NICE Warns That Ear Syringing is Dangerous and Ineffective



Ear syringing doesn't work and could even permanently damage your ears

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released new guidance on the ear wax removal method of ear syringing. They have advised that traditional ear syringing, (using a large syringe to pump water into the ear), is potentially harmful and should no longer be used. NICE recommends that all medical practitioners should instead use ear irrigation which uses an irrigation machine that introduces water under controlled pressure. You can see one of the machines below. 

Ear irrigation machine

Discredited Method of Ear Cleaning

It has been known for many years that ear syringing was a discredited method of ear cleaning so it is good that NICE has produced guidance on it. I remember many years ago reading about a paper that was published in the British Medical Journal in relation to ear syringing.

The paper detailed that there were significant problems associated with ear syringing on a regular basis. The problems were detailed as;

  • failure of wax removal 29%
  • otitis media (mid-ear infection) 17%
  • perforation of the eardrum 15%
  • and trauma to the external auditory meatus (ear canal) 11% 

The study was undertaken using a postal survey of 312 practising G.P.s in the Edinburgh area who were serving 650,000 Patients. These figures and the complications mentioned are why NICE has released its guidance. It is also why most Audiologists who offer ear wax removal offer micro-suction earwax removal or irrigation as their ear cleaning methods. 

You can read more about ear wax, ear wax blockages and ear wax removal methods here

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Posted by

Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook GooglePlus Amazon Author Page Co Founder geoff@audiologyengine.com
Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry for over ten years. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him

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