Ear wax management: During the current lock-down period we are unable to remove wax from your ears by any method, so here are some suggestions of how to manage your blocked ears temporarily.
Blocked ear caused by wax and discomfort
This is probably due to a hard plug of wax deep inside the ear canal putting pressure against the sensitive bony portion of the canal.
Advice: Use olive oil to soften the plug. Use the drop sparingly until the pain or discomfort has subsided.
Stop using the oil thereafter.
Please note: Olive oil DOES NOT reduce the amount of wax in the ear, it only softens it, making it heavier and greasier and will block the ear further. It is mainly used for softening and lubrication to make the eventual removal with irrigation or micro-suction easier.
Greasy ear wax blocking ear canal, causing reduced hearing
Ear wax build up is related to the central nervous system and in these difficult times we are all prone to have increased levels of stress and anxiety, which causes glands to produce more sweat and grease, including the sebum glands at the canal entrance. For some people this will cause a build-up of soft greasy wax debris, resulting in a temporary blockage with reduced hearing.
Advice: DO NOT attempt to clean your ears with a cotton bud or put anything else into the ear canal.
A saline ear spray such as AudiClean or Audispray may be the best option in this case, as they are designed to help to dissolve some of the greasy debris within the canal.
Why we are not able to perform wax removal
Any form of wax removal is an aerosol generating procedure, meaning that tiny particles of moisture are airborne. Because the Coronavirus is transmitted through the air and is highly contagious, we would have to wear the full PPE, including gown, gloves, filtered mask and visor to protect ourselves and our clients.
What is an aerosol generating procedure (AGP)? Aerosols are produced when an air current moves across the surface of a film of liquid; the greater the force of the air, the smaller the particles that are produced. Aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) are defined as any medical and patient care procedure that results in the production of airborne particles (aerosols).
PPE requirement guide for aerosol generating procedures
This illustration from Public Health England explains the requirements if performing AGP procedures.
Ear wax management during the Coronavirus lockdown
If you have any questions about ear wax management during the Coronavirus lockdown, please get in touch with us by email, fill in our online contact form, or call us on 0345 222 0579, we’d be happy to help.
During the Coronavirus lockdown, although we are unable to see patients face to face, we are available by phone and video call and are also operating a drop-off and collect as well as a postal service for any servicing you require for your hearing aids. Please read our Covid-19 update page for more details of how this operates.