Support and advice from your local expert

What available treatments are there for a build up of ear wax?

Treatments for earwax removal are normally quite straightforward. Your doctor or healthcare professional may remove your earwax with a small spoon called a curette, or via irrigation with a solution of warmed water.

We strongly recommend not removing earwax yourself as this should be undertaken only by a trained professional, especially if you have had ear surgery, a perforation in your eardrum or are experiencing ear pain. Ear irrigation is not recommended in the following instances:

  • If you have previously suffered from problems with irrigation, such as vertigo or pain
  • Have experienced a perforated eardrum in the last 12 months
  • Have had a middle ear infection in the past six weeks
  • Have had ear surgery within the last 18 months
  • Have had grommets inserted (currently or in the past)
  • Have had a cleft palate (repaired or not)

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Once the irrigation has been performed or if irrigation is not suitable for your condition, your doctor may recommend a course of eardrops or the use of a spray. Eardrops should only be used when they are at room temperature, following the instructions supplied with the drops or spray.

If you are using eardrops rather than a spray, once you've squeezed the drops into the affected ear, lie on your side for a few minutes and allow the eardrops to soak into the wax. You can expect to feel a light fizzing sensation, underwater feeling or tingling, this is normal, but if your experience any pain or discomfort, we recommend you stop as this could be a sign of a perforated eardrum which could cause you further complications.

The necessary frequency of eardrop or spray application varies, so seek a medical professional’s advice if you're not sure on the amount.

If these procedures prove ineffective at removing your earwax or if irrigation is not possible due to a perforated eardrum, there is an alternative treatment. This is called microsuction, where a special suction device is used to remove the wax under a microscope.

Earwax can also require removal even if it is not causing hearing loss. For example, an impression of the ear canal may be required if you are being fitted for a hearing aid. If this is the case, your local doctor will advise you on the best way to remove the wax.

For more information on the causes, symptoms or a general overview of earwax, our other pages for more advice and support. 

What is Ear wax?

As one of the body's many naturally-occurring protective substances, earwax is incredibly useful to our health and wellbeing. Find out more about what ear wax is or you can speak to one of our experts at your local Amplifon store.

Read more

What causes ear wax to build up?

Find out what causes ear wax to build up or you can speak to one of our experts at your local Amplifon store.

Read more

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