Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ear Wax Blocking the Ear Treatment

Treatment for a cerumen impaction may include removing the cerumen with a special tool or rinsing the external ear canal with a bulb syringe or water pick. Mineral oil or over-the-counter cerumen softeners (usually a mixture of mineral oil and peroxide) may be used to soften the cerumen before removal. In some cases, a suction device must be used to clear the cerumen from the canal.

Cotton swabs should not be used to remove cerumen form the ear. This may push cerumen deeper into the ear canal.

Treatment for cerumen impaction includes:

  • Ear drops that soften ear wax
  • Ear irrigation to remove cerumen
    • Bulb syringe
    • Water pick
  • Suction to remove cerumen

Ear Wax Blocking the Ear Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of cerumen impaction.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • Will I need to be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for otitis externa?
  • Will I need to see my doctor for a checkup?

Ear Wax Blocking the Ear Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat cerumen impaction:

Continue to Ear Wax Blocking the Ear Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 6, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ear Wax Blocking the Ear References
  1. Kelly KE, Mohs DC. The external auditory canal. Anatomy and physiology. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 1996 Oct;29(5):725-39. [8893213]
  2. Yueh B, Shapiro N, MacLean CH, Shekelle PG. Screening and management of adult hearing loss in primary care: scientific review. JAMA. 2003 Apr 16;289(15):1976-85. [1269780]
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