Ear Syringing

The practice is currently experiencing an increased demand for nurse appointments.  We are, therefore, prioritising patients who require to be seen urgently.

We appreciate that ear symptoms can be uncomfortable and irritating.  Unfortunately, however, ear syringing is not classed as urgent.

Please, therefore, be aware that you may need to wait up to a few weeks for an ear syringing appointment.

In the meantime please find below a copy of our practice patient information leaflet on Ear Syringing.

Thank you for your patience.


Claypath and University Medical Group


In recent years there have been increasing concerns about ear syringing as a method of removing wax from the ears. Even when carried out carefully by trained staff, it can cause complications such as ear infections, perforation of the tympanic membrane, tinnitus, deafness and vertigo. Ear syringing should only be done as a last resort. In some parts of the country ear syringing is no longer available in General Practice. We are currently considering the use of ear syringing.

Wax is produced by glands in the ear canal and provides a waterproof and antiseptic covering for the walls of the canal and also traps dust. Ears are normally self- cleaning and the excess wax is moved along the canal by small hairs at the opening. Wax is then naturally lost without you noticing it. Wax only becomes a problem when it causes deafness.

Excess wax can become a problem for some people because they produce an excess amount of wax or  have narrow canals.  Wax can become dry and hard in the elderly. Using cotton buds or fingers to remove the wax only worsens the situation as wax is pushed further along the canal.

Management of excess wax

Ordinary olive or almond oil can be used with a dropper bottle (available in pharmacies).

  • Warm the oil by placing the dropper bottle in a cup of warm water
  • Lie on your side and pull the outer ear gently backwards and upwards to straighten the ear canal.
  • Put 2 drops of oil into the ear 2-3 times daily and massage the front of the ear gently. Wait for a few moments before sitting up.
  • Continue for 2-3 weeks when the ears should become clear.
  • If you have a recurrent problem with excess wax you may need to do this weekly or monthly.
  • If you are still having problems please make an appointment to see the Practice Nurse for advice.


If you have pain, discharge, dizziness, sudden deafness or buzzing, foreign bodies please make an appointment with the GP or Nurse Practitioner.

Patients who have eczema or psoriasis or have a history of otitis externa should make an appointment with the GP or Nurse Practitioner to discuss alternative management of wax.