General ENT

Ear Cleaning

Cerumen (Ear wax) is produced by glands present within the ear canal. It usually contains dead skin, oil and sweat. The primary function of earwax is to protect the ear skin from infection and from water. Some patients produce different quantities of earwax. An excess of earwax may often block the ear and cause deafness. It can also help bacteria to remain trapped inside the ear canal and cause further infections.

Earwax can be classified into wet and dry wax. Wet wax can either be soft or hard. Hard wax may get stuck inside the ear. This condition is often called impacted earwax and can be quite difficult to remove.

Normally, people use several methods for earwax removal. A variety of cotton tipped ear buds are available in the market. People also use pins and even their finger nails to remove wax from their ears. However, none of these methods of removing ear wax are recommended by doctors, as they may either push the wax deeper inside the ear canal, or they may cause injury to the ear drum by making a tear or a hole in it.

It is best to go to an ENT specialist to get your ears cleaned as they use tools designed to help clean your ears without causing injury or harm.

Doctors at Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists place a metal speculum inside the ear and remove the wax using a probe or suction device aided by a microscope and bright light.