Cerumen (Earwax) Removal
Cerumen is naturally produced by the glands in the ears to lubricate the ear canals and keep dust and debris from getting too far down in the ear canal.
Cerumen typically clears itself from the ears, but in some instances can accumulate and cause a blockage.
Symptoms of a cerumen blockage include:
- Tinnitus (noise in the ear)
- Hearing loss
- Ear pressure
If excessive build-up or blockage occurs, it needs to be removed.
Never use a cotton swab! The safest removal method is provided by your audiologist, ENT or primary care physician's office.
There are two methods to remove earwax: curettage or irrigation.
- A curette is a tool that can be used to reach into the canal to loosen and remove the excessive wax. Most build up of wax can be removed in this manner. We take the utmost care to ensure any removal is done methodically and carefully and most people tolerate this procedure. On occasion, the canal can be very sensitive to the touch of the curette and removal of the wax may cause a little bleeding. We will ensure the canal health is maintained throughout the procedure and we will perform otoscopy several times after the removal before you leave the office.
- If the curette procedure does not remove enough of the ear wax, then we may irrigate the canal with warm water that gently forces the water into the canal. This procedure is usually completed more than once but can be effective.
- Most ear canal cleanings are quick, painless, and bring immediate relief. However, there are times when we will refer you to and ENT specialists who have high-powered microscopes and suctioning tools that may be required to remove particularly heavy wax build u