How Does a Doctor Clean Out Ear Wax?

To remove earwax, doctors irrigate the affected ear by injecting water or a solution consisting of water and saline into the ear using a syringe-like tool, explains Healthline. Before performing the procedure, doctors determine the presence of earwax accumulation using an otoscope, which features a light source and provides a magnified view of the ear canal.

Doctors perform earwax irrigation in a clinical setting, but patients may also perform the procedure at home using an irrigation kit that comes with a bulb syringe, according to Healthline. At-home irrigation requires the use of items such as a dropper for inserting mineral oil, baby oil or a special medicine into the ear for softening the wax.

The procedure involves putting several drops of the oil or medication into the ear two to three times a day for a few days, states Healthline. When the wax becomes soft, the next step is to remove the wax by using a syringe containing water or a solution of water and saline.

Other treatments may be necessary if a person continues to experience earwax buildup symptoms, such as short-term hearing loss, ringing in the ears or earaches, despite undergoing ear irrigation. People with disorders that affect the immune system, tubes in the ears or damaged eardrums should never undergo ear irrigation whether at home or in a clinical setting, warns Healthline