Aural Care Service

What is ear wax?

Ear wax keeps our ears clean and healthy. It usually works its way out of the ears by itself, but sometimes too much wax can build up and block the ears. Ear wax is a normal substance that protects the skin of your ear canals.

It’s made up of:
  • Dead skin cells
  • ‘Debris’ such as dust
  • Cerumen, which is the natural wax produced by glands in your ears.

When does ear wax need to be removed?

Ear wax doesn’t usually cause problems, but if too much is produced, it can build up in the ear, leading to:

  • Hearing loss (the most common symptom)
  • Ear discomfort, earache and the feeling of having blocked ears
  • Tinnitus (noises in the ear(s) or head)
  • A cough, though this is rare
 

You may also need to have ear wax removed if:

  • Ear wax is preventing a doctor or audiologist (hearing specialist) from viewing your ear canal and eardrum
  • You’re getting a hearing aid and the audiologist needs to take an impression of your ear for the earmould
  • You use a hearing aid and ear wax is causing it to whistle.
 

If you use hearing aids, it’s very important to make sure that your ears aren’t blocked with wax. This is because if the wax blocks the earmould or soft tip/dome by going into the tubing, it can block off the sound and cause you to think that the hearing aid has stopped working. If you think that the tubing or moulds/dome of your hearing aid are blocked, please contact us to get it cleaned or replaced.

Can I remove ear wax blockage myself

No! You should never insert anything into your ears to remove wax, such as a finger, cotton bud or towel, as this can:

  • Damage the wall of the ear canal and cause inflammation
  • Cause the wax to be compressed by pushing it further into the ear
  • Tear the eardrum

How Microsuction works?

The procedure is carried out by fully trained, registered and experienced Nurses/Practitioners, and is performed with the aid of a microscope (freestanding or head worn), allowing our Practitioners a good view of the ear canal, and a calibrated suction device.

Where can I get help?

A wax blockage may give you mild temporary hearing loss. For this to happen the wax has to completely block the canal or press on the eardrum.

If you experience any of the problems listed earlier you could consider the following options:

a) Get in touch with us and make an appointment at our Otoscopy clinic, where we will be able to check you for the presence of wax for a £10 fee. Otoscopy clinics run from 1-3pm every Wednesday by appointment only. You can contact us directly to book an appointment and, if the practitioner sees the presence of excess earwax, they will advise you to attend our Aural Care Service (Ear wax removal clinic). If the practitioner does not identify any wax in your ears, and you still feel that your hearing is affected, they will suggest that you book an appointment with our Adult Audiology Service for a hearing assessment (to qualify for this NHS funded service you must be age 50+).

b) Alternatively, you can see your GP. If your GP confirms that your ears are not blocked with wax and you still feel your hearing is diminished please ask your GP to refer you to the appropriate audiology service provider for a hearing assessment. If the GP confirms that your ear problems are caused by a build-up of ear wax, please ask your GP to make a referral for aural microsuction to Hear for Norfolk (Norfolk Deaf Association)[this is subject to NHS commissioning this service locally].

In the absence of a GP referral you can self-refer directly to our Aural Care Service (Ear wax removal) by contacting us on 01603 404440, by e-mailing us at appointments@hearfornorfolk.org.uk.

You will  be offered an appointment at our clinic in Norwich or on our Mobile Ear Care Clinic close to where you live, or we will come and see you at home/care home if you are housebound, where are qualified, registered and experienced ear care practitioners will remove the ear wax using microsuction.

Please note that we charge a fee of £55 for the procedure, if a GP referral is not available.

At the point of booking the appointment with us you will be advised to use olive oil drops or spray, such as Earol, for 7 to 10 days before the procedure. This will make the treatment easier for you. Please allow approximately 30 minutes for your appointment with us.

Making an appointment

For an appointment or more information please call 01603 404440 or email appointments@hearfornorfolk.org.uk or complete the form below.

While we will try our best to schedule your appointment at the date and time you request above we cannot guarantee this. We will contact you to confirm your exact appointment date.
Patient Feedback

What our service users say

“May I take this opportunity to say a special Thank You for my appointment on the 13th May for your microsuction service, which was totally painless, in a very friendly atmosphere and perfect advice. Thank you moist kindly for your attention and your second to none service.”

“To you all, I just wanted to say a big thank you for clearing my ear of the blockage that had been there for 5 plus years. I had been so scared to have it done so had just been living with it. It’s thanks to all your kindness in meeting me beforehand to let me see the equipment and talk to me about it all and the wonderful lady who did the suction on the day, who put me completely at ease. I can’t thank you all enough. You do a marvellous job, thank you, love. “

“I just wanted to say what an excellent service I had. The nurse who removed my wax was so lovely and kind and got all the wax out from both my ears so I can hear again! I was a bit anxious and she was very understanding. You are providing such a valuable service… and I am very grateful.”

“I was very impressed by the mobile unit that I accessed the ear was removal service outside Wells Community Hospital. The minibus is so well equipped, and the staff were very helpful. The Charity is doing an excellent job and needs lots of support.”

“A very nice visit. Excellent, professional and friendly service.”

“Fantastic service, all the team were very professional and friendly at all times.”

“Much easier than anticipated after difficulties at GP surgery level.”

“Made me feel very welcome and at ease from the minute I arrived and until I left.”

“Very fast, clean and professional service thank you. Thank you so much.”

“With the exception of the long wait for the appointment the service was excellent. The nurse was professional and friendly.”

“Very happy with the service and explanation given and for answering all my questions.”

“Very efficient and informative – my wife will be very pleased now!”