CityMD urgent care doctor performing earwax removal on patient

Earwax removal explained

While earwax may not be a topic we often think about, it’s worth understanding the importance of good ear hygiene and how to remove excess earwax safely.

Our team of medical professionals at CityMD dedicates themselves to giving you the best care possible. Here’s what you need to know about earwax removal as one of our many urgent care services.

What is earwax removal?

Earwax removal clears the ear canal of excess earwax. Also known as cerumen, earwax is a natural substance the body produces to protect the ear from dust, dirt, and other foreign particles.

While earwax is essential to ear health, an excessive buildup of it can cause several ear disorders and conditions. These include hearing loss, ringing or other noises in the ear (tinnitus), earaches, dizziness, and infections.

Earwax removal is a quick and straightforward procedure that can happen in several ways, including irrigation, suction, and manual removal.


How earwax removal works

There are several ways your local CityMD urgent care provider can remove excess earwax safely and effectively.

  • Irrigation. This method involves flushing the ear canal with warm water to dislodge and remove the earwax. It's a quick and painless procedure that can be done in just a few minutes.
  • Manual removal. This method involves using specialized tools to extract the wax. It's often used when the earwax is impacted — firmly blocking the ear canal — or when there is a risk of damaging the eardrum.

Remember, good ear hygiene is essential to prevent excessive earwax buildup.


How to safely remove earwax

If you’re removing earwax on your own, be cautious to avoid damage to the ear canal or eardrum. Here are a few ways to remove earwax at home.

  • Let it come out on its own. One way to remove earwax is to let the ear clean itself. Your body naturally pushes earwax out of your ear canal, so giving your ears time may do the trick.
  • Clean the outer ear. You can clean the outer ear with a damp cloth or a cotton swab, but make sure not to insert the cotton swab into the ear canal. This can push earwax farther into the ear and potentially cause damage.
  • Use ear drops. If you feel like you have too much earwax, you can use over-the-counter ear drops to soften the wax and help it come out more easily. Make sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully.
  • See a doctor. Make an appointment with your physician or walk into a CityMD urgent care if you're experiencing discomfort, hearing loss, or other symptoms. They can use specialized tools to safely remove earwax and check for potential issues.

Remember, never insert cotton swabs or other objects into your ear canal. Doing this can cause serious damage to your ear and potentially lead to hearing loss.


Do ear candles work?

You may have heard of ear candling, which involves inserting a hollow candle into the ear canal and lighting the end. Supporters of ear candling claim it can remove earwax and improve hearing.

But do ear candles work? No scientific evidence supports these claims, and the practice can be dangerous. Ear candling can cause burns, puncture the eardrum, and lead to infection.

At CityMD, we do not recommend ear candling to remove earwax. Instead, we offer safe and effective approaches such as irrigation, suction, and manual removal to help you get relief from earwax buildup.


Where to get earwax removal

Your local CityMD urgent care provides safe and effective earwax removal services to ensure you can hear clearly and comfortably.

Our team of medical professionals is dedicated to making the process as quick and comfortable as possible so you can leave feeling relief. Want to speak with a medical provider? Set up a virtual care appointment or simply walk into your local CityMD urgent care location.

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Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.