YOUR PROFESSIONAL GUIDE TO EAR WAX AND TREATMENT
This professional guide tells you everything you need to know about treating ear wax, and counts towards your annual CPD target.
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3 clear reasons to recommend an Otex treatment
Problem ear wax can be uncomfortable and cause difficulty in hearing. When it comes to treating it, the reasons to recommend an Otex treatment are clear:
1. THE UK’S NO.1 SELLING* RANGE
Up and down the country, people trust Otex. That’s why we’re the best selling range of ear wax treatments in the UK.
2. CLINICALLY PROVEN
The Otex range of ear drops are clinically proven to help treat problematic ear wax1. And after softening the wax, irrigation using the bulb syringe supplied with Otex Express Combi can be an effective alternative to syringing by doctors2.
3. MORE CHOICE
As well as pharmacy-only and self-selection products, including the Otex Express Combi Pack which comes with its own syringe, people now have the option of gentle Otex Olive Oil Ear Drops. Find out more about each one below.
1. 'Ear drops for the removal of ear wax', Burton MJ, Doree CJ, Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 2003, Issue 3.
2. ’Managing ear wax in primary care: efficacy of self-treatment using a bulb syringe’ R. Coppin et al, British Journal of General Practice, January 2008.
A professional guide to problematic ear wax
WHAT IS EAR WAX?
Ear wax is produced naturally by tiny glands lining the ear canal. It forms a thin film that helps to keep the delicate skin lining the ear canal lubricated and is part of the ear’s natural cleaning system, trapping dirt and skin debris and repelling water. The wax and debris is then shed naturally from the ear, helping to keep our ears healthy and preventing infection.
HOW DOES EAR WAX BECOME A PROBLEM?
Problems arise when too much wax and debris builds up and hardens in the ear. Sometimes this is made worse by a narrow or curved ear canal, or by an obstacle in the ear canal (e.g. a cotton wool plug or hearing aid).
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Uncomfortable blocked feeling in ear. Impaired hearing. Sometimes, mild tinnitus (ringing in ear), itching and loss of balance. It is important not to confuse problem ear wax with an infection, which is more painful and may involve discharge of liquid/puss from the ear. This should always be referred to a pharmacist.
WHO SUFFERS WITH PROBLEM EAR WAX?
In short, anyone. But it’s more common among the over 40s as ear wax tends to become harder as we age. Children with anything wrong with their ears should be seen by a doctor because they are less likely to suffer simple ear wax problems.
THINGS TO AVOID
There can be a temptation to reach for cotton buds or any other small implement. This should be resisted; they will only make it worse by pushing the wax further in or even cause serious damage.
How can problematic ear wax be treated?
Ear wax is nothing to worry about and is easy to treat at home with ear drops such as Otex.
OTEX EAR DROPS AND OTEX EXPRESS EAR DROPShave a dual action formula containing urea hydrogen peroxide. This reacts with moisture in the wax, releasing oxygen to break it up. Urea and glycerol then soften the wax, so it is more easily shed.
OTEX EXPRESS COMBI PACK offers these same drops, plus a bulb syringe to gently cleanse the ear after completing treatment.
OTEX OLIVE OIL EAR DROPS are ideal for those who prefer a more natural formula, but seek a brand they trust.
NOTE: Severe cases may need to be unblocked by a doctor or nurse using a pressurised flow of water (a process called ear syringing). Prior use of ear drops makes this easier, and sometimes avoids the need entirely.
A closer look at the Otex range
All Otex Ear Drops come in an easy-squeeze bottle, and Otex Olive Oil Ear Drops come with an easy-to-use dropper. Each product contains a full course of treatment and is accompanied by a detailed instruction leaflet.
OTEX EAR DROPS – Pharmacy only
• Advanced dual action formula (patients may feel a ‘bubbly’ sensation due to the release of oxygen)
• Works in about 3 to 4 days but can be used longer
• Only available behind counter (many prefer this as they can get pharmacist advice)
OTEX EXPRESS EAR DROPS – Self-selection
• Same dual action formula as Otex Ear Drops
• But available for self-selection in pharmacies and supermarkets (ideal for those already familiar with ear drops)
OTEX EXPRESS COMBI PACK – Self-selection
• First ear wax removal kit in the UK combining the same dual action ear drops and a bulb syringe
• After completing treatment with the drops, the bulb syringe is useful to gently cleanse the remaining ear drops and wax out of the ear canal
OTEX OLIVE OIL EAR DROPS – Self-selection
• Gentler natural formula
• May take up to 2 weeks to work
A guide to using Otex
HOW TO USE OTEX EAR DROPS
Repeat the following once or twice a day. Tilt the head and squeeze a few drops into the ear. Keep the head tilted for a few minutes, then wipe away any surplus. Repeat in the other ear if necessary.
