Experienced audiologist and owner of Beckenham Hearing, Neil Daniel, is sounding the alarm over a worrying trend in the wake of declining NHS earwax removal services: patients across the Bromley area are increasingly resorting to dangerous DIY methods to clear their ears, putting their hearing health at risk.
Driven by limited access to earwax removal services on the NHS, individuals are turning to cotton swabs, olive oil, and even makeshift tools, often with serious consequences.
“Earwax removal may seem like a simple task, but it’s crucial to understand the delicate nature of the ear canal,” warns Neil. “Improper attempts at removing wax can lead to a cascade of problems, including infections, temporary or even permanent hearing loss, and perforation of the eardrum.”
This week a report from hearing loss charity, the RNID showed that almost 10 million people in England can no longer access free NHS earwax removal services.
Neil cites a concerning rise in the number of patients in his Eden Park clinic presenting with complications arising from DIY earwax removal. These range from mild irritation and temporary hearing loss to serious infections and permanent hearing damage. “I’m deeply concerned to see people risking their hearing health because they lack access to proper care,” he emphasises.
Without easy access to an NHS service, many people are having to seek out private services for help, which Neil says in turn is causing its own problems.
“If you go via a private service, I urge that you look for a qualified practitioner, ideally an Audiologist, who completely understands the ear anatomy, has undergone rigorous training, practices in a clinical environment, and knows what they are looking at,” says Neil.
“There are many practitioners who have found a route to offering this service by buying a machine, taking a 1- or 2-day course, and practicing only on a manikin head, with little or no prior experience with ears. Quite often I end up seeing patients who have been seen by someone inexperienced elsewhere and they end up having to pay out twice.”
If you’d like to speak Neil for further advice on earwax removal or to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us.