Do you have an upcoming ear wax removal appointment?

Perhaps you are nervous because you are unsure of what to expect.

Well, you wouldn’t be alone! Although the procedure is entirely pain-free, quick, and safe – most people hesitate to schedule an appointment and attempt to deal with the issue themselves.

From an audiologist’s perspective, this is the worst thing to do.

Attempting to remove excess ear wax at home can often cause more damage, as tools such as earbuds often push the wax further into the canal, causing impacted ear wax.

Likewise, by booking an ear wax removal appointment with a professional, you will receive a thorough examination inside the ear canal to identify the cause and extent of the blockage.

Occasionally, blocked ears can be a symptom of something other than cerumen ear wax, so it’s best to get this checked out by a professional.

If you have an upcoming ear wax removal appointment, here’s exactly what you can expect.

The Examination

To determine the best procedure to use for removing the cerumen ear wax, you must undergo an ear examination.

That applies to both ears, and your audiologist should easily see the wax when looking at your ear through a device called an otoscope.

The examination is completely painless,  as the camera sits at the opening of the ear. You and your audiologist can then view the inside of your ear on a screen to identify the blockage’s extent.

Appointment Time

The typical length of an ear wax removal appointment varies between 20-30 minutes, and there is no recovery time necessary as the procedure is extremely straightforward and non-invasive.

Regular follow-ups are an option after your appointment should you wish to keep an eye on wax build-up, although this is not necessary.

Your audiologist can discuss with you the possible causes of frequent wax build-up, as this can be due to certain health conditions of the individual and may require a routine check-up every 6 months.

How is Ear Wax (Cerumen) Removed?

Factors such as age, symptoms, and overall health will determine which treatment option is most suitable for the individual. Below I have listed the 3 main methods of removing excess ear wax.

Micro Suction

You are probably wondering if this method will hurt. Well, the answer is no.

Most audiologists use this method because it has the lowest risk of infections, and it’s painless. The technique is not only practical but also completely safe.

And unlike other wax removal techniques, you do not need lengthy softening (or any at all). It is also convenient because it is a dry procedure. And you can therefore do it in between your daily activities.

The consultants use gentle suction to remove the wax and a microscope for viewing the eardrums and canals.

Who is it appropriate for?

  • People using hearing aids
  • People with ear canals and drums trauma where other methods are unsuitable for them
  • People with perforated eardrums
  • Impacted wax

Irrigation technique

If your audiologist determines this technique as the best option, here is what to expect.

First, they will warm the water to reach body temperature. That is to avoid shocking your inner ear with too cold water or too hot.

The irrigation machine can and will regulate the water to determine the needed constant temperature.

The consultant will then hold a specialist cup under your ear before inserting the probe into the canal and letting the water into it. The mug is for collecting any ear wax coming out and water as well.

The warm water will dislodge the wax, flushing it into the cup. After removing all the cerumen, the consultants mop the canal dry. This will take no more than 30 minutes.

It is sometimes recommended to use ear drops three days before your appointment to help soften the wax. Speak to your audiologist about this when scheduling an appointment.

Manual wax removal

This method is also quite simple. The audiologists will use a loupe and small scoop or fine calipers as tools for the job.

These tools can capture the ear wax and manually remove it gently. You may also need to use ear drops for three days before the appointment for this treatment method.

How Can We Help You?

Removing ear wax is painless and safe. But it is only necessary when the wax is excessive and causing discomfort or temporary hearing loss.

A normal amount of cerumen wax is, in fact, very healthy and essential in preventing bacteria and other infectious organisms from reaching the inner ear.

However, if you feel discomfort due to wax accumulating, please book an appointment with us. To find out more, request a callback today and see how we can help.

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Dr. Emily McMahan

Dr. Emily McMahan

Dr. McMahan attended the University of Cincinnati where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2009. She furthered her professional education by obtaining her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in Philadelphia in 2013. She completed her residency in Anchorage and has been applying her expertise to her patients in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Whether you need hearing testing, hearing aids, or assistance with managing tinnitus in your daily lives, Dr. McMahan is qualified to assist you!