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ear wax removal Edinburgh


How is ear wax removed?

There are several methods to safely remove excessive ear wax from the ear canal... details of these are below. qb earcare will decide, in conjunction with you, which method(s) to use based on your medical history, visual inspection of the ear, and your previous experiences (if any) with ear wax removal.

Do I need to put oil in my ears?

Yes. Prior to microsuction or irrigation, it is helpful if the wax is softened a little. 

We recommend that you put a few drops of olive oil in the affected ear(s), morning and evening, for two days prior to your appointment. However, if you have an active perforation, please get in touch first and we will advise on the best and safest approach to softening the wax.

The recommended approach for this is as follows:​

  1. Lie flat on your side with target ear facing upwards

  2. Put two drops of olive oil in the ear

  3. Stay in that position for five minutes

  4. Turn over and do the same to the other ear (if both ears blocked)


Irrigation uses warm water to gently and painlessly dislodge and flush out wax or debris from the ear canal. This is the method that many of us will have encountered if getting wax removed at a GP practice. It's commonly referred to as syringing, but this is a legacy from when an actual syringe was used to perform irrigation.

Nowadays a pulsatile ear irrigator is used, which makes it a much safer and more pleasant experience!


Microsuction is a gentle and painless procedure that uses a small suction probe to vacuum the unwanted wax out of the ear canal. It is, inevitably, a drier experience than irrigation, which means it is the safest form of wax removal for those with active eardrum perforations, or if prone to ear infections.


The third method of removing wax is to use specialist instruments such as the Jobson Horne probe, or forceps, to extract wax cleanly from the ear, without the need for water or suction, although frequently these instruments are used in conjunction with microsuction.

Ear wax removal specialists from qb earcare are trained in all three methods, and will choose the best method(s), in discussion with you, prior to beginning any procedures.

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