Q&A with your Audiologist!

Q&A with your Audiologist!

Question: What is the best way to remove earwax?

 Answer: Such a great question, and one lots of folks ask us about at Hearing Institute Atlantic everyday. Thank you to Beverly-Anne from Milford, NS for emailing us with your concern.

It is normal to have wax, or cerumen, in the ear canal. Earwax plays an important role in our body as it traps dust and other small particles and prevents them from reaching and potentially damaging or infecting the eardrum.  But when it builds up too much and gets impacted it can cause decreased hearing, a plugged up feeling, dizziness, ear pain or ringing in the ears. Earwax should always be removed by a healthcare professional. At home remedies are not all that safe and can cause permanent damage or pain, not really worth the risk.

The best way to remove wax that is impacted in the ear canal is by using suction with a specially designed vacuum.  After the wax has been sufficiently softened, a small suction tube is placed in the ear canal, and with great precision it will safely remove wax from the ear.  Another common way to remove wax is to irrigate the ear, flushing it with water.  Irrigation however, can cause dizziness and a possible perforation, or hole, in the eardrum and carries more risk than the suction method. Ear candling is neither a safe nor effective way to remove wax from the ear.  You should never attempt to remove wax from the ears yourself at home with any over the counter device or contraption; nor should folks use cotton swabs or Q-Tips in the ear. We often see clients that have tried to solve their earwax problems at home that have sadly caused punctures, cuts, lesions and other permanent damage.

Ongoing cerumen management services, using safe and effective wax softening drops, check ups by your audiologist and gentle suction when needed, are available at Hearing Institute Atlantic. Please call for advice or to book an appointment if you suspect your ears are blocked with wax.