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A hand squeezing a drop of oil out of an eye dropper

Using oil in the ear for 2 nights before your appointment can help break down stubborn and hardened ear wax, as well as hydrate the sensitive skin of the inner ear canal.

Oil in the ear is best used for those with hard, or a large amount of ear wax. It is also recommended if the wax appears close to the ear drum or for those with narrow ear canals or dry skin blocking the ear canal.

If your ear wax looks runny or is very soft, it is better to avoid using oil. Using oil with runny or soft ear wax can smear the wax back over the ear drum.

Important note: Using oil in the ear may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with a history of a hole or perforation in the eardrum or ear grommets. Do not use liquid drops in the ear if this applies to you. This method is also not recommended if a foreign object is stuck in the ear, especially if it has the potential to swell when wet. If you are unsure, do not use any liquid in the ear. Microsuction can still be performed without any prior preparation.

What you’ll need:

  • An eye dropper
  • A mild oil like olive oil or baby oil
  • Cotton wool
  • A towel

How to apply olive oil in the ear:

  1. Warm the oil to make application more comfortable using your body heat by holding the bottle or dropper within your hands for a minute or two.
  2. Laying on your side and gently pull your ear up and back to open the ear canal. For children, gentle pull their ear down and back to open the ear canal. In some cases, it may be easier to apply drops when the child is asleep.
  3. Using the eye dropper, apply the oil into the ear using enough drops to fill the ear canal.
  4. Gently massage the ear to help the oil loosen the ear wax better.
  5. Let the oil sit for at least 5 minutes, and for best results, remain laying on your side. You can place cotton wool in the ear opening as a plug to ensure oil doesn’t spill out.
  6. After about 20 minutes, remove the cotton wool and wipe up any oil that may spill out with a towel.
  7. Repeat these steps from step 1 on the opposite ear.

Repeating these steps over the 2 nights prior to your appointment can help soften the wax, making it easier to remove via microsuction.

If you have any questions, please see our Frequently Asked Questions section or Get in touch today.

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