HOW LONG TO USE THE DROPS
When using the dual action formula (Otex Ear Drops, Otex Express Ear Drops or Otex Express Combi Pack), 3 to 4 days’ treatment is normally sufficient although may be continued as required. Otex Olive Oil Ear Drops may take longer to work – up to 2 weeks.
HOW TO USE THE BULB SYRINGE in Otex Express Combi Pack
After treating with the ear drops the easy-to-use bulb syringe can be used to gently cleanse the ear of any remaining drops or ear wax. Simply fill the syringe with warm water, gently squeeze the water into the opening of the ear canal and let the rinse run out into a sink.
WHO SHOULDN’T USE OTEX
• Patients whose eardrum is known or suspected to be damaged
• Patients with any other ear-related problem (presently or in the past) unless recommended by a doctor
• Children unless recommended by a doctor who has confirmed diagnosis of an ear wax problem
• Patients with signs of possible ear infection, or ear damage/irritation following ill-advised attempts to dislodge wax with finger nails or other implements, or who have had their ears syringed within the past 2 to 3 days
• Anyone who is sensitive to any of the ingredients or has had difficulties using Otex in the past
• Also, Otex should not be used at the same time as anything else in the ear, including hearing aids
WIN A DIGITAL RADIO
1) Just fill in your details
2) Answer the simple questions
3) Submit your entry
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. The competition is open to pharmacy staff aged 18 or over employed in registered UK pharmacies. Employees must have their employer’s permission to enter. 2. Employees of the promoter, their families, agents and anyone directly connected with the promotion may not enter. 3. The closing date for the competition is 23rd February 2017. All entries must be received by 23rd February 2017. 4. The promoter can accept no responsibility for lost, delayed or damaged entries. 5. All correct answers will be collated and entered into a prize draw, with the 3 winners being selected randomly. The 6 winners will be notified as soon as practicable after the closing date. 6. The winners of the competition will receive a digital radio (worth £130 or less). No cash alternative will be offered. 7. The promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize for one of equal value if necessary. 8. The names of the 6 winners will be available 7th March 2017 by writing to the promoter. 9. The promoter is: Dendron Limited.10. Actual prize may differ from the one shown. 11. Winners may be required to participate in publicity.
For full details please read the package leaflet supplied with the product: OTEX RANGE marketing authorisations/registrations and trademarks held by Diomed Developments Ltd., Hitchin, Herts, SG4 7QR, UK. Distributed by DDD Ltd., 94 Rickmansworth Road, Watford, Herts, WD18 7JJ, UK. Indications: To help remove hardened ear wax. For adults, the elderly and children (the latter if diagnosed with an ear wax problem). Directions: Instil drops into the affected ear(s). Repeat once or twice daily for a few days, or as required. Contraindications: Do not use if the eardrum is known or suspected to be damaged, in cases of dizziness, or if there is, or has been, any other ear disorder. Do not use after ill-advised attempts to dislodge wax using fingernails, cotton buds or similar implements, or within 2 to 3 days of syringing. Do not use where there is a history of ear problems, unless under close medical supervision. Do not use if sensitive to any of the ingredients. Precautions: Should not be used at the same time as anything else in the ear. Keep away from the eyes. Side-effects: Ear drops can aggravate the painful symptoms of excessive ear wax, including some loss of hearing, dizziness and tinnitus. Very rarely, unpleasant taste has been reported when using the drops. Pack and Legal Category: Otex Ear Drops (Urea Hydrogen Peroxide 5%w/w), Pharmacy only, 8ml, RSP £4.75 (£3.96 ex. vat) PL 0173/0151. Otex Express Ear Drops (Urea Hydrogen Peroxide 5%w/w), self-selection,10ml, RSP £5.06 (£4.22 ex. vat). Otex Express Combi Pack (Urea Hydrogen Peroxide 5%w/w), self-selection, 10ml and a soft bulb syringe. RSP: £8.12 (£6.77 ex. vat). Otex Olive Oil Ear Drops (Olive Oil 100%), self-selection, 10ml, RSP £3.99 (£3.32 ex. Vat).Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. Adverse events should also be reported to Diomed Developments Ltd.