The front shop staff in the pharmacy can play a valuable supportive role in the
management of common ear disorders.
Common ear problems include blockages caused by earwax and infections of the
outer and middle ear. Infections are the most common ear problems seen in infants
and children, while blockages caused by accumulated earwax are more likely to
happen in older people. While minor ear problems such as accumulated earwax and
swimmer’s ear can be effectively treated in the pharmacy using simple over-the-
counter medicines, the front shop member of staff needs to be on the alert for signs
and symptoms that suggest a more serious ear problem that needs to be referred to
This module discusses common ear problems seen in the pharmacy and provides
guidance on the appropriate treatment of minor ear problems, as well as the
recommended pointers for referral to the pharmacist or doctor.