Never use a cotton bud to clean your ears as it may cause wax impaction, ear infection and more seriously, damage to the ear drum.

what is ear wax?

The ear canal produces a waxy oil called cerumen, more commonly known as ear wax. This protects your ear from dust and water. Some people produce more ear wax than others. But this doesn’t necessarily lead to a blockage. Some ear canals are smaller or hairier than usual, making it more difficult for the wax to come out which can then produce a build up.

One of the most common causes of earwax blockage is attempted self-removal at home, using cotton buds. Hearing aids and earplug users are also more likely to develop wax build up.




  • hearing loss
  • earache
  • tinnitus
  • discharge from the ear
  • ear fullness


Initial treatment usually involves wax-softening ear drops, such as sodium bicarbonate or olive oil. This clears the wax in the majority of cases.

If this is not effective, then microsuction may be required. Paul Kirkland will use a microscope to look through the ear canal to identify the wax. Most ear wax can be removed with a suction catheter. This should be a painless procedure which only takes a few minutes.

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