Ear Wax Removal Resources

Understanding the Different Methods of Ear Wax Removal

Earwax normally moves toward the opening of your ear canal where it falls out or can be rinsed away naturally, but it is important not to use cotton swabs or similar objects to attempt cleaning your ears since these could potentially block or rupture your eardrum and cause further blockages and/or rupture.

If home remedies do not help, a doctor may need to remove earwax via one of four different means:


Earwax (cerumen) is a natural substance produced by our ears to lubricate the ear canal and protect it from irritation, as well as reduce hearing loss. When excess earwax builds up in one or both ears, however, hearing loss, discomfort and itching occur – leading to many different treatments such as micro-suction or irrigation; among them irrigation involves flushing with water while micro-suction uses vacuum pressure instead to extract it from our ears.

Micro-suction is a quick and painless procedure performed by medical professionals trained to do it safely. Before initiating the procedure, an audiologist will typically look inside your ear with a microscope in order to gain a clear view of any buildup of earwax in its location – this enables them to safely extract it using a small suction tube without harming either your canal or eardrum.

Micro-suction involves inserting a small tube into your ear canal and applying vacuum pressure, to pull earwax out. It is then collected in a sterile container for proper disposal. Because micro-suction uses smaller versions of syringes than its use has no risk of perforated eardrums; additionally using dry procedures like micro-suction reduces risk of infection in comparison to using traditional methods like syringing.

After successfully micro-suction, your audiologist may suggest using olive oil-based eardrops regularly in order to prevent recurrence of earwax build-up in the future. These drops soften earwax so your body can more efficiently remove it naturally from your ear canal.

Micro-suction may be an ideal treatment option if your eardrum has perforated; it’s safe and effective in treating various conditions. If unsure which option would best fit you, schedule a free hearing assessment with one of our qualified audiologists who will recommend the most suitable treatment option for you. To book an appointment visit our website.


The irrigation method is an efficient and noninvasive way of clearing away earwax. Using a rubber bulb syringe, water or saline are squirted into each ear using an irrigation tip until all excess wax has been cleared away. This technique poses minimal infection risk; furthermore it’s suitable for people who wear hearing aids which become blocked with wax, potentially leading to feedback or whistling sounds in response. Most medical centers provide this service.

Irrigation is an effective and safe method for removing earwax, but should only be performed by professionals. Before the procedure starts, a nurse should clean the nozzle of an irrigation pump or squirt bottle with a cloth so as to avoid contamination of your ear canal with bacteria and debris. Furthermore, she will warm water or saline solution at body temperature to avoid dizziness and discomfort during irrigation.

Nurses should carefully monitor ear canal irrigations for signs of irritation or damage; in case the eardrum ruptures, an alternative procedure may need to be carried out. After irrigation has taken place, it’s essential that it remain completely dry until all irrigation sessions have concluded; frequent irrigations can lead to overproduction of earwax production which further irritates. For safety’s sake, nurses should use disposable equipment and document all processes carefully during this process.

As well as using saline solution, there are over-the-counter products designed to soften earwax and facilitate its removal. However, these solutions should only be applied on small amounts at once as too much may lead to dangerous side effects or infection of the ear canal.

Irrigation is an effective and at-home method of removing earwax build-up, but it must be performed when necessary. Patients should discuss their earwax buildup with their healthcare provider and explain whether there has been any history of pain, drainage or hearing loss; also whether symptoms come and go or linger; otherwise they should consult an ear, nose and throat specialist immediately.


Syringing, an ear wax removal technique which once involved pouring massive amounts of water into ears in an attempt to dislodge wax, has since evolved into a more refined process. Now, syringing involves administering small doses of warm lukewarm water or saline solution into each ear canal to dissolve and wash away earwax; when tilting head sideways the flow drains out through canal; this type of removal procedure is often performed in doctor offices but do-it-yourself versions may also work just as effectively.

Earwax removal should never be attempted without professional guidance, however. Any object introduced into your ears could push more earwax into the canal where it will harden and cause an impaction; additionally, an excessively strong stream of water could damage or worsen underlying problems like perforated eardrums or tinnitus.

Over-the-counter eardrops can help break up earwax and flush it away, often using mineral oil or baby oil as ingredients, while some also include hydrogen peroxide for cleaning purposes. You can find these drops both at drug stores and grocery stores, though children under 6 should only be using them under medical advice.

If eardrops don’t work or your child hasn’t produced any earwax in a while, try flushing his or her ears out using warm water using a bulb syringe. Be sure to use only lukewarm water, as cold or hot waters could cause dizziness; after injecting several drops into each ear tilt their head sideways and let any disintegrated wax flow freely out.

Earwax is an all-natural substance produced in our ears as a way of cleaning them of dead skin cells and debris, while protecting our inner ear from water intrusion. While some people produce excess earwax that clumps in the canal, most produce enough without additional steps being needed to get rid of it.

Home remedies

Earwax, though seemingly disgusting, serves a critical function. It naturally travels out of the ear canal collecting dead skin cells, hair follicles and debris on its path out. If there is an accumulation of wax build-up in your ears, flush it out using warm water at home or over-the-counter ear drops that melt it away; but beware any objects which could push earwax further into the canal or create blockages like cotton-tipped swabs, hairpins headphones etc as these could push earwax deeper into your ears potentially leading to blockages which require professional cleaning of all sorts of objects in your ears in order to ensure optimal hearing health.

Your ears need time and space to do their job and clean themselves naturally, but for those genetically predisposed to heavy earwax buildup or more susceptible to ear infections, medical professionals may recommend professional wax removal procedures as the solution.

Irrigation or syringing may be recommended to remove earwax safely, as long as your eardrums remain undamaged and you don’t suffer from frequent ear infections. This process involves inserting a rubber bulb syringe in your ear canal and using warm water or saline solution to flush out and dissolve any buildup of earwax from within it, and breaking up and washing out as much earwax as possible from within its walls.

This method may be uncomfortable or irritating, but it is an effective way to remove excess earwax. As an alternative method, using mineral or baby oil in your ears to soften and soften any hardened build-up can allow it to come off on its own over time.

When children cannot sit still or cooperate for at-home irrigation, doctors may need to use local anesthetic in the office in order to remove impacted earwax. This process typically occurs under local anesthesia.

If you are experiencing problems with earwax, contact your healthcare provider immediately. They can evaluate your ears to ascertain the source of the issue before suggesting treatment options such as syringing, irrigation, physical removal or medication – they may even advise against unnecessary at-home treatments like olive oil drops, ear candling or other methods that could compromise hearing or rupture an eardrum.

About the Author

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Ben Horlock Audiologist

Ben Horlock RHAD MHSAA, is an accomplished audiologist deeply committed to delivering remarkable audiological services.

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