Earwax, also known as cerumen, is naturally produced by glands in the ears to lubricate the ear canals and keep dust and debris from getting too far into the ear canal. In most cases, earwax clears itself by migrating out of the ear canal. However, there are cases where wax can accumulate quickly or be overproduced causing a partial or full blockage of your ear canal. If a blockage occurs, it may need to be removed to prevent further complications. This can be done at home or in our office depending on the size and severity of the blockage.
At our office, we provide wax removal kits and wax softening agents to help loosen the earwax from the canals. With proper instructions from your Audiologist, this can be done at your home.
Home kits are not appropriate for everyone. Before attempting at-home earwax removal, we advise you to speak with your Audiologist to be sure it is safe for you.
If the earwax blockage is more significant, it may need to be removed during your office visit. Our office uses a few methods (called irrigation, suction, or curettage) to remove earwax based on the consistency and amount of blockage.
If you experience pain or discomfort as a result of earwax, or suspect you have a blockage, it’s important that you see your Audiologist as soon as possible to address the issue. Removing earwax doesn’t have to be painful and should bring you relief and improved hearing!
It is never a good idea to put anything in your ear to remove wax build-up. Most people use a cotton swab/q-tips to clean their ears. However, this usually does more harm than good. Cotton swabs tend to push the earwax deeper into the ear canal, eventually leading to problems with blockage. If inserted too deep in the ear, cotton swabs could hit your eardrum or even puncture the eardrum. Leave the cleaning to your Audiologist! We can see what we are doing and use the appropriate tools for safe wax removal.