Q:

What is ear irrigation?

A:

Quick Answer

Ear Irrigation is the process of removing extra wax or foreign objects from the ear. Either a doctor performs the procedure, or the patient performs it at home, according to Healthline.

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Full Answer

To irrigate an ear, a doctor uses an otoscope to examine the excess wax and inserts water into the ear using a special syringe, says Healthline. To irrigate from home, patients use an eyedropper to put baby oil or a special medication into the ear canal to soften the wax, advises Mayo Clinic. A day or two later, lightly squirting some warm water into the ear from a syringe removes the wax.

Wax buildup in the ear causes blockage leading to ear ringing, earaches or temporary loss of hearing. It also damages sensitive structures, such as the eardrum and the canal. Foreign objects, if not removed quickly, sink deeper into the ear increasing the risk of canal damage, reports Healthline.

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