While often overlooked, earwax plays an important role in protecting our ears from dirt, debris, infection, and irritation. However, excessive earwax buildup can lead to discomfort, impaired hearing, and even temporary hearing loss. While there are numerous over-the-counter (OTC) earwax removal kits available, knowing how to use earwax removal drops properly is necessary.

In severe cases of earwax buildup, OTC earwax removal kits may not be able to help. This is where audiologists come into play, armed with their expertise and specialized tools to ensure healthy ears and optimal hearing.

Side Effects of Excessive Earwax 

Excessive earwax, otherwise known as impacted cerumen, can lead to a range of bothersome symptoms and potential complications. Understanding the side effects of excessive earwax highlights the importance of seeking professional advice from an audiologist for proper management.

Does excessive earwax mean anything?

When earwax accumulates beyond normal levels, it can lead to a variety of issues. Blocked or partially blocked ear canals can result in a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ears, decreased hearing acuity, and even temporary hearing loss. Excessive earwax may also contribute to tinnitus (ringing in the ears), earaches, and dizziness or imbalance.

How should I use ear wax removal drops? 

Using earwax removal drops can be an effective way to manage excessive earwax, but it’s important to approach their usage with caution. Seek guidance from a medical professional or an audiologist before using earwax removal drops.

Audiologists can assess your specific situation, examine your ears, and determine if the use of earwax removal drops is appropriate for you. Factors such as existing ear irritation or infection or recent ear surgery or injury need to be considered.

Follow instructions carefully

If your audiologist has advised the use of earwax removal drops, carefully read and follow the instructions provided with the specific product. Each brand or variant may have slightly different instructions, so it’s important to understand and follow the recommended usage guidelines.

Pay attention to any precautions mentioned in the product packaging. Most of these precautions may include avoiding the use of earwax removal drops if you have an ear infection, a perforated eardrum, or if you have experienced any adverse reactions to similar products in the past. 

Proper application technique

Generally, earwax removal drops are applied by tilting the affected ear upward and gently squeezing the recommended number of drops into the ear canal. It is recommended to remain in that position for the recommended duration as specified in the instructions to allow the drops to penetrate and soften the earwax.

Remember, the guidance and expertise of an audiologist are essential to ensure the safe and appropriate use of earwax removal drops. The knowledge and assessment of your individual circumstances will help determine the most suitable course of action for your ear health.

What should I avoid while using earwax removal drops? 

Attempting to remove the earwax on your own, using improper techniques or tools, can potentially worsen the situation and lead to further complications. Pushing objects like cotton swabs or hairpins into the ear canal can push the wax deeper, risking injury to the delicate structures of the ear and potentially causing perforations or infection.

Ear Wax Problems: When to see a doctor? 

While earwax removal drops can be effective, they may not be suitable for everyone or for all cases of excessive earwax. If you experience any unexpected or severe symptoms, such as pain, itchiness, or discomfort, and if the drops do not alleviate the issue, it is recommended to seek professional help from an audiologist. 

Audiologists can provide further evaluation, and guidance, or perform professional earwax removal if necessary.

Professional Earwax Removal in Madison and Huntsville, Alabama

Visiting an audiologist for excessive earwax and related problems is important. Audiologists have the tools and expertise to examine the ear canal, determine the extent of the earwax buildup, and recommend the safest and most effective removal methods. 

At Alabama Hearing Associates, we can perform professional earwax removal using specialized tools, ensuring the proper balance between safety, comfort, and efficacy. 

Our audiologists can offer guidance on preventive measures and ongoing ear care to maintain optimal ear health.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our clinic in Huntsville and Madison, Alabama!

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Dr. Jan Liles

Dr. Liles earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Montevallo and her master’s degree from the University of Alabama. From 1991 to 2001, she worked with two ENT medical practices and initiated one of the first newborn hearing screening programs in the state. In 2002, she was awarded a doctorate in audiology from the University of Florida. Dr. Liles and her longtime best friend, Dr. Sheehy, founded Alabama Hearing Associates in January 2002.