Audiological Services of San Francisco

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3150 California St., Suite 1, San Francisco, CA 94115

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How Do Audiologists Perform Ear Cleaning?

Hand and Ear

Do you suffer from an excessive amount of earwax production? Perhaps your ears generate so much wax that it hardens and becomes impacted in your ears? There are many reasons this might happen, and it can cause issues such as hearing loss, pain, and itchiness. If you suffer from impacted earwax, then it’s recommended you book an appointment with an audiologist to undergo professional ear cleaning.

This throws up a popular question; how do audiologists perform ear cleaning? Well, they have access to different tools which allow them to try various methods. Here’s what they do for you:

Ear examination

If you go to an audiologist for ear cleaning, then the process starts with an extensive examination of your ears. This is to see how bad your earwax situation is and assess what method might be most effective for you.

Softening drops

In some cases, your audiologist will prescribe you softening drops to apply at home. They give you some while you’re there, and show you how to use them. After a few days, they call you back in to see how things have gone. If your earwax problem is minor, this may be all you need to clean your ears. However, in a lot of cases, these drops are merely used to soften the hard wax and make it easier to conduct other ear cleaning methods.

Manual removal using a cerumen spoon

A cerumen spoon is a tiny tool with a long handle that gets inserted into your ear canal. Your audiologist will essentially use this instrument to scoop out the wax that’s been sitting in your ear. By softening it beforehand, the wax becomes much easier to remove using this manual method. It’s pain-free, but there may be some slight irritation that goes away following the treatment.

Pressurized water irrigation

In more severe cases, manual removal won’t work. So, your audiologist may choose to use the irrigation method. This involves using a syringe that sends pressurized water into your ear canal. The aim is to force the wax out of your ears, where it is caught in a small bowl they place below it. This isn’t the most comfortable method, which is why audiologists try to avoid it wherever possible.

Ear vacuuming

This is possibly the best method of ear cleaning that an audiologist can offer. It’s great at getting rid of stubborn earwax, and the concept is very straightforward. They insert a tiny tube into your ear which sucks out the impacted wax. It’s considered to be the most painless method and is highly effective at getting rid of excess earwax.

If you need professional ear cleaning, then you’ll most likely undergo one of these treatments. It all depends on your personal situation. The audiologist will carry out their initial exam and could prescribe ear drops to help soften things up. Then, it’s a case of figuring out which technique will work best for your particular earwax problem. One thing’s for sure; all methods are proven to work and can provide more effective cleaning than you’re able to manage at home.


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