Ear Wax Removal Resources

Why Ear Wax Removal Should Be Performed by a Professional

Earwax is a natural substance designed to keep ears free from infection. If it builds up too much and blocks hearing or causes unpleasant odors, however, removal should be considered.

There are various approaches that doctors take when trying to remove wax. One such strategy uses a rubber bulb syringe with water injection into the ear canal in order to soften and dislodge wax deposits; others recommend ear irrigation or medication specifically designed to do the job.


Ear wax (cerumen) plays an essential role in keeping ears clean and protected from dust, dirt and bacteria, as well as helping lubricate ear canals. Too much wax buildup may present problems; over time too much can block an eardrum leading to fullness or hearing loss; this condition is known as cerumen impaction – though typically easily treatable at home with home remedies or physician consultation.

Many people attempt to remove earwax on their own at home, but this may not always be safe. Cotton swabs may push wax deeper into the canal where it could get trapped; furthermore, rubbing your ears may increase buildup of wax. A professional can use either a small curved instrument called a curet or microsuction tool safely remove earwax.

Certain individuals are particularly prone to the buildup of earwax, such as those wearing hearing aids or earplugs, having long hair or perforated eardrums, or who have undergone previous ear surgeries. If symptoms such as pain in your ear canal, blocked sensation in your ears or altered sense of balance arise, see your physician immediately.

Preventing earwax buildup requires closely observing your ears for signs of wax buildup. Once detected, it’s best to clean off excess earwax after showering or when exiting a bathtub; alternatively you could apply drops of mineral oil, baby oil or 3 percent hydrogen peroxide into each ear canal with your head tilted, and let gravity work its magic over time to dissolve away any remaining deposits in your ears.

If home remedies and over-the-counter products fail to remove earwax effectively, your healthcare provider can assist by either irrigating the ear or using suction to safely flush it away. Doctors generally first soften earwax using cerumenolytic solutions before draining it with a rubber bulb syringe; though this process may cause discomfort if done improperly; it remains the safest choice for those prone to having impacted earwax build-up.


If you have an excessive buildup of earwax, it can be uncomfortable and even painful to try to remove it yourself. Doing so could result in pain, discomfort and hearing loss; excess earwax may even cause fullness or ringing (tinnitus). Most often a doctor will use microsuction as a quick and painless method to extract the wax; some patients may experience slight discomfort during this procedure.

Earwax is a natural secretion from glands in your ear canal that serves a protective function by clearing away dead skin cells and debris from your ears. When too much earwax accumulates, however, symptoms like fullness, discomfort or even ringing in the ears (tinnitus) may arise as a result.

Relying solely on cotton swabs to clean out extra earwax can result in hardened deposits building up in your ears, as well as potentially leading to serious injuries from trying to extract impacted earwax on your own.

People can produce too much earwax, and accumulation can occur if its flow isn’t fast enough. Earplugs, earbuds, or hearing aids may help stop this build-up by restricting normal flow of earwax production.

Many people attempt to remove earwax at home with home remedies like irrigation. Unfortunately, using an irrigator without proper instruction could damage earwax and push it further into the ear canal, potentially resulting in discomfort or even impaction of your ear canal.

Otolaryngologists use various precise tools to safely remove earwax. One such instrument is known as a curette, which uses spoon-shaped instruments to break apart and extract earwax from the ear canal. This process is less invasive than others and can even be performed in-office.

A doctor may suggest using an ear irrigation machine as a form of treatment for excess earwax build-up in some instances. Ear, nose, and throat specialists typically employ gentle use of an irrigation nozzle to flush it away with several sprays of water to soften and dislodge any residual build-up; professionals often favor this approach over traditional home solutions like suction or swabbing for quick earwax removal.


Earwax serves an essential purpose by protecting both ear canal and eardrum from infection, but when it builds up it can clog ear canals and lead to hearing loss. Removing it may create more problems than it solves; oftentimes it’s better just leaving it alone and consulting an ENT doctor if the issue persists.

An ENT can provide safe advice for removing excess earwax, such as prescribing softening drops to soften it further. They may also use a rubber bulb syringe to deliver warm water directly into your ears in order to flush away earwax, which is far safer than cotton swabs that push further into the canal and further into ear canal.

Over-the-counter earwax removal kits may also be an option, with these typically consisting of softening drops and safe removal tools such as rubber bulb syringes for safe removal. However, this method should not be used with children due to potential rupture of their eardrum.

Many are tempted to use cotton swabs to remove excess earwax, but doing so may actually compound its presence. Your ear canal has its own system for moving wax out of the ear canal naturally, and poking in can make this happen more quickly, potentially blocking off more areas than intended.

There are various methods available to safely remove earwax, but one of the most efficient approaches is irrigation with a rubber bulb syringe filled with either water or saline solution and placed into your ear while tilting your head back. Once softened, the wax can easily come out.

Some people do not experience issues with earwax build-up and can allow it to fall out naturally, but if you are experiencing blocked ears or difficulty hearing, consulting with an ENT or otolaryngologist for removal advice may be beneficial. Professionals will know exactly how best to remove it safely under direct vision compared to using tools such as suction tubes or probes for this process.


Earwax is your body’s natural way of protecting both your ear canal and inner ear from injury. Produced by glands in your ear canal, earwax acts as a moisturizer, lubricant, water repellant and dirt remover – as well as helping remove unwanted dirt such as dead skin cells to keep infections at bay. Although beneficial in protecting hearing, too much earwax build-up can block hearing altogether and even cause temporary short-lived hearing loss if left accumulated too long – leading to discomfort or short-term short term hearing loss resulting from discomfort caused by build up blocking off of hearing aid.

An otoscope, a device which illuminates and magnifies your earwax, will be used by healthcare providers to assess if there is an earwax blockage. If so, they may use either suction techniques or small curved tools called curets to remove it or apply softening solutions such as mineral oil or saline/hydrogen peroxide mixtures to soften it further before it can be safely extracted from your ears.

Other methods for earwax removal can be more aggressive, such as irrigation and syringing of ears. Both procedures introduce moisture into the ear canal, potentially leading to irritation, impaction of wax deposits, pain or ruptured eardrums if performed incorrectly.

Preventing excessive earwax buildup requires taking proactive measures, including practicing good ear hygiene and forgoing cotton swabs in your ears. A safe and effective solution to clean your ears at home would be placing several drops of saline solution or dilute hydrogen peroxide solution into each ear while tilting your head sideways for drainage of wax buildup.

An ear, nose and throat specialist can offer clinical earwax removal using a microscope for closer examination of the ear canal and eardrum. This treatment should only be undertaken when other methods fail in clearing away an earwax blockage; expert removal ensures optimal results while protecting from irritation or damage to the ear canal and drum. Treatment costs similar to medical office visits with an additional copay required.

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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