Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to Holmes Ear Care FAQ! Find answers to common questions about ear health, cleaning, protection, and more. Let’s keep your ears happy and healthy!
Earwax — or cerumen — is a waxy substance found in your ears. Glands in your ear canal produce earwax to protect your ears from germs. It usually passes out of the ears harmlessly, but sometimes too much can build up and block the ears. That’s where we come in!
What problems can ear wax cause?
A build-up of earwax in your ear can cause a number of issues, including:
- hearing loss
- tinnitus (normally a buzzing, ringing or whooshing sound)
- itchiness in or around the ear
- vertigo (a spinning sensation)
- ear infections
These problems will usually improve once the excess earwax has been removed.
You may find you start developing symptoms such as earache, itchiness, dizziness, feeling pressure, or a fullness in the ear. If you’re not sure, please contact us and we’ll happily answer any questions, and book in a Consultation if necessary.
Otoscopy is the examination of structures of the ear, including the ear canal, ear drum and the middle ear. It forms part of our Consultation and is an essential part of our service.
Essentially, our Microsuction machine works like a mini vacuum cleaner. We use a very small, sterile extension (called a Zoellner) to go into the ear canal and suck out the excessive wax. It is the safest form of ear wax removal.
In order to have a successful ear wax removal, it is helpful to prepare for the appointment with a twice daily application of olive oil.
- Place 2-3 drops of olive oil into your ear
- Rub the tragus (the knobbly bit in front of your ear canal, between your ear lobe and face) for 30-60 seconds
- Tilt your head so your ear is pointed towards the ceiling for 5-10 minutes – this will help the wax absorb the oil.
It varies from person to person, but typically it takes from 2-15 minutes per ear. If it’s taking longer than 15 minutes per ear (due to either a lot of wax or particularly stubborn wax), or the appointment in total runs longer than 40 minutes, we’ll arrange to come back and see you for a follow up appointment for no extra charge.
In short, no! Some people find it slightly uncomfortable; equally, some people quite enjoy the sensation. It may also feel very different in each ear, but it is unlikely to hurt.
Yes. Microsuction is the safest way to remove excessive ear wax and is considered the ‘gold standard’ for treatment.
We only remove the wax that is causing an issue or that is blocking our view of the ear drum. It is healthy to have a little wax as it’s there to maintain ear health.
If you require a follow up appointment, we’ll advise you to soften the ear wax using a daily application of olive oil. If we’ve given you the all clear, it’s a good idea to apply olive oil once a week to maintain good ear health.
It depends person to person. Some people require wax removal every year; some may need it more frequently. If you’re not sure, feel free to contact us for an assessment.
We are able to perform Health Checks on children over the age of five, but unfortunately we can only perform Wax Removal on adults aged eighteen or over.