Ear Irrigation (Ear Syringing)

From 1st August 2020 Ear irrigation (Ear syringing) will no longer be available at West Street Surgery in core GP hours.

We are committed to providing best practice and high quality medical care to our registered patients. Ear syringing is no longer considered to be the first line treatment for the clearing of ear wax and it is not a funded service within the NHS for General Practice.

In line with current best practice and many other GP surgeries nationwide, West Street Surgery has made the decision to withdraw the ear syringing service with effect from 1st August 2020.

Whilst we still maintain the contract for extended hours we will be to offer one or two appointment slots per week at 6:30pm. Once this contract ends the ear irrigation service will be completely removed from West Street.

How can I treat ear wax?

Current guidelines are that ear drops should be used to soften the wax which will then enable the natural movement of the wax from the ear. Further information and treatment options are available on our website in the treatment room and can be found at /conditions/earwax-build-up/.

Who needs ear irrigation?

Ear irrigation may be required if ear drops do not work. Your GP or Nurse will discuss options with you.

What is ear irrigation?

The ear canal is washed out with warm water. Irrigating the ear with water will usually clear plugs of earwax. But it is only safe if the plug of earwax has been softened. Irrigation when the wax is hard increases the risks of perforating the ear drum, damage to the canal and infection.

Ear irrigation is usually painless. Lukewarm water is squirted into the ear canal. This is usually done by a machine that squirts water at the right pressure. This dislodges the softened plug which then falls out with the water.

How can I prepare my ear for irrigation?

Olive oil ear drops should be used to soften wax twice per day for 4 weeks before your appointment. Should you require an appointment you will be given a future date so that you can prepare the ear correctly before the appointment.

We suggest you lie on your side for a good 5 minutes rubbing in front of the ear and pulling the ear lobe to encourage the oil to run down the ear canal. After this time you can lay cotton wool over the ear opening but don’t push down into the ear (as this will absorb the olive oil). Turn over and repeat on the other side if needed.

What if I can’t wait?

If you unable to wait 4 weeks using the oil then your welcome to pay for this service privately, at an alternative location which you would need to source yourself.

What if I can’t get an appointment?

A number of other organisation are now able to offer ear irrigation. Prices vary so please contact them directly.

Specsavers Dunstable (near Sainsburys)

https://www.specsavers.co.uk/hearing/earwax/earwax-removal

Tel:         01582 664361

Angli-ear

https://angliearhearing.co.uk/

Tel:         01223 661399

Boots Hearingcare

https://www.bootshearingcare.com/ear-wax-removal/

Tel:         0345 270 1600

The Hearing Clinic Milton Keynes

https://www.thehearingclinicmk.co.uk/

Tel:         07599 09465