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Ear Wax Removal Aftercare

Thank you for choosing Family Hearing Centre for your Ear Wax Removal.

Here is some general information about ear wax and recommended aftercare tips to help you achieve healthy ears following your appointment and in the long-term. 

Ear Wax Removal: Pro Gallery
Chatu Nelumdeniya Auckland Audiologist from Family Hearing Centre performing ear wax removal

Ear Wax Removal Aftercare

Leanne Ma Auckland Audiologist from Family Hearing Centre performing ear wax removal
Chatu Nelumdeniya Auckland Audiologist from Family Hearing Centre performing ear wax removal

Top Tips for Ear Wax Removal Aftercare

  1. Stay away from swimming for 3-5 days after having ear wax removed
     

  2. Do not use cotton buds – this will only push wax deeper into the more sensitive regions of the canal and introduces risk of infection and ear damage 
     

  3. For daily regular maintenance of ear wax, aim to reduce blockage, not production. Use a hot flannel around the entrance of the ear canal where wax is produced after your shower 
     

  4. Olive, almond and other cooking oil is recommended for the softening of ear wax 1-2 nights prior to your ear wax removal appointment
     

  5. Coconut oil is recommended for certain ears as a form of maintenance – this has moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties. A pea-sized amount placed at the entrance of your ear canal will melt upon contact with the skin and the oil will coat the canal 
     

  6. If you have an ear infection, it is especially important to stay away from swimming until the infection clears (duration can vary but usually between days to weeks) and for at least a week after
     

  7. To avoid water getting into your ears during a shower, tip your head forwards (the pinna ‘ear flap’ can act as an umbrella to protect the ear canal) and use an ear plug or cotton wool coated with Vaseline in the ears
     

  8. Not everyone requires regular ear wax removal – keep reading to see why! 

Common Questions about Ear Wax

Why do my ears produce wax? 

Ear wax is a natural and essential part of the ear’s self-cleaning mechanism. Ear wax is produced by the ear to clean and protect itself. It is secreted by glands in the skin that line the outer half of your ear canals. The wax and tiny hairs in these passages trap dust and other foreign particles that may cause damage to inner structures (such as your eardrum). 

  • The acidic pH level of ear wax discourages bacteria and other pathogens from entering your ears, reducing the risk of outer ear infections
     

  • Ear wax also serves to moisturise the ear canal to prevent over-drying, itchiness, discomfort and other complications of dry ears/skin
     

It’s great that your ears produce wax – this means that your ears are working normally! This is why we try to leave a thin layer of ear wax to line the entrance of your outer ear canal during the wax removal procedure. We want to maintain the natural state and function of your ear canal. Sometimes it is not possible to do so, and therefore we recommend reducing the risk of infection by staying away from swimming until the ears return to the healthy state. 

What are the common causes of wax blockage? 

You may have friends and family who have never needed ear wax removal. You may know some people who require regular removal.

Some natural causes of ear wax build-up are:

  • Narrow canals 

  • Hairy canals 

  • Differences in anatomy of the ears and/or head 

  • Over-producing ear wax secretion glands 

  • Genetics 

 

Some environmental causes are: 

  • Cotton bud use – this can affect the properties of skin lining your ear canal  

  • Use of earplugs, earphones and hearing aids – affects the natural outward movement of ear wax 

  • Foreign bodies – yes, we have seen toys, insects, cotton bud tips etc. in ears causing more blockage! 

  • Poor diet 

How regularly should I get my ears cleaned? 

Ear wax production can vary in different individuals. Your audiologist would have advised you whether a regular removal is recommended for you. If so, this often ranges from anywhere between once every 3 months to 2 years. We would have checked if you would like a reminder and advised you whether we have set up a reminder for you if so.

  • Different ears can produce different amounts of ear wax, therefore the rate of build-up can vary 

  • Wax is produced in different consistencies – some ears produce soft sticky wax while others produce dry flaky wax. The colour can range from white to black. The consistency of wax will affect the regularity of build-up 

  • The size of the ear canal can also influence the rate of build-up 

  • Whether this was your first ever ear wax removal or whether you have had wax removals in the past will affect our recommendations for you 

  • What we see in your ears on the day of the appointment will influence our recommendations for you 

 

Together, these factors will determine our recommendations for how frequently you should have your ears cleaned via microsuction. 

