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Ear wax

This page provides information about ear wax and the treatment options

We no longer offer ear syringing services at the surgery

This is in line with current best practice, and due to funding not being provided by the NHS for GP practices to offer the service.

What is ear wax?

Ear wax is a combination of natural wax produced by glands inside the ear, in addition to dead cells, hair, and dust. It forms a protective layer for the skin in the ear canal. It is continuously made, and slowly moves outwards all the time. Pieces of ear wax can fall out from time to time. This natural clearance usually prevents a build-up.

Everyone has ear wax and it only needs treatment if;

  • It is causing hearing problems
  • If someone needs to see your eardrum and the wax is in the way
  • Fitting a hearing aid

Ear wax can be more of a problem for some people if:

  • You naturally produce more ear wax
  • You wear a hearing aid, ear plugs, or ear buds. These can push ear wax deeper, preventing normal clearance
  • You have narrow or hairy ear canals
  • You are older – the wax can be harder and drier
  • You have eczema or psoriasis – dry skin associated with these conditions can contribute to wax

What you should not do

  • Do not use cotton buds to clean your ears. This pushes wax deeper and can cause injury and infection
  • If your ears are itchy do not scratch within the ear with fingernails or other objects
  • Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ears!


What are the options to treat ear wax?

If ear wax is causing you problems there are several treatment options

Ear drops

  • Ear drops eases the natural ear clearance of wax. It softens the wax so that it flows easier
  • Use normal olive oil. With a dropper insert 2-3 drops two or three times a day for three weeks
  • You probably won’t notice that wax is coming out
  • If olive oil doesn’t work you can buy sodium bicarbonate drops from the pharmacy

Ear wax bulb syringes

  • These are kits that can be bought at pharmacies or online
  • You should soften the wax first with drops as advised above
  • This is followed by using a rubber bulb to insert warm water at low pressure into the ears, clearing away the wax
  • It is important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions


  • If other measures fail this is the best option to treat hard ear wax
  • A health worker removes pieces of wax by suction through a small tube (like a small hoover)
  • It is safer because the wax can be directly seen, reducing the risk of injury
  • Microsuction is offered in hospital or by private providers

Hospital microsuction

  • The ENT department will see patients but there may be a significant waiting list
  • You will need to be assessed by a nurse first and then referred


Private providers

Below is a list of local private providers. Prices start at £55 for both ears

Anglesey Hearing Clinic
Menai Science Park
LL60 6AG

01492 540000

277-279 High Street
LL57 1PD

0345 270 1600

The Colwyn Bay Hearing Practice
30 Sea View Road
Colwyn Bay
LL29 8DG

01492 540000

Specsavers Colwyn Bay

14 Bay View Shopping Centre
Colwyn Bay
LL29 8DG

01492 523 810

Geraint Davies Hearing

8 Heol Yr Orsaf Station Rd
LL26 0EP

01492 640101

The list above may not be complete. If you provide microsuction services within a reasonable travelling distance from Llangefni and Llanerchymedd email us with further information at routine.enquiriesw94029@wales.nhs.uk, and we will consider adding your details to this page.