Why can’t I get my ears syringed?

Why can’t I get my ears syringed?

For many years the most common way of treating patients with blocked ears was to use a big syringe full of warm water to wash the build up of wax out of the ears. This was not without its challenges as sometimes the wrong amount of pressure was used causing discomfort or the temperature of the water was wrong. Either way, unless the patient was in expert hands, it wasn’t always a great patient experience.

What may have changed for you locally is that GPs, Health Centres and Community Nurses are less willing to provide this service. One of the reasons for this is that in 2018, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a guideline on Hearing Loss in Adults; Assessment and Management (the report can be found here). Importantly this guidance advised against the practice of ear syringing and instead stated that only irrigation, microsuction or instrumentation should be offered. Certainly, the first two would involve new equipment and training which are not barriers to delivering clinical care but can be a consideration as to whether the service is viable.

Irrigation is an updated form of ear syringing as the method is similar. However, an electric pump is used instead of a syringe so that there should be no problems with pressure or water temperature. Microsuction is regarded as one of the safest ways to remove ear wax because as the name suggests, ear wax is removed from the ear canal by suction. The other issue for ear wax removal services is that GPs are not obliged to provide ear wax removal services unless they are contracted to do so. Therefore, it is possible that GPs and Health Centres near you have simply chosen not to provide this service. If this is the case then we advise against the use of drops, bulb syringes or hopi ear candles as none of these are proven to help self-treat the condition.

The good news is that at House of Hearing we provide one of the best ear wax removal services in Scotland. We have invested heavily in the right training and equipment so that we can help you in a safe and clinical environment. Our Nurse led team is available to help you now with appointments available at short notice. If your GP can’t help when you believe you have an ear wax problem, then come to House of Hearing. We can quickly examine you and advise on the best treatment available for you.

If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our ear wax removal team then give us a call on 0131 220 1220 or click here to complete the online form.

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All House of Hearing clinics are in town centre locations and accessible to public transport and parking. Home visits also available if mobility is an issue.