Ear Wax Removal
What Is Earwax?
Earwax, also known as cerumen, is secreted by the tiny hair and glands inside the ear canal. The purpose of earwax is to moisturize and lubricate the ear canal. It also serves as a water repellant. The movement of your mouth while talking and chewing pushed earwax out of your ears. Along the way it collects dirt and dead skin that can cause infection.
Most people don’t need to worry about cleaning earwax from inside the ear canal. It’s usually sufficient to wipe away earwax that has drained to the outside of the ear canal with a damp cloth.
DO NOT insert cotton swabs in your ear canal. You might push earwax deeper into the canal or cause and injury that leads to infection.
Some people suffer from impacted earwax if they produce more wax than normal or when earbuds or hearing aids block the flow. Impacted earwax can be painful and affect hearing. Symptoms of impacted earwax include:
- Ear pain
- Trouble hearing
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Odor in the ear
- Itchy ears
You may only experience one or two of these symptoms in one or both ears.
Earwax removal is a very common procedure at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat. Depending on the patient’s condition, we use a special instrument called a curet, vacuum suction, or warm water to clean out the ear. The symptoms of impacted earwax usually stop once the earwax is cleared out. For some patients, regular cleaning and ear drops may be necessary to prevent excess earwax from causing problems.
Never use cotton swabs or hard objects like keys or hairpins to clear earwax out of your ear canal. You could cause serious damage, including permanent hearing loss.