The Ear Nurse - Jane Russell RGN BSc (HONS) INP

The Ear Nurse, Bourne

Business Description

Earlier this year in Lincolnshire the majority of GP surgeries discontinued ear irrigation for excessive ear wax (previously known as syringing). Many people were informed it was due to the fact it is ‘too dangerous’ and it has a high risk of ‘perforating the ear drum’…… but this isn’t the reason why it was stopped.

GP surgeries no longer have the funding to perform this procedure so refer people to the ENT department at hospital for micro suction.

As an ‘Ear Nurse’ who has specialised in ears for 17 years, performing both irrigation and micro suction I want to set the record straight. BOTH procedures are safe when performed by a trained professional. First line should always be irrigation unless a person has a history of ear perforation or a mastoid cavity or has been told by a professional they cannot have water in their ears.

I am passionate about ear care, ears are such a fascinating, complex organ. They are so valuable and must be looked after, yet they are still neglected.

The majority of people are fully aware that ear wax is normal, it is needed to protect and clean the ear. One in ten people have a build-up of wax so will need to have it removed.

DROPS- the ONLY safe drops to put into an ear is olive oil, anything else is too potent and can strip the canal lining, if the small print states citric acid, hydrogen peroxide ,sodium bicarbonate ask yourself would you put this onto your face?

So why into delicate ears?

Wax will not dissolve with these ‘wonder drops’, olive oil will soften the wax to be removed quickly, easily and painlessly.

DIY BULBS- these are not recommended at all, it is impossible to see what you are doing yourself and forcing water into an ear (including when in the shower) is dangerous, irrigation is a gentle spray at a particular angle under direct vision.

HOPI CANDLES – also known as ear candles, ear coning and thermal auricular therapy. There is no specialised training to use these, with no prior ear examination a hollow candle is placed into the ear and by lighting the end a vacuum is formed and this is meant to pull the wax out. There is NO evidence that this works, it’s dangerous and ineffective and the residue shown to people afterwards is not actually ear wax, but the cotton fabric and beeswax left after burning the cone. To a lay person it is the same colour as ear wax so is difficult to distinguish between the two. I have recently had to remove beeswax that has fallen onto a drum following a hopi candle, and the ear had trauma from a burn.

IRRIGATION & MICRO SUCTION- both of these procedures are safe and effective to remove ear wax and should be the only way to remove wax. I personally prefer irrigation and that’s what I perform in my two clinics a week, and on home visits….. But everyone has their own preference.

As long as people are correctly informed regarding treatments then they can make an informed choice. There has only been one perforation in the last five years in the whole of the country, and there are thousands of people having wax removed every day.

The reason I wanted to ‘set the record straight’ is that I find it very frustrating and upsetting when people are given incorrect information about the service I provide.

I want to help people so they don’t need to wait weeks and weeks for an appointment at the hospital, I want to work alongside GPs so their patients get the best care, I am trying to alleviate the pressure off busy Doctors so they can concentrate on more important problems.

Effective treatment for ears does not necessarily mean the most expensive treatment, the most important thing to remember is to avoid trying to remove wax yourself but to seek professional help. Ears are important, after all you only get one pair!

Contact Information

The Ear Nurse - Jane Russell RGN BSc (HONS) INP

Telephone: 07715999191
Email: [email protected]

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