Removal of ear wax
Olive oil eardrops are considered as the standard first line product for the removal of earwax. They are extremely cheap and skin reactions are almost unheard of. Apply twice a day for several days, leaving the affected ear uppermost for 5 minutes after applying generous amount of softener. Earol® spray is also available to buy over the counter and is a convenient method of administration for olive oil. Do not send patients for ear syringing until they have used ear softeners for at least 7 days prior to procedure.
Sodium bicarbonate occasionally causes irritation.
Some propretary preparations contain organic solvents which may cause irritation, e.g. Cerumol®, and are not recommended, (see BNF). Also, Cerumol® contains arachis (peanut) oil. The following products are also NOT recommended: Exterol®, Molver®, Otex® and Waxsol®.
All preparations for removal of earwax listed in the BNF are available over the counter at a cost less than the current prescription charge.