Ear Lavage | Earwax Removal | Ear Cleaning | AFC Urgent Care

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is naturally produced in the ear canal. This wax is generally helpful, as it protects your ear against dirt, dust and bacteria. And even though it is healthy to have earwax in your ear canal, having too much can cause clogging that can lead to discomfort or make it hard to hear. When this occurs, it may be necessary to have an ear lavage to remove earwax that is not able to naturally flush itself out.

What Is An Ear Lavage?

As a safe way of cleaning the ears, an ear lavage is performed by a medical professional that knows how to clean ears without damaging them. You may also have heard it referred to as an ear irrigation, or a wax removal. Doctors will use a syringe to clean wax or remove debris from ear canals with water or a water-saline mixture. 

Why Get Your Ears Cleaned?

Earwax buildup can cause problems with sensitive parts of the eardrum and ear canal. Safely removing excess earwax buildup can help reduce the risk of damage, improve minor hearing loss, and reduce or stop pain, itching and ringing. Along with wax, ear irrigation can also be an effective way to remove foreign materials from the ear, like food, sand, insects, etc.

Before performing an ear lavage, our doctors will ask what symptoms you've been experiencing and then examine the inside of your ear with an otoscope. Once it has been determined that you have a wax buildup, the doctor will gently clean your ears and then explain what you can do to prevent build up and keep your ears clean at home. In some cases, regularly seeing your doctor may be required for keeping your ear canals clean.

Symptoms Of Earwax Buildup

  • Decrease in ability to hear
  • Ear pain
  • Dizziness
  • Clogged sensation
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Itching of the ears
  • Drainage from the ears

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, and would like to have your ears examined and cleaned, schedule an appointment to see a doctor at an AFC near you.