a mild discomfort or sensation.

What equipment does The Nurse Clinic use for ear wax removal?

At THE NURSE CLINIC we have various Ear Wax Removal techniques which all meet high quality standards. The Hospivac 400 Microsuction machine, The Guardian Projet 101 Irrigator, both used in conjunction with the amazing Vorotek O Scope.

What if I am unhappy? How do I complain?

If you are unhappy with any element of your experience at The Nurse Clinic, please contact us immediately. We appreciate any feedback.

What do I need to do before I book my appointment?

Please ensure you have been oiling your ears with olive oil at least 3 days prior to your appointment.

Does The Nurse Clinic have FREE parking or disabled access?

  • Disabled parking space, with additional parking on a first come, first served basis
  • Fully accessible ground floor
  • Disabled toilet with rails and alarm
  • FREE Parking directly outside the clinic

Do I need a referral to be seen?

No referral is required

Why do I have to pay for ear wax removal?

The free NHS service was removed a few years ago as it was deemed a non essential service.

Here at THE NURSE CLINIC, we believe that one approach to Ear Wax Removal does not always create successful results – therefore it is our protocol to always assess each patient individually.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests that the gold standard for Ear Wax Removal is Microsuction:

However if no contraindications are found during our medical assessment, irrigation is also safe. Occasionally we combine both approaches depending on each scenario.

We have various methods we use for wax removal – Hospivac 400® Micro suction machine, Otoclear® Manual Ear Irrigation and Guardian Projet 101 Irrigation machine. All equipment is considered the best in the field of Ear Wax Removal.

Used in conjunction with the VOROTEK O SCOPE to ensure visual accuracy and depth perception of the ear canal is maintained. 

Microsuction or Irrigation – Which one is better?

Microsuction involves inserting a suction tube into the ear canal. The suction tip is attached to a long plastic tube, which is then attached to a suction unit or machine.

This sucks the wax from the ear down through the tube and into a disposable canister.

Advantages of Microsuction

  • Quick
  • Effective
  • Gentle
  • Safe
  • The practitioner can see inside the ear canal
  • It is not always necessary to use ear drops beforehand
  • Safe if you have perforated ears or have had surgery to your ears
  • No water, so less messy
  • Safe for those with mastoid cavities

Disadvantages of Microsuction

  • Very noisy
  • Not ideal if you are a nervous, anxious or jumpy person
  • Not the safest if someone is fidgety, has a cough or a medical condition that causes sudden jolts or movements
  • It may not always be possible to remove very deep wax with microsuction depending on the practitioners visual equipment
  • Very soft slushy wax can be harder and in some cases more dangerous to remove with microsuction
  • There is risk of human error and ear trauma if not used properly
  • Can be seen as quite invasive

Irrigation uses a gentle, regulated stream of water to dislodge wax blockages. A basin is held under the ear to catch the expelled wax and water.

Advantages of Irrigation

  • Quick
  • Effective
  • Gentle
  • Safe
  • Quieter than microsuction
  • Less invasive than microsuction
  • Better if you are nervous or anxious
  • The training and procedure is regulated
  • Easier and often safer when removing very deep wax
  • Better for softer wax, particularly when drops have been overused

Disadvantages of Irrigation

  • Cannot be used if you have a perforated ear drum
  • Should not be used if you have an active infection
  • Cannot be used if you have a mastoid cavity
  • Caution advised if you have troublesome vertigo
  • Caution advised if you have had previous surgery
  • Should not be used if there are any open abrasions to the ear canal
  • There is risk of human error and ear trauma if not used properly
  • Ear drops must be used prior to treatment