Earwax buildup is uncomfortable. Inserting a Q-tip inside of your ear to try to get rid of it can make the situation even worse. At Charleston ENT & Allergy, we can provide safe solutions to remove the wax so you don’t have to live in discomfort.
What Causes a Buildup of Earwax?
Typically, small amounts of earwax leave the ears on their own. But when an excess of wax is created or it isn’t cleared regularly, it can build up in the ear canal.
Blockages often occur when people attempt to clean their own by using Q-tip or other items to remove their earwax. Instead of removing it, this typically pushes the wax further into the ear.
What Are the Symptoms of Earwax Blockage?
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear
- If the earwax is not removed, an infection causing severe ear pain and fever may develop.
How Is An Earwax Block Treated by an ENT?
Our doctor of ear, nose, and throat medicine will look in your ear with a magnifying instrument called an otoscope to determine if you have a buildup of earwax. There are several options for removing excessive earwax, including with a small curved instrument called a curet, through suction or by flushing out the wax using a water pick or warm water. Our provider will explain each option to you and determine which will be the most helpful for your situation.
If earwax buildup is a frequent problem for you, our provider might write a prescription for wax-removal medication. We want you to be as comfortable as possible, and we’ll work to find the best solutions if earwax blockage becomes a long term issue.
How Can I Safely Remove Earwax at Home?
If you don’t have ear tubes or an extreme amount of buildup, wax may also be managed at home, though it’s always best to consult with a medical professional first. To treat earwax, use an eye dropper to apply a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide into the ear canal in order to soften the earwax.
Once the wax is softened, it can be removed using a rubber-bulb syringe. This can be used to gently squirt warm water into your ear canal. Once the water has drained out of the ear, the ear should be dried with a towel. This procedure can be repeated several times until the wax has been removed.
Our provider can support you through your experience with an earwax blockage and help you determine if at-home treatment is your best option. Contact our clinic today.