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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Ear Wax Blockage: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Ears and Hearing Disorders

Ear Wax Blockage

Alternate Names : Ear Wax Buildup

Ear Wax Blockage | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Eardrops are available at most pharmacies. These drops soften the wax and often cause it to fall out on its own. In more resistant or bothersome cases, an ear syringe may be used to remove wax blockage. This involves squirting lukewarm water into the ear. The water can dislodge the wax and cause it to fall out. Usually, eardrops are used first to soften the wax. Other devices are available in some areas, but should be discussed with a healthcare provider. Cotton swabs such as Q-tips should not be used.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Some eardrops may cause inflammation of the ear canal, especially if used more than twice per week. Slight dizziness may occur after using an ear syringe, but this goes away quickly. Cotton swabs may push wax deeper into the ear canal and cause infection. They should not be used at home. Those with a ruptured or perforated eardrum, repeated ear infections, or previous ear surgery such as ear tube insertion should avoid using an ear syringe. Such people should discuss wax blockage with their healthcare provider before treating it at home.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

The wax blockage is usually removed and people no longer have symptoms.

How is the condition monitored?

Symptoms and physical exam can be used to monitor this condition. If a person doesn't have symptoms, no monitoring is needed.

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Ear Wax Blockage: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Adam Brochert, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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