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Earwax: Medical Treatments

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 75833, tabled on 16 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the latest NICE guidance is on water syringing for the removal of ear wax.

Answered on

24 November 2021

Manual ear syringing is no longer advised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) due to risks associated, such as trauma to the ear drum or infection.

The NICE guideline on the assessment and management of hearing loss in adults includes recommendations on ear wax removal. The guidance suggests considering ear irrigation using an electronic irrigator, micro suction, or another method of earwax removal such as manual removal using a probe. Pre-treatment wax softeners are advised for use before carrying out ear irrigation. NICE’s guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng98/chapter/Recommendations#removing-earwax