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“Nobody syringes ears anymore”, so what happens instead?

(23 Posts)
Notanotherottenotter Thu 22-Feb-18 15:02:26

A trivial matter compared to most on here, but would welcome advice - Phoned to make an appointment to get my ears syringed, as I’ve done every year or so for ages (apparently I have very curly ear canals and they gunk up easily). The response was “we don’t do this anymore, it’s too dangerous”. So what do you do instead? I asked.
Something called micro suction, apparently. Fifty quid if you want it done privately, or you can go to the surgery nurse who will assess you and refer you to the hospital clinic FOR EAR WAX REMOVAL. Am I missing something here?
Can somebody enlighten me as to what is the best course of action? I can spaff my fifty quid, or the NHS can spaff considerably more on a referral, or I can buy one of those DIY kits which are actually likely to be dangerous. Or I can stay deaf, I suppose.

Melamin Thu 22-Feb-18 15:14:37

I have narrow ear canals and buy bicarbonate ear drops from the chemist for 3 quid. It works for me, although there was a point in the process where I wondered if I had done the right thing as was going a bit deaf and it felt a bit sore (not unusual anyway. However 5 days, twice daily works for me. It cured 20 years of itching.

I am told the ear vacuuming is very satisfying grin

Notanotherottenotter Thu 22-Feb-18 15:17:34

Thank you Melamin, I will give it a go. And yes the ear vacuuming is hugely satisfying in a disgusting kind of way!

Melamin Thu 22-Feb-18 15:26:19

My doctor told me to use only warmed olive oil, but this gave me my worst ever earache, and I was on holiday and away from doctors at the time. sad

I thought I was heading that way with the bicarb - but it turned out fine - a big lump came out just after I had given up grin I use it occasionally to maintain. I have thrown my cotton buds away

Heliophilous Thu 22-Feb-18 15:56:30

Otex ear drops are very good. I use them about once a month and haven't had any more trouble (previously my ears were always clogging up).

snewsname Thu 22-Feb-18 16:01:16

I've had the hospital extraction after the nurses gave up trying to remove my unremovable earwax the old fashioned way. It was fab and painless for my otherwise sore ears.
I'd pay the £50 if you can't get it on the NHS.

WreckTangled Thu 22-Feb-18 16:19:43

It's because there's no funding for it anymore. Primary care is on its knees, like the rest of the nhs. Unfortunately many patients were getting their ears syringed monthly and it was taking up a massive amount of clinic time, usually unnecessarily.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Thu 22-Feb-18 16:24:40

in my case you go back and forth to the GP three times for him to see that yes, your ear is totally blocked, yes it's still totally blocked despite doing the olive oil thing, and yes, OK, he'll refer to the nurse in the next room for syringing, make an appointment with her.

So six weeks later I get my ear syringed sad.

missyB1 Thu 22-Feb-18 16:26:25

Ok so at our surgery the practice nurse does the suction machine thing, it’s weird but works really well.

I bought a syringe with an ear syringing tip from Amazon, and syringed my own ear - very gently - with warm water - it worked fine.

healthyheart Thu 22-Feb-18 16:32:20

100% suction privately - so efficient! Clinics everywhere and they get i5 all out in one go! No faffing going back. AND you get to see it all on a tv screen 😉

FruitCider Thu 22-Feb-18 16:34:39

Ear syringing was meant to stop years ago due to the risk of perforating ear drums! It's about time GP practices caught up.

stressedoutfred Thu 22-Feb-18 16:38:47

What symptoms do you get when your ears are blocked?

Melamin Thu 22-Feb-18 16:46:19

Otex ear drops are very good This is what started my 20 years of itching. It contains peroxide.

ShangriLaLaLa Thu 22-Feb-18 16:52:19

DH had micro suction today by an audiologist. £80 and over in minutes. He’s happy and can hear again.

MsHomeSlice Thu 22-Feb-18 16:56:36

i have itchy random and Otex has helped. I have only done the most itchy one so far, but I love it.

I might do them both tonight. Dh is on nights so I can starfish and ear poke to my heart's content. Just me a the cat!! grin

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 22-Feb-18 16:58:49

I syringe my own, having been told to do so by the doctor in France. A week of Otex to soften, then a nice syringe over the sink. Keep the plug in, so that you can see the shit that comes out.

italiancortado Thu 22-Feb-18 17:13:20

I use the bath mixer tap. The pressure is fantastic. Usually I pop some oil in for a day or 2 first then just stick my head over the bath and give each ear a good blast.

Definitely not the right course of action and I would not recommend.

But by fuck it works.

italiancortado Thu 22-Feb-18 17:14:59

The hose, not the Tao!

PerfectlyDone Thu 22-Feb-18 17:15:49

Ear syringing is not without risk and is being stopped for very good reasons including infection and risk of injury to the ear drum.

Regular Sodium Bicarbonate drops several times daily for 3 weeks and most wax will be soft enough to just come out.

If you have no joy, most hearing aid clinics/bigger Boots stores offer micro suction which is like a little hoover sooking it all out grin - noisy but v effective and safe.

PerfectlyDone Thu 22-Feb-18 17:17:17

Most people should just leave their ears alone.

Ear wax is there for a reason and unless it causes discomfort or hearing problems does not need to be removed.

Nobody should use cotton buds in their ears - EVER.

Sorry to shout but they are lethal weapons as far as ear go wink

Notanotherottenotter Thu 22-Feb-18 17:25:02

My DM used to say “never put anything smaller than your elbow into your ears”. She also used to say don’t drink your own bath water. I can safely state I’ve never done either.
Thanks for all the helpful comments. Especially the one about watching your own ear canal on TV!

Melamin Thu 22-Feb-18 20:37:12

I agree wholeheartedly about in your ears the cotton buds. They just pack the wax down and make it harder but they also damage the delicate membranes and hair in the ear canal that moves the wax out to the opening. So you just end up with even more compacted wax. And that is without sticking it through your eardrum.

The dirt cheap bicarbonate drops are the first thing that worked for me and I had normal ear wax appearing in my ears for the first time in years once they settled.

Not only did I have compacted wax but my ears would get damp and weepy. The doctor said not to scratch but they were excruciatingly itchy. Now if they feel a bit itchy i give them a course of bicarbonate drops.

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