Your body naturally produces earwax, otherwise known as cerumen, to lubricate your ear canal while blocking dust and debris from entering too deep into the canal. Typically, your body clears excess wax from the ears. Occasionally earwax can accumulate and create blockages that cause uncomfortable symptoms. Earmolds, hearing aids, and ear plugs increase the likelihood of blockages.
If you are experiencing earache, decreased hearing, a feeling of fullness in the ears, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and dizziness, you may have a blockage of cerumen that needs to be cleared out. Contact us to schedule an appointment and Dr. Engel will recommend the best treatment plan. Typically, the doctor will recommend an earwax removal kit which can be purchased over-the-counter in most drug stores. However, for more severe blockages, she will recommend they are removed in our office. Whether you use an at-home kit or have it removed in our office, earwax removal does not have to be painful and is meant to provide you with relief.
At-Home Earwax Removal Kit
If Dr. Engel recommends an at-home earwax removal kit, it is important to follow the directions specific to the kit. Generally, kits come with a liquid to soften the earwax and a small rubber bulb syringe to flush the ears with warm water. The directions will advise how much softening liquid to use, how often to administer it, and how long to allow it to remain in your ears. Keep in mind that bubbling and fizzing sensations in your ears during use is normal. After your earwax has softened, you can remove it by gently flushing your ears with warm water using the bulb syringe. You may need to repeat the process several times over several days to completely clear the blockages from your ear.
Some ear conditions could have contraindications from using the kit. It is important to consult with a doctor before attempting the at-home earwax removal kit to be sure that it is safe for you.
Removal at Your Hearing Provider’s Office
If you have your earwax removed in a physician’s office, they will use one of two methods. Irrigation, the most common method, is like the at-home earwax removal kit, but the liquid used to soften the earwax is a prescription medication. Carbamide peroxide is typically the main ingredient in the medication. The other method, curettage, involves the use of a long, curved tool called a curette. The curette, along with suction, removes the cerumen from the ear canal.
If you are experiencing discomfort or any of other symptoms of an earwax blockage, contact us to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.