What influences the cost?
The cost of earwax removal typically depends on the individual providing the service and how quickly the service is provided. The training, background and expertise of the person carrying out the procedure can vary substantially and whether services can be offered on the day or within 24 hours may also affect the cost. Let’s explore who can provide earwax removal services.
Unfortunately, at present providing earwax removal services is unregulated. This means that practically anyone can set up a service, sometimes with very little training and experience. So, there are Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeons offering this service, Clinical Scientists in Audiology (like myself, Clinical Director of The Hearing Space), ENT nurses, hearing aid dispensers, pharmacists, some beauty therapists, and others who have had no prior ear related training, other than a one-day course in earwax removal.
What does this mean when finding an earwax removal specialist?
Ear, Nose and Throat consultants have the most specialist knowledge of ear related medical issues and thus typically charge around £200 for a consultation and a further £150 or more for earwax removal, typically around £350 or more in total. They have the benefit of being able to recognise anything unusual in the ears apart from earwax such as ear infections, cysts, eardrum problems etc.
Clinical Scientists in Audiology will have worked in the NHS as specialist audiologists, often working alongside ENT staff in busy hospital departments. They will have completed an MSc in audiology and spent a number of years training in the NHS. They will often be able to perform tests of how well the middle ear is working, for example, which can prove really useful if no earwax is found. They can also explore a person’s hearing ability, again useful if no earwax is found or if removal of the earwax does not improve someone’s hearing. Typically, Clinical Scientists will charge around £80 – £140 for earwax removal. They may however perform extra tests which are included in the fee, which can prove really useful.
ENT nurses and other nurses trained in earwax removal also have some medical knowledge of ear problems, however they are not trained to perform tests of middle ear function or carry out hearing assessments.
Hearing aid dispensers typically complete a two-year training course in audiology which allows them to assess hearing and provide hearing aids. Typically, they complete an earwax removal course to enable them to provide wax removal services.
Other individuals, sometimes with no prior training and experience with ears or hearing, also provide earwax removal services. Whilst many can remove earwax safely, they won’t have the expertise to explore other causes of hearing loss and tinnitus which are often seen alongside earwax, especially as we get older.
So, like most things, the cost of earwax removal services can vary. Other factors are important to consider, for example.
Do you need to be seen urgently?
Do you have tinnitus?
Do you have pain in your ears?
Do you think your hearing needs checking?
Do you need a home visit?
These all factor into the cost of the service provided.