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Ear Wax Removal

Earwax (also known as cerumen) is an important part of your ear health. The wax prevents debris and dirt from traveling into your ear canal and provides important protection for your delicate hearing system. Most people produce a normal amount of wax which is naturally drained from the ear and does not cause any problems. Unfortunately, if earwax builds up beyond a certain point, it can quickly begin to compromise your ability to hear properly and can make it impossible to place your hearing aid.

Some people’s bodies simply produce too much earwax and when this happens, the wax will need to be periodically removed in order to ensure that the patient can hear appropriately. Though you may be tempted to try to remove earwax yourself, it is best to leave it to the trained professionals. Many at-home techniques actually push the wax deeper into your ear canal, creating the risk of impaction. To truly remove the problem, you will need to visit your audiologist for professional earwax removal services.

Ear Wax Removal Methods

There are three main ways in which hearing professionals remove excess earwax, and which technique is chosen will depend on your specific circumstances and needs:

  • Over-the-counter solution. If, after a thorough evaluation, your doctor feels as if the wax could be easily removed at home, they will provide you with an at-home earwax removal kit that contains a special solution designed to soften the wax and make it easier to remove.
  • Physical removal. If your wax cannot be handled by an at-home technique, your doctor will use a small instrument called a currette to gently, carefully, and safely scoop the excess wax out of your ear. Your doctor may also use a suctioning technique to remove the wax.
  • Water irrigation. If neither of the above techniques will work in your situation, your doctor may recommend water irrigation to effectively flush out your ear canal. During this procedure, your doctor will flood your ear with a strong solution that will break up the wax and then either scoop it out using a currette or flush it out with water. The solution used in this technique is stronger than what is found in at-home kits.
Bay Area Audiology provides comprehensive hearing services to clients of all ages in Bel Air, Fallston, Forest Hill, Emmorton, Churchville, Jarrettsville, and throughout Harford and Baltimore Counties. If you feel that you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, give us a call at (410) 838-4327 to take the first step toward regaining control over your hearing.