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Ear syringing

BMJ Group Medical Reference

There hasn't been any good research on whether ear syringing on its own works to get rid of ear wax that is blocking your ear (ear wax plugs). Even so, most doctors think that this treatment works well.

When you have your ears syringed, a nurse or doctor squirts water into your ear through a tube. This usually weakens and moves the wax. You'll need to hold a small basin under your ear for the water and wax that will come out. It will probably take a few minutes for the plug to be moved.

One small study found that ear syringing removed ear wax in all the people treated. [12] Putting water in the ear for 15 minutes before syringing made the process much easier. People who had water in their ear before syringing needed to have much less water squirted into their ear for the wax to come out.

The water used is usually warm. But ear syringing can be uncomfortable and can make you feel dizzy. [13] It shouldn't be painful. Your nurse or doctor may have to stop the treatment and start again, or ask you to come back. [14]

Ear syringing can have side effects. The common ones are: [15]

  • An infection in your ear

  • A split eardrum

  • Damage to the skin around your ear

  • Bleeding

  • Pain.


For references related to Ear wax click here.
Last Updated: March 13, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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