Hearing Services, Hearing Aids & Ear Wax Removal Glasgow
0141 954 6030

Earwax update - to olive oil or not?

Considering the marked growth in the earcare division of the practice, we read with great interest a recently published study by Dr Rosemary Rodgers: "Does olive oil prevent earwax build-up? An experimental study".

The subject is doubly interesting because it comes at a time when the repeated and sometimes prolonged insertion of olive oil drops in a waxy ear canal is beoming the recommendation of choice of a growing number of our local GPs.

In a detailed and extensive study, Dr Rodgers specially selected test subjects who started out with both ear canals full of wax. This wax was then removed from both ear canals. Starting out with both ears clear, each subject was asked to insert olive oil in only one of these ears every night for 24 weeks. The other ear was left alone. Comparisons were then made at 8, 12 and 24 weeks.

The main result?

"Nightly olive oil lubrication increased occlusion of the ear canal demonstrated through video otoscope image capture. The olive oil did not enhance the normal expulsion of earwax; on the contrary, the addition of olive oil increased the ear canal contents." - Dr Rosemary Rodgers

So in fact, the repeated insertion of olive oil has been seen in the study to have aggravated - rather than helped - the situation. Further interpretation would suggest that if you start out with an earful of wax and you simply put olive oil on it every night, you are likely to end up with even more wax.

Excessive earwax bothers people. It can cause pain or discomfort, as well as ringing in the ears, hearing loss and great interference with any hearing aids worn. We think that is why we are getting a tremendous response to the poster in our Crow Road window.

There were some other interesting and pertinent findings from the study:

  • Those with past history of ear wax accumulation are likely to experience it again and should be subject to regular review
  • Olive oil spray can relieve dry skin and irritable ears
  • The application of olive oil spray immediately before treatment can aid wax removal

We are delighted to note that our present practice is inkeeping with these findings.

  • We don't recommend the prolonged application of any drops.
  • We do use olive oil spray immediately prior to cleaning in most cases.
  • We send out six-monthly reminders for earwax check up.

If you're bothered by this common condition, please give us a ring to discuss microsuction earwax removal. It's painless and affordable and we are confident you'll relax in our modern, attractive clinic.

Call 0141 954 6030 or pop in to our clinic at 538 Crow Road Glasgow.