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Cathedral Medical Group
Cawley Road, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1XT

Telephone: 01243 813 450
Fax: 01243 813 474
Aesthetics: 01243 813457

Email: cathedralmedical@nhs.net

Ear Irrigation Clinics at Cathedral Medical Group


Cathedral Medical Group has been forced to look at the services it provides and prioritise them in order of clinical necessity. This means changes for people requesting ear irrigation (ear syringing).


As widely reported in the media, General Practice is currently working in times of unprecedented pressure.  We have limited resources and facilities, and we must make the best use of the clinical staff and organise services effectively to ensure the best use of time and resources.


As you may not be aware, ear syringing is outside of our contractual obligations, which means its unfunded work that the Practice is doing. With budgets tight, and the Practice losing income through areas such as Flu vaccination, (whereby  patients go to pharmacies to have their jab) we have decided to suspend this service, whilst we explore funding arrangements with our local Clinical Commissioning Group. We will have an update in May of 2018.



 

EAR CARE

Ear Irrigation

 

Irrigating will usually clear wax if drops alone or instrumentation are not successful.  It is usually successful only if the wax plug has been softened.  Therefore, eardrops (see over) need to be put in 2 or 3 times a day for 7 - 10 days prior to treatment.  Ear irrigation is usually painless.  Lukewarm water is squirted into the ear.  This dislodges the softened plug, which then falls out with the water.  Ear syringing (irrigation) is best avoided in people with the following:

 

v  Previous surgery for some ear problems.  It depends what the operation was for.  Tell your doctor or nurse if you have had an ear operation in the past.

v  Recurring ear canal infections (otitis externa).

v  A perforated eardrum.

v  A cleft palate.

 

Syringing will only be carried out after the advice about using oil/ear drops on this sheet has been adhered to.

 

Eardrops/oil

 

Eardrops to soften wax are commonly available from pharmacies but unless prescribed or recommended to you by a nurse or doctor, olive oil is recommended and is just as effective.  A traditional remedy is to pour a few drops of olive oil into the affected ear.  The wax is softened and it often breaks up.  Drops should be put in 2-3 times a day for 7-10 days.  Flakes or crusts of wax usually fall out bit by bit.  Often the wax will come out of the ear without the need for syringing by using olive oil for 7-10 days or so.   Put drops in correctly for best chance of success.  This means lying on your side, inserting about 5 drops of oil and staying on your side for at least 10 minutes.  This allows time for the drops to soak into the wax.  Do not use cotton wool – it will soak up the drops! 

 

 

Private providers

 

None of the local Practice in Chichester now offer this service but you can have this done privately at these providers. Other providers are available and this is not a recommendation, just a source of information for you. 

 

Chichester Hearing Care Centre – 01243 774536   Clean Ear Clinic Emsworth - 02392 985445 Clean Ear Clinic Portsmouth - 02392 985445

 

Earwax

 

Small amounts of earwax are made all the time.  The wax forms a protective coating for the skin in the ear canal.  Flakes or crusts of wax break off and fall out of the ear from time to time.  Some people make more wax than others.  In some people the wax forms a plug.  This happens more easily in people with narrow ear canals.  Further wax is gradually added to form a wax plug.  Eventually this may cause a feeling of fullness in the ear.  Dulled hearing may result, particularly if the plug extends right up to the eardrum.  Plugs of wax can easily be confirmed by a doctor or nurse looking into the ear.  A plug of earwax is not a serious problem, more a nuisance.  Earwax need only be removed if it is causing symptoms such as dulled hearing.

 

Removing plugs of earwax

 

v  Eardrops will often clear a plug of earwax.

v  Specialist instruments or tools may be used to remove softened wax (“instrumentation”).

v  Ear syringing may be required only if eardrops or instrumentation do not work.

 



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