Why is Waxsol not recommended?

Ear wax ‘removal’, ‘cleaning’ or softening products (sprays/drops) found at pharmacies such as EarClear, Cerumol, Waxsol, AudiClean etc. all achieve a common goal of softening ear wax to varying degrees. Some are very strong and can smear the wax all over the canal and eardrum, causing difficulty and discomfort during the removal process. None will remove ear wax, although may provide relief until your appointment with us. Cooking oil as recommended above will be better than these softening agents in most cases.

What if I have been advised that some wax cannot be removed in the appointment today? 

It is possible that the wax is too hard or impacted for us to safely remove in one appointment. If this is the case after trying in the one appointment, we would usually advise that you use oil consecutively for 2-3 nights prior to your next appointment with us to really help soften the wax and make it more comfortable for your next visit.

For severe cases of hard impacted wax, we may recommended using a stronger agent such as EarClear before returning for your next appointment. We may also recommend more regular ear wax removal appointments to minimise the chances of this occurring again.

For most cases with oiling of the ears prior to your appointment, we are able to remove most of the ear wax. For some cases where the wax is adhered to your eardrum or deep down in the canal, we may stop if we think we have resolved the issue of blocked ear and/or deemed unsafe to continue, especially for those who have very sensitive ears.

The ears are lined by skin that naturally sheds and moves wax, debris and dead skin cells outwards if we do not put anything in the ears. If you are still finding frustration with your ears after a few weeks and would like us to remove the remaining ear wax, please oil ears 2-3 nights before returning for your next appointment – this should hopefully help lift any remaining wax off the eardrum and shift it outwards to allow for a more comfortable removal. 

What if I have been advised that I have an ear infection? 

If the cause of your blocked ear was an outer ear infection (bacterial or fungal), we would have recommended a visit to your GP for prescribed drops if you haven’t already been prescribed this. We may have recommended one of the following: 

  • Ciproxin HC – for bacterial infections 

  • Sofradex – for bacterial infections 

  • Locorten Vioform – for fungal infections 

 

Please check the suitability of these recommendations for you with your GP. 

You have recommended a hearing test for me – where can I read more? 

If you have never had a hearing test or it has been a long time since your last test, we may have recommended this for you. It is good to monitor your hearing on a regular basis and ensure that you are protecting your hearing and ears.

People can experience sudden changes to their hearing and this type of change can occur at any age. Having a baseline hearing test can allow us to more easily understand what has happened and the best next steps to help you.

Often our hearing can start to change as we reach older adulthood. The general recommendation is annual hearing tests as you near the age of 60-65 for regular monitoring of your hearing. If you experience tinnitus or show any other signs of hearing change, we may also have recommended a hearing test for you.

Click here to find out more about our hearing tests at Family Hearing Centre. 

We have discussed earplugs for protection – where can I read more? 

We may have discussed the option of earplugs to protect your ears when swimming. Earplugs can reduce the risk of recurrent outer ear infections as well as ‘surfers’ ears’ or exostoses. To read more from one of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists who we work with, visit: https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/private/ent-head-neck-surgery/hamish-sillars-otolaryngologist/surfers-ear-exostoses/ 

You can find generic earplugs at places like pharmacies however it may be worthwhile investing in custom-made earplugs that are made to fit the shape of your ear.

Click here to read more about custom-made earplugs for swimming, noise protection, musicians, and sleep provided at Family Hearing Centre. 

Ear Wax Removal: Services
Leanne Ma from Family Hearing Centre checking patient's ear with otoscope..

Contact Family Hearing on 09 217 6944 to make a booking or book an ear wax removal appointment online. Unleash your full hearing potential at Family Hearing Centre. From diagnostic hearing tests that go beyond the basics to the latest hearing aid solutions in Auckland, we have everything you need to hear what matters most.

Our ear clinic is open from Monday to Friday 9am to 4:30pm.

Closed on weekends and public holidays.

Located at:

371 Manukau Road,

Epsom

Auckland 1023

Learn about our dedicated team of Auckland Audiologists and the values that drive our ear care services.

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