Ear wax

Emergency and immediate referrals

Referral to Emergency Department

If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergency medical advice if in a remote region:

  • Foreign body

Immediately contact on-call registrar or service to arrange an immediate ENT assessment (seen within 7 days) for:

  • Nil

To contact the relevant service, please see HealthPathways: Acute ENT Assessment

Presenting issues

Patients with resistant ear wax after recommended treatment, and at least one of the following:

  • Significant hearing loss, pain, discharge, dizziness/vertigo, or facial weakness
Mandatory referral information (referral will be returned if this information is not included)


  • Relevant medical history
  • Details of previous treatment and outcome
  • Degree of functional impairment e.g. quality of life


  • Otoscopic findings


  • Results of hearing tests (where available and providing it will not cause significant delay)
  • Result of syringing or micro suction or reason why contraindicated

If unable to attach reports, please include relevant information/findings in the body of the referral

Referrer to state reason if not able to include mandatory information in referral (e.g. patient unable to access test due to geographical location or financial cost)

Highly desirable referral information
  • Nil
Indicative triage category
Indicative triage category
Category 1
Appointment within 30 days
  • No category 1 criteria
Category 2
Appointment within 90 days
  • No category 2 criteria
Category 3
Appointment within 365 days
  • Residual ear wax despite treatment with no other complications
Last reviewed: 24-05-2023

More information

Email: DOHSpecialistRAC@health.wa.gov.au