Hearing specialist warns of danger of tackling wax build-up

A hearing specialist has warned of the dangers of tackling a build-up of ear wax at home, saying treatment is best left to the professionals.

Around 2.3 million people each year have problems with ear wax which are serious enough to require intervention.

According to Stephen Fairfield, managing director of House of Hearing, trying DIY options to clean out your ears could provoke an ear infection – or even cause lasting damage to your hearing.

“If you attempt to clear out the wax yourself, you could do permanent damage to your ear. You can’t see inside your own ear so it could lead to an ear infection if it becomes blocked, or even a perforated eardrum,” he explains.

“Cotton wool buds are a big no-no – you shouldn’t put anything smaller than your elbow inside your ear.

“It’s really best to come to a professional to get it done as impacted wax can cause you serious problems if you leave it unchecked.”

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), some 2.3 million people each year have problems with ear wax which are serious enough to require intervention, especially older people and those using hearing aids or earbud-type headphones.

Signs that you have a build-up of wax include earache, difficulty hearing, itchiness, dizziness, an ear infection or sounds such as high-pitched tones coming from inside the ear.

House of Hearing, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, offers expert ear cleaning services at its branches in Galashiels, Perth and St Andrews as well as in Edinburgh's Stafford Street.

Demand for the service is increasing as fewer GP surgeries offer ear irrigation themselves.

“We are seeing more and more referrals from GP surgeries for our ear wax removal service,” adds Stephen.

“We’re a family-run business, so you can trust in us and our 50 years of experience to guide you through the process.

“We use micro-suction to suck the wax out or controlled irrigation to flush the wax out with water as these are the safest ways to clear your ears. ”

And he says it’s worth getting set for summer with an overhaul of your ear health: “If you’re planning a holiday soon, don’t let blocked ears ruin the fun – it’s worth getting your ears checked regularly to keep them in good condition.

“You could really save yourself from problems and unnecessary pain further down the line by thinking about your ear care before summertime; prevention is definitely better than dealing with an ear infection on holiday.”

To book now for an ear health check, call 0131 220 1220 or visit www.houseofhearing.co.uk to find out more.