Why would you need to clean out earwax?


Quick Answer

Earwax needs to be cleaned out if there are signs of an earwax impaction, according to WebMD. Some symptoms of an earwax impaction are decreased hearing, dizziness, a plugged sensation, ear pain, ringing and itchiness. Serious symptoms that indicate a visit to the emergency room is necessary are persistent vomiting, high fever, loss of hearing and balance problems.

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Full Answer

A doctor uses a otoscope to look in the ear and diagnose the issue, which may be an earwax blockage or eardrum perforation, states WebMD. If there is not an eardrum perforation or other ear damage, the doctor might recommend home earwax removal. Home earwax removal consists of using over-the-counter earwax softeners, which are placed in the ear for a few minutes to soften the earwax before draining. Ear syringes are also used for home earwax removal. The syringe is filled with warm water and used to soften and rinse out earwax.

If the eardrum is perforated or the patient has ear tubes, the doctor is likely to remove the wax with a curette, or use prescription-strength ear drops. Complications of untreated impacted earwax are inner or external ear infection, a perforated eardrum, and acoustic trauma that can lead to permanent deafness. Impacted earwax can be avoided by avoiding use of cotton swabs, which push earwax deeper into the ear canal.

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