Cerumen – commonly referred to as ear wax – is a natural secretion by the human body and is actually very beneficial and serves an extremely important purpose. Individuals with too little ear wax are likely to be prone to ear infections and itchy ears. And while cerumen is good for your ears, there can be too much of a good thing. Too much earwax can cause other problems, which can threaten the health of your ears. If you experience any of the following symptoms: hearing loss, sensation of stuffiness or fullness in ear canal, ear ringing (tinnitus), persistent itching or discharge, you should seek attention from a hearing care professional such as an audiologist, who may recommend an Ear Wax Removal Procedure.
The process begins with a visual inspection of the ear canal using an Otoscope. The audiologist might even use a Video Otoscope, which is a special tool that displays a view of the inside of your ear on a computer screen. This allows you to see inside your ear as well. If necessary, ear wax removal drops may be put into the ear to help soften the ear wax. To remove the wax, the audiologist will use a handheld irrigator, to spray warm water into the ear. During the procedure, the patient will hold an irrigation bowl to catch the ear wax and water that will be draining from the ear. The special nozzle on the irrigator allows the water to spray laterally, instead of directly down the ear canal. If any wax remains in the ear after the irrigation procedure, a lighted ear curette might be used to gently scrape out the additional wax from the sides around the entrance of the ear. If the video otoscope is used, the audiologist can display the difference AFTER the ear wax has been removed from the ear.
The audiologist will complete the ear wax removal process in the other ear. In some cases, wax can clog hearing aid tubes or other parts of your hearing aids. This buildup can be removed by the audiologist. Removing your ear wax will also help prevent wax from being deposited into hearing aids, to keep them working well!
To see what is involved in an ear wax (cerumen) removal procedure, performed by our hearing professional, Adam Medeiros, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlT9fX-Ly4c&t=3s