Earwax is a substance that we are all familiar with. When earwax accumulates in the ears, it can contribute to a range of unpleasant symptoms including discomfort, hearing challenges, tinnitus (ringing noise in the ears), and even infection. Though people commonly use a cotton swab to remove earwax, this strategy is hazardous. Cotton swabs can further push earwax into the ears and cause injury. Sometimes the best solution is to have earwax professionally removed, to ensure safety and thoroughness. At Doctors Hearing, we have extensive experience removing earwax and providing safe, efficient quality care.

Understanding Earwax

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced in the ears. This sticky substance is a mixture of secretions from glands in the ear, dead skin cells, hair, and other debris that can accumulate in the ears (like dirt). Earwax is important for the ears for a few key reasons:

Woman Picking at ear
  • Keeps the ears moisturized. This layer of moisture provides a protective coat that prevents dryness, itchiness, and irritation.
  • It traps dirt and bacteria. This prevents these harmful substances from reaching the inner ear which can cause infections.

The antibacterial properties of earwax are part of what keeps ears healthy. Earwax typically migrates out of the ears naturally. This happens through jaw movements that occur from eating or talking which helps move earwax towards the ear's opening and eventually flaking off. But this natural process doesn’t always happen - earwax can become too dry to be mobile or some people simply produce excess earwax. This causes it to build up in the ears which leads to impacted earwax.

Earwax Removal

Having earwax professionally removed is not uncommon. It is the best way to ensure that your ears are carefully tended to and thoroughly cleaned. Our team has extensive experience using instruments specifically designed for the ears to extract earwax. The earwax removal process starts by carefully examining your ear(s) with an otoscope - an instrument that shines a light into the ear. This allows us to assess the ear and the amount and location of earwax. Once the scope of earwax is identified, there are a few ways earwax is removed:

  • Ear irrigation:

    This method involves using a warm water solution to flush out earwax. Using a syringe-like tool, water or a simple saline solution is inserted into the ears to flush out earwax.

  • Curette:

    A curette is a long and curved tool that healthcare providers use to gently scrape earwax from the ear canal.

Man having ears irrigated

This process may involve more than one round of cleaning depending on the extent of accumulated earwax. We will examine the ear(s) after to ensure all earwax has been successfully extracted and the ears are clean.

Our team at Doctors Hearing provides professional, safe, and painless earwax removal. Contact us today for a consultation and to schedule an appointment!

Request an Appointment