We safely remove earwax at our practice, and you can even see inside your own ears! Schedule today.
Causes of Earwax Blockage
A blockage of earwax usually stems from an overproduction of earwax or insufficient cleaning. Surprisingly, the most common cause of a blockage is incorrect at-home earwax removal. Often, instead of cleaning out the earwax it is pushed deeper inside the ear. Earphone and ear plug usage can also cause wax buildup, as the earphones can prevent earwax from naturally coming out of the ear canal. Side note: we can remove moisture and earwax from small earphones like AirPods to make the sound quality better with our special equipment called Redux (link to that page).
Symptoms of Earwax Blockage
A feeling of fullness in the ear, earaches, hearing loss and ringing in the ear (tinnitus) are all common signs of earwax blockage. If the earwax is not removed there can be complications such as pain. If you are experiencing significant pain, you should talk to your ENT doctor, as these may also be signs of a more serious condition.
How Does an Audiologist Treat an Earwax Block?
To diagnose a buildup of earwax, our doctor will need to look in your ear with a special magnifying instrument called an otoscope. We even have a video otoscope so you can look inside your ear and see what we see! Once diagnosed, our doctor will remove the wax buildup through the most appropriate method(s) for your ear and wax, which includes with a small, curved instrument called a curet, through suction, or by softening and flushing out the wax using a special safety system called the Earigator™[SB1] . If this continues to be a problem, most regular appointments can be scheduled.
How to Remove Stubborn Ear Wax at Home
If your ear is healthy and does not have tube or a hole in it, at-home treatments can be helpful to manage earwax buildup. An eyedropper can be used to apply a few drops of over-the-counter wax softeners into the ear canal; this is done to soften the wax.
Once soft, after an hour or a few days, the wax is ready to be removed. A rubber-bulb syringe can be used to gently squirt warm water or other appropriate mixtures such as hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol into the ear canal. Once the mixture has drained out of the ear, the ear should be dried with a towel. This procedure can be repeated several times until the wax has been removed. It is important that the mixture is room temperature to avoid vertigo.