Safety advice on DIY ear syringing

Syringing the ears to remove ear wax is a common procedure in general practice. Although the task may be delegated to a practice nurse, it can still be time consuming. A study in England has therefore investigated whether patients can effectively irrigate their own ears.

Patients whose ears were blocked with wax were recruited from seven practices. They were all given a package containing ear drops to soften the wax. Some packages also contained a bulb syringe and instructions for its use.

The control group patients were not given a syringe but used the drops, then had their ears irrigated