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Earwax Removal: Best and Safest Practices

Learn the best ways to remove ear wax, and things you should NEVER do!



Earwax removal best and safest practices. That's today's topic on Ask The Hearing Doctors. Hi, I'm Jim Cuddy. And this is Ask The Hearing Doctors, and I'm joined today by Dr. Ana Anzola, Dr. Wendy Thorne, doctors of audiology with Hearing Doctors, the Washington DC area's highest rated audiology practice with over 1,500 five-star reviews. Ana, Wendy, as always, great to see you both. So ear wax removal, yuck. Oh no, but you guys probably love it. 


Well, we do so. Yeah. 


There's one thing I know about ear wax removal when you're at home. One thing you should never do is put a Q-tip in your ear. 


Yeah. Just like the old saying anything smaller than your elbow should not go in your ear. 


So what should let's see. All right. Let's talk about folks that are home. They've got a little bit of ear wax buildup. What do they do? How do you clean out your ear? What's the best way?


You can certainly buy something like over the counter to remove it a little bit, but a lot of those are more like a softening solution. Um, we like, we're very highly trained professionals, so we like to clean it and, um, just get it all done for you. But our ears are really self-cleaning. You really should not be putting anything inside the ear to clean it. Now, when it becomes a problem, like a wax buildup, we can certainly do it the old fashioned way picking it out. Right. Um, or we have this new machine, the Earigator, and it's a really fast, efficient, and effective solution to just remove it. Wow. I know. Right. That's a lot of machine. 


That's, that's a heck of a buildup, but you don't see that that often. Yeah. 


Oh yeah. Yeah, I do. Yeah. And there's some cases where manual removal is not a good option. So this is a very safe way to effectively remove the wax. So we would put that magnifying light right on your ear. It just puts in some light water pressure and it all falls out. I used it today and the amount of wax I got out of this year was fascinating. It's fascinating for you, maybe. It's very satisfying for us, but for our patients as well. 


And obviously I'm kind of joking around about it, but it can be very serious, a large wax buildup in your ear. It can cause a lot of pressure. 


Yeah. From that hearing. Well, to blocking up the actual hearing devices that they may wear. So on a regular basis, we're again, would check in our patients and then we are removing it, uh, professionally with simple machines. Like this is some earwax. Okay. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. 


Well, it's not, it's not a really bad thing. And that's why you're saying all right. Don't necessarily get carried away with trying to clean out your own ears. 


Yeah. So wax is, uh, it's produced by the glands in your ear and it does, is it just helps keep your ear lubricated, so it doesn't get itchy and dry. So having a little bit of wax or minimal amount of wax is perfectly normal and safe.


Are there reasons why you wouldn't remove wax from someone's ear?


Well, again, we're looking in the ear, I'm looking for any foreign objects. You want to definitely remove those. Uh, but if you're bleeding, uh, or if there's extreme paint, no, you want to refer them out to perhaps an ear, nose and throat doctor to have that ear medically evaluated. 


What's the strangest thing you've found in somebody's ear?


Feather, a, a seed, uh, bugs. Bugs. Yeah. Cockroach. Yes. Yeah. I think I'd be better off with the wax. Yeah. The wax is more exciting, 


Basically. It is. Well, thank you again. It's uh, you know, even though it was earwax, I really learned a lot today. Ana and Wendy, thanks for your time. If you're in the Washington metropolitan area and you'd like to schedule an appointment with Hearing Doctors, click the link in the description or visit


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