Earwax Removal

Trusted by the Montgomery and Cincinnati community for over 26 years, Hearing Consultants are your premier experts in audiology and personalized hearing care.

As the premier audiology practice, Hearing Consultants is committed to providing a wealth of knowledge on everything ear-related. A common query we address pertains to earwax removal. Understanding how to safely remove earwax can significantly improve ear health and maintain optimal hearing.

Understanding Earwax

Earwax, scientifically known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced in the ear canal. Its primary responsibilities include trapping dust and foreign particles, preventing them from reaching the eardrum, keeping the ear canals moisturized, and repelling insects.

Earwax Production

Everyone generates earwax; however, the type and amount produced vary and are genetically determined. In most cases, earwax naturally exits the ear during activities like talking or chewing.

Earwax Buildup

In some instances, earwax may not be able to exit the ear canal properly, leading to an accumulation known as earwax impaction or buildup. This can result from the unique shape of a person's ear canals or the use of objects like cotton swabs, which can push earwax deeper into the ear canal. Individuals who use hearing aids or earplugs are also more susceptible to earwax buildup.

Symptoms of Earwax Buildup

A buildup of earwax can manifest in several ways, including:

  1. Decreased hearing
  2. A feeling of fullness or blockage in the ear
  3. Dizziness
  4. Ear pain
  5. Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
  6. Coughing
  7. Itching or discharge from the ear

Severe cases may lead to infection, characterized by symptoms like severe pain, fever, or an unpleasant odor from the ear. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's crucial to consult a healthcare provider.

Diagnosing Earwax Buildup

Healthcare providers can diagnose earwax buildup by examining the ear with an otoscope, a tool that lights and magnifies the inner ear. This examination allows them to assess the extent of the earwax impaction and determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Professional Earwax Removal

Professional removal of earwax is a safe and effective method of managing earwax buildup. At Hearing Consultants, we employ several techniques to safely remove excess earwax.


A healthcare provider may use a small, curved tool called a curet to manually remove the wax.


Another method involves using suction techniques to extract the earwax.

Ear Irrigation

In some cases, your healthcare provider may choose to flush out the wax using a syringe filled with warm water, saline, or diluted hydrogen peroxide.

Medicated Ear Drops

Medicated ear drops, such as carbamide peroxide, can also be used to soften the wax and facilitate its removal. It's crucial to use these drops as directed to avoid irritating the skin of the eardrum and ear canal.

Home Remedies for Earwax Removal

While professional earwax removal is the safest option, there are several measures you can take at home to manage earwax buildup.

Ear Drops

You can use a few drops of natural oils like mineral oil or baby oil to soften the wax. Commercial ear drops are also an effective option.

Ear Syringing

Ear syringing involves using water or a saline solution at room temperature to clear the ear. If done at home, it's essential to proceed with caution and follow the given instructions.

It's important to note that home remedies are not always effective and may pose risks if not done correctly. Always consult with your healthcare provider before attempting to remove earwax at home.

What to Avoid

Certain earwax removal methods can do more harm than good. Avoid using cotton swabs or other objects like hairpins or paper clips to remove the wax, as these can push the wax further into the ear and potentially damage the ear canal or eardrum. Some alternative remedies like ear candling (lighting one end of a cone-shaped candle and placing the other end into the ear) and essential oils are not recommended due to insufficient evidence of their efficacy and potential risks.

Regular Cleanings

If you are prone to earwax buildup, regular cleaning by a healthcare provider may be necessary. This can involve using earwax-softening agents like saline or mineral oil to facilitate the wax's natural exit from the ear.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you experience severe symptoms like loss of balance, persistent vomiting, high fever, or sudden loss of hearing, seek immediate medical attention.

Preventing Earwax Buildup

Avoiding the use of cotton-tipped swabs and other objects that push the wax deeper into the ear canal can help prevent earwax buildup. If you are predisposed to excess earwax, regular use of softening agents may be beneficial.

Earwax Removal in Cincinatti

Earwax buildup is a common condition that can lead to discomfort and potential hearing problems. While there are safe ways to remove earwax at home, professional removal is always the safest and most effective method. At Hearing Consultants, we are here to provide expert guidance and services to ensure your ears remain healthy and your hearing stays sharp. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and bid farewell to that 'plugged up' feeling!

"Great to work with. They take their time and work to get the best fit. I'm very satisfied that I made the choice to go with Hearing Consultants.
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