The GPs and Nurses have jointly produced these guidelines to inform patients of the issues surrounding ear syringing.  This will enable eligible patients to be better informed and have speedier access to this service.  Consequently, you may no longer need to see your GP if you think that you have a problem related to ear wax.  If you have ever had ear surgery we will be unable to syringe your ears.

Ear syringing should not be seen as a quick fix solution for the removal of wax.  There are recognised complications attached to the procedure and patients are encouraged to try the warmed olive oil approach in the first instance.


There are five potential complications to the ear syringing procedure:

    • Ear infection
    • Injury to the ear drum during the procedure
    • Ear drum perforation
    • Pain
    • Tinnitus
    • If you experience irritation or pain over the proceeding few days, make an appointment to see your GP. If you experience pain, dizziness or nausea during the procedure or in the minutes following, inform the Nurse immediately.

Instilling ear drops

Safe and effective removal of ear wax is dependent on patients adhering to the procedure for the instillation of ear drops (please refer to the attached sheet for instructions).  Use warmed olive oil for 10 days prior to the appointment. In most cases this will be sufficient to remove the wax, thereby resolving the need for ear syringing.

Eligibility for ear syringing

Prior to booking an appointment with the Nurse, please complete the attached questionnaire, sign and date it, and then detach and return it to the Nurse when you come for your appointment.  If your answer to any of the questions 1-4 on page 2 is yes, please make an appointment to see your GP who will, following an examination, make a medical judgement as to your suitability for referral to the Nurse.

if you have any concerns about this questionnaire or any aspect of the information, the Nurse will be happy to discuss any queries with you.

Download Consent Form here:  Consent Form

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