Ear wax removal at Leightons
What is ear wax?
Ear wax (or cerumen) is a natural product produced by your ears. It is made of 3 main components:
- Old skin cells
- Dust and debris
- Oily secretions from modified sweat glands
Ear wax forms an important part of the ears natural defence system because it has certain anti-bacterial agents which help to prevent infections. As it is sticky and moist, it not only helps to moisturise the skin in your ears but also helps to trap foreign bodies and dust. Ear wax slowly works its way out of your ear, making our ears self-cleaning!
When does ear wax become a problem?
A little ear wax is perfectly normal and healthy. However, occasionally ear wax can block your ears. This usually occurs when it has been pushed in to the ear canal by a person attempting to remove it themselves. Commonly this is done by cotton buds, hairpins, paper clips or other items people use to try and remove wax.
The most recognisable symptoms of excessive ear wax are partial or total hearing loss, itching, fullness, ringing and occasionally pain. Ear wax should only ever be removed by a fully-trained professional. The ear is an incredibly sensitive organ and the slightest slip can cause long-term damage, so attempting to remove it yourself is not recommended.
All of our experienced audiologists use the latest technology to analyse your hearing and to accurately assess your needs. This includes removing any wax that may be obstructing your ear canal.
We remove wax using one of three different methods:
- Suitable for small build-up of wax near your ear canal entrance
- Wax is gently removed using a Jobson Horne (a long thin instrument with a circular loop tip)
- Uses what is effectively a vacuum to clear out debris or wax from the ear canal
- A fine suction tube is gently inserted into the ear canal while being viewed through a magnifying headset
- More gentle, effective and safer than previous ‘syringing’
- Low-pressure water at body temperature (37°C) flushes out larger quantities of wax in the ear canal
All three methods of ear wax removal are now available at all Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care branches.
Before the appointment
Prior to your appointment, it is generally advised to use wax softening drops or olive oil to help soften the wax before removal. Ideally they should be used every day for a week beforehand because, although a few days’ usage is often adequate, the longer drops are used for then the more easily and comfortably the wax can be removed in your appointment.
How much does Wax Removal cost?
We take your hearing and ear health seriously, so our wax removal consultation includes a hearing assessment, detailed history, and time for you to ask any questions you might have. We employ the latest techniques, including video otoscopy, and will advise regarding the best options for wax removal for you.
Our comprehensive ear wax removal consultation costs £95.