Earwax protects the ears against avoidable infection. It also acts as a valuable coating for the canal. However, earwax production sometimes gets out of hand, which results in its abnormal accumulation.


Whenever you suspect you have an unusual build-up of earwax, the first thing to do is wait to observe for a few days. Sometimes, it can clear up within a few days. However, after waiting for a couple of days and nothing happens, there are other options you can try.

Use Over the Counter (OTC) Softening Agents.

Fortunately, you can get OTC cerumenolytics such as oils and eardrops from the local pharmacy to safely remove earwax. These agents soften impacted wax to aid safe removal. In some circumstances, the cerumen softens up on its own a few days later. Sometimes, however, it might need a little aiding to get out of the ear. While you do this, remember that things such as cotton swabs and hairpins can push impacted or excessive wax further into the ear canal.

Removal by Your Hearing Health Professional

Seeing your hearing health professional for earwax removal is the safest action when dealing with impacted or excessive cerumen. It enhances the chances of safe removal with little to no chances of causing further harm to your ear canal.

Irrigation or Ear Syringing

This ear cleansing method requires squirting warm water or saline to flush the wax out of the affected ear. Before the process was fine-tuned, a significant amount of water had to be jetted into the ear to force impacted wax out. First, your hearing health professional will check both ears to confirm whether you have an impacted earwax or an excessive build-up. You will then be required to use softening agents for a couple of days before returning to your hearing healthcare professional for irrigation to be done. As a precaution, you must take note of the following which may disqualify you from ear syringing or irrigation:

  • If you have a perforated eardrum
  • If you have frequent ear infections
  • If ear tubes are inserted surgically into your canal

Depending on the degree of build-up, the process will be repeated for a few days until you notice a significant reduction in your symptoms.

Micro Suction or Ear Vacuuming

This involves using a small suction tool to vacuum excess earwax. You must keep your head still during the procedure to avoid damage to your eardrum. Due to the delicate nature of this earwax removal method, it is carried out only by a hearing heathcare professional in an approved facility.