Practically, ear wax removal is sometimes needed to properly examine the ear, for hygiene, and to do proper testing. Although using cotton tipped applicators is a common practice, we recommend against using cotton tipped applicators. We also advise against using hair pins, and similar devices to clean the ear. This can be dangerous because you run the risk of breaking your ear drum ("perforation"), as well as jamming wax deeper inside.
At the CDH clinic, we mainly use small lighted curettes, designed for ear wax removal. In other words, we use "direct vision".
For tougher cases, we have patients prepare by using a commercial softening preparation a few days later, and we syringe with warm water. Rarely we use a Welch Allyn commercial ear wax removal system. We use tympanometry for safety. If our audiologists or technicians cannot remove wax, they can call on one of our physicians for assistance and use of a microscope/suction machine. However, our goal is to keep the ear wax under control with simpler techniques.
Appointments can be scheduled solely for ear wax removal through our front desk, firstname.lastname@example.org. We recommend a periodic schedule - often every 6 months is appropriate.
For information about our Audiology Service, see this page.
Last saved: September 14, 2020