Earwax / Ear Care




Blocked Ears (wax) - A self-care for patients

Nice guidelines advised that that there is no evidence for the efficacy of ear syringing over other methods and they should try and treat the earwax build up themselves. Read the self-care guide for patients


Stage 1    

Using oil in ears: earwax usually falls out on its own. If it does not and blocks your ear, put 2 to 3 drops of medical grade olive or almond oil in your ear 3 to 4 times a day. 

If you feel the olive oil is not working, you may prefer to use sodium bicarbonate 5% ear drops. You can buy these from most pharmacies and use them in the same way as olive oil. 

It is recommended you use a dropper while lying your head on one side for a few minutes to let the oil work its way through your ear canal(s).

You may find it easier to do this first thing in the morning and then just before you go to sleep.

In most cases, after 14 days the wax will have softened enough for it to come out. Over about 2 weeks, lumps of earwax should fall out of your ear, especially at night when you're lying down.

There's no evidence that ear candles or ear vacuums get rid of earwax.

Visit a Pharmacy: a pharmacist can offer advice and suggest treatments.

Only if all is unsuccessful please follow Stage 2


Stage 2    

  • If you are 65 years old and over, we can offer ear irrigation at Observatory Medical Practice (OMP). Please continue to use the ear drops whilst waiting for your appointment. 
  • Age 18 to 64: unfortunately there is NO NHS provision for ear irrigation or micro suction. The following options are available: 
    • Oxon & Bucks NHS Audiology Service – phone 01865 507280 to book your private micro suction earwax removal. Inform receptionist from the Audiology Service that you are Observatory Medical Practice patient, and your price will be reduced to £55 (both ears). 
    • The Oxford Hearing Centre, 157 Eynsham Rd, Oxford, OX2 9NE, 01865 861861
    • Tripp Hearing, 62 Church Road, Wheatley, Oxford, OX33 1LZ, 01865 671500.
    • Oxford Manor Hospital Hearing Aid & Hearing Test Centre, Headington, OX3 7RP, 0845 680 1227
    • Clear Ear Clinic, 69-71 Banbury Rd, OX2 6PE, 01865 920109

GP Appointment

Do not perform earwax removal if you have any of the following symptoms and seek advice from a GP:

  • pain
  • discharge or bleeding from your ear
  • sudden deafness or buzzing sound.
  • foreign bodies in your ear
  • dizziness