• What to look out for

    There are four common reasons for loss of hearing:

    • Wax in the ear canal
    • Inflammation of the ear canal
    • A burst eardrum which is nature’s way of easing the pressure caused by an ear infection
    • Damage caused by injury, exposure to noise or simply getting older
  • What can you do

    If you have pain, ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter pain medicine. Do not stick anything, for example a cotton wool bud, into your ear as you may damage the ear.  Try not to get the affected ear wet until you know what has caused the hearing loss.

    Antibiotics will not help. Ear infections are usually caused by viruses and antibiotics cannot treat viruses.


  • When to seek help

    If you have a head cold and your ear is blocked, it should clear within a few days. However, if you have a discharge from the ear, you should always get it checked by your doctor.  If you think your ear is blocked by wax, your doctor or practice nurse can remove it for you.

    If you think your hearing loss might be caused by something else, you should visit your doctor. You may need to have a hearing test.


    As you can probably guess, this website can’t replace the advice you might get from a health professional. If you are worried about yourself, please call or visit your GP or your pharmacist