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Earwax Removal

Posted by on 01 Dec, 2015



Earwax is medically referred to as cerumen and is a wax like oil produced in the ear canal. Cerumen provides protection by keeping dust, particles and other microorganisms from entering the ear. Additionally, it protects the ear canal skin from water irritations. Most of the time, excess earwax will travel out of the ear canal to fall away naturally or be washed away. In some cases, the ear produces too much and it may harden and block the ears. This may be because of a health condition or objects placed in the ear. Older adults are more likely to have issues with earwax buildup because earwax tends to become harder and less fluid with age.


The excess production of earwax is not the cause of buildup. Earwax begins to build up when it is pushed further into the ear. Most often this is done when Q-tips are used to clean the ears, but fingers, bobby pins, headphones, hearing aids and even rolled up tissue corners can cause impactions as well.


Some common symptoms that can be a sign you have earwax buildup include:

  • Decrease in hearing abilities
  • Ear pain
  • Dizziness
  • Clogged or fullness sensation
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Itching of the ears
  • Drainage from the ears

Severe damage that can result if earwax buildup is left untreated:

  • Perforated eardrum
  • External ear infection
  • Middle ear infection
  • Permanent hearing loss


If you are suffering from any buildup symptoms, there are home remedies that can be attempted to safely remove earwax.


  • Debrox is an over-the-counter treatment that can help with minor issues. These drops are used on the affected ear and left in for five minutes while the head is tilted to the side. Upon returning to an upright position, drops will drain out by themselves and wax buildup in the ear should be loosened.
  • Drops of olive oil, mineral oil, or baby oil can be used in the same manner as Debrox to soften earwax for removal.
  • A bulb type syringe is often used to flush the ear with warm body temperature water or a saline solution to remove the loosened earwax.

Ear candling is used to cause suction in the ear, but this treatment is dangerous and can cause more damage. Evidence doesn’t support the effectiveness of this method and it should not be considered when trying to remove earwax from the ear.

It’s time to seek medical care when,

  • At-home remedies aren’t resolving the issue
  • There is a consistent loss of balance or inability to walk
  • Vomiting or high fever are present
  • Sudden hearing loss experienced in one or both ears

The inner ear is highly sensitive and professional care should be sought quickly if any of the above conditions exist. Urgent Clinics Medical Care is staffed with experienced and friendly healthcare professionals who can provide professional irrigation or dry instrument removal procedures. Just walk into any of our convenient locations in the Houston area including Pearland, Champions, The Woodlands and 3 locations in League City: Creekside, Marina Bay and Tuscan Lakes. We will provide you with exceptional medical care to address your earwax buildup issues.






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