Ear wax

Self care advice

Don't use your fingers or objects like cotton buds to remove earwax. This will push it in and make it worse. Ear wax usually falls out on its own.

If it doesn't and blocks your ear, put two to three drops of olive or almond oil in your ear twice a day for a few days. Over two weeks, lumps of ear wax 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 ear wax. So what can you do to get better? You can't prevent ear wax. It's there to protect your ears from dirt and germs. But you can keep using ear drops to soften the wax. This will help it fall out on its own and should prevent blocked ears.

Not all GP practices remove ear wax but some may:

  • Flush the wax out with water (ear irrigation)
  • Suck the wax out (microsuction)

These treatments are usually painless but you might have to pay to have them done privately.

When should I seek medical advice?

If your symptoms signs include:

  • Ear ache
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Itchiness
  • Dizziness
  • An ear infection
  • Sounds such as high-pitched tones coming from inside the ear (tinnitus)