As a general rule I do not recommend home treatment for ear disorders. It is certainly not wise to put drops of any kind into a painful ear or to attempt to remove wax with any probe or scraping device. The ear drum is too easily damaged.

In an emergency, of course, aspirin and paracetamol tablets can be used for treating earache but any persistent earache needs to be investigated by a doctor.

Deafness is another problem which should not be dealt with unless professional advice has been sought. There are a number of companies selling hearing aids today but in Britain anyone who suffers from deafness is entitled to free treatment. Modern hearing aids provided through the health service are not necessarily as cumbersome, unsightly and ineffective as many people believe. Anyone suffering from hearing loss should seek medical advice and only consider purchasing an aid if health service aids seem unsuitable.

The other common problem associated with the ears is wax. This is a frequent cause of deafness and dizziness. There are a number of proprietary preparations {Cerumol, Earex, Waxsol, etc.) designed to soften and help in the removal of wax. Unfortunately, even after the use of drops syringing may be needed if all the wax is to be effectively removed. If you’re sure that your problem is caused by wax try using one of the preparations mentioned (or ordinary olive oil) and then visit your doctor after five days if there has been no improvement. Any wax that may be there will then be fairly easy to remove by syringing.

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