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Ear Wax and Water

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Ear wax is a natural substance created by the ear to protect the ear canal from foreign objects. For most people wax will naturally work its way out of the ear, often only requiring cleaning outside the ear. However, some people can experience a build up of ear wax which can cause temporary hearing loss, earache, buzzing or ringing in the ear and vertigo.

There are many reasons why you may experience a build up of wax such as:

  • Narrow, or damaged ear canal
  • Excess hair in the ear canal
  • Skin conditions affecting the scalp and around the ear
  • Inflammation of the ear canal

Excess ear wax can also lead to issues for swimmers. Water can become lodged behind wax after swimming, which can lead to swimmer’s ear. This occurs when water does not drain from the ear canal, and the warm, moist environment of the canal allows bacteria in the water to multiply causing infection. Symptom of swimmer’s ear include muffled ears, pain, swelling and possible discharge.

Here are some top tips for preventing swimmer’s ear:

  • Do not let water remain in your ears, tip your head to each side to allow water to drain.
  • Dry your ears with a towel after swimming or use a hair dryer on the lowest setting to alleviate moisture in the ear.
  • Use ear plugs when swimming to protect your ears.
  • Do not insert anything into your ears, this can push wax further into your ear canal and could cause damage to the ear drum.
  • If you are prone to blockages or excess ear wax, we would advise micro-suction wax removal before going swimming or away on holiday.

Micro suction wax removal is available at all our clinic locations and is the safest and preferred method of wax removal. For more information about this service, you can contact our audiologists via email at or call 0333 3110905


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