Can you syringe your own ear? Four steps to unblocking ear wax at home

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Earwax isn’t pleasant but in most cases, a build-up of earwax will go away on its own. However, if earwax build-up is becoming an issue, there are some methods to try at home to help remove it.

How can you unblock ear wax at home?

According to the NHS website, earwax will normally fall out on its own and it is important not to push fingers or objects in the ears to remove wax.

Doing so could push the earwax into the ear and make the condition worse.

But if earwax build-up has blocked the ear, there are some simple steps outlined on the NHS website which can help to remove wax.

For this method, you will need medical-grade olive oil or almond oil.

Step 1) Put two to three drops of medical grade olive oil or almond oil in the ear, three to four times per day, over a period of three to five days.

Step 2) Lie with the head on one side and a dropper can help with getting the oil in the ear.

Step 3) Stay lying on one side for a few minutes, as this allows the oil to travel through the ear canal.

Step 4) Lumps of earwax should start to fall out over a period of approximately two weeks.

Can you syringe your own ear?

A bulb syringe is an alternative way to clear wax from the ear if eardrops have not been successful.

Bulb syringes can usually be purchased from pharmacies.

There are some risks involved with bulb syringes, such as ear infection, failure to remove the wax and eardrum perforation and it is important not to share the syringe with other people.

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Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust explains: “In most cases ear drops will clear a plug of earwax.

“However if this is unsuccessful a bulb syringe may be an alternative way to clear your
ears from wax.

“An ear bulb syringe is a small bulb-shaped rubber object which can be filled with water and then used to squirt the water gently into the ear to remove earwax.

“The main benefit of the bulb syringe is that you can use it yourself without needing to make an appointment with your practice nurse or GP.”

What other ways can earwax be removed?

The NHS website explains putting anything in the ear, such as fingers or objects like cotton buds, should be avoided as these objects can push ear wax in or cause damage to the ear.

The NHS adds: “There’s no evidence that ear candles or ear vacuums get rid of earwax.”

Some GP services may be able to flush wax out of the ear with water in a process known as ear irrigation.

Microsuction is also an option at some GP practices and it involves sucking wax out of the ear.

However, both of these treatments may only be available privately or may not be offered at some surgeries.

A pharmacist can help to advise people on treatments for earwax build-up.

The NHS advises to see a nurse at a GP practice if symptoms have not cleared after five days, or if the ear is badly blocked and you cannot hear anything, as you can get an infection if it has not cleared.

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