In most cases, a primary care physician removes excessive earwax from the ear canal through a series prescription ear drops, washing or vacuuming procedures. In extreme cases, an ear, nose and throat specialist, or otolaryngologist, removes earwax through microscopic visualization.
Earwax, or cerumen, protects, lubricates and cleans the ear. When functioning normally, the ear releases earwax naturally through jaw motion. One of the most common causes of earwax accumulation in the inner ear is external sources, such as cotton swabs, pushing the earwax into the ear drum. Otolaryngologists urge patients to use mineral oil, glycerin or over-the-counter ear drops to clean the inner ear rather than cotton swabs.