Wax Removal. Can I Do It Myself?

Dec 19, 2023

Ear wax, otherwise known as cerumen, is naturally produced for three reasons. First is to lubricate  the delicate tissue in the ear canal from drying out. Second is to protect from foreign bodies and  infection. Lastly, wax protects your eardrum from outside intrusions. 

Removing earwax on your own is possible, however, you won’t know if you have completed the  job unless you can see inside the ear canal when you have finished. At the pharmacy there are wax  softeners, bulb syringes and disposable tools for sale. 

Without knowing the texture of the wax, it is impossible to know what will work. Ear anatomy is  another important factor. The shape and size of the ear canal will dictate what method is best. For  these reasons, many products that are sold over the counter or on the internet will result in  disappointment. 

Ear candles should be avoided. Ear candling is a treatment used in alternative forms of  wellness. For the purpose of wax removal is not effective and not recommended. 

If irrigation is the method of choice, water temperature is critical. Water that is too cold or too  hot can result in dizziness. 

Putting cotton swabs into the ear canal is not recommended. Although it is satisfying to pull out  wax, it is impossible to see how much wax got pushed in deeper. Additionally, excessive use of  cotton swabs can dry out the tissue. 

If there have been any medical concerns with the ear or if the eardrum is not intact, seek help from  a professional. Don’t attempt to remove the wax yourself. 

A professional will choose to remove wax one of three ways, manual extraction, micro suction or  irrigation. After a medical history, careful inspection of the ear canal and existing cerumen, a  decision is made on the best approach. Wax that is old and has hardened may require softening.  Sticky wax may need gentle removal with tools. Using water to irrigate the ear or micro suction  may be used in combination. 

If you are concerned, and need professional guidance, have a physician or audiologist examine  your ears. When the ears are clear, it assures for better hearing. Call us. We’ll be happy to help.