Ear Syringing: A Thing Of The Past?

Saw this snippet today which suggests that when you next ask your GP surgery to sort your ears out, they may not do it anymore:

Action on Hearing’ mag. Winter/Spring 2015.  ‘Ask the Experts.’

Question:  Previously my GP would remove ear wax by irrigation, but I’m now told this service is withdrawn for ‘legal reasons’ & I’ve been referred for microsuction.

Answer by Louise Hart, Audiologist:   The decision not to irrigate is being taken by more & more GP surgeries nationwide & it’s because of patient safety.  If done incorrectly, or when there are contra-indications to doing the procedure, then syringing or irrigating can cause significant damage to the ear. 

If the wax has not been softened enough and/or pressure of the water is too high, then the eardrum can be perforated.  In the most severe cases, it may also traumatise the cochlear, causing permanent nerve damage.  Most GPs are not ENT-trained, & neither are the nurses, so any potential issues are much harder for them to diagnose prior to syringing.  Some areas now have ENT (ear, nose & throat) clinics to deal with less complex cases which are run by GPs who do have ENT training.

There you go!

2 Replies to “Ear Syringing: A Thing Of The Past?”

  1. That is bad news for me, as I usually have to have mine done every 6 months & I put olive oil in them 2 x week all year round. Dry earwax is in my genes! Also, histamine adds to the problem by causing fluid retention in the middle ear. It is really horrible when they get blocked & you can’t hear anything.

    1. Aargh, shame then Christine Ann. My ears crackle all the time but I’ve never been syringed; don’t fancy it at all. Nice quiet life lol!

Leave a Reply