How Ear Wax Removal Works: What to Expect at Your Appointment

  • By Peter Byrom
  • 31 May 2024
  • 3 minutes 10:57am

Ear wax, or cerumen, is a natural substance produced by glands in your ear canals. While it plays a crucial role in protecting and lubricating your ears, excessive build-up can cause discomfort, hearing loss, and even infections. At our audiology clinic, we specialise in safe and effective ear wax removal. Here’s what you can expect when you visit us for this procedure.

Why Is Ear Wax Removal Necessary?

Ear wax helps trap dust, foreign particles, and microorganisms, preventing them from reaching deeper into your ear. It also helps to prevent irritation of the ear canal skin by acting as a waterproof lining. However, when too much ear wax accumulates, it can become impacted and cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Hearing loss

  • Earache

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

  • Itchiness

  • Dizziness

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to consider professional ear wax removal.

How Is Ear Wax Removal Performed?

At our clinic, we offer several methods for ear wax removal, each designed to safely and comfortably clear blockages. Here’s an overview of the procedures we use:

1. Microsuction

Microsuction is a highly effective and safe method of ear wax removal. This procedure involves the use of a specialised suction device to gently remove wax from the ear canal. During the process, we use a microscope to carefully view the ear canal and ensure the wax is thoroughly and safely removed.

What to Expect:

  • The procedure is usually quick, often taking just a few minutes per ear.

  • It is generally painless, though you may feel a slight sensation of pulling or suction.

  • There is no need for pre-treatment with ear drops, making it a convenient option.

2. Irrigation

Ear irrigation involves flushing the ear canal with a controlled stream of water to dislodge and remove ear wax. This method is effective for softer wax and can be a good alternative if microsuction is not suitable.

What to Expect:

  • Before the procedure, we may advise you to use ear drops for a few days to soften the wax.

  • During the procedure, warm water is gently introduced into the ear canal using a specialised machine.

  • The process is usually comfortable, but some people may experience mild dizziness or discomfort.

3. Manual Removal

In some cases, especially with very hard or impacted wax, manual removal using specialised instruments might be necessary. This method allows us to carefully extract the wax piece by piece.

What to Expect:

  • We will use a headlamp and tools such as a curette to gently remove the wax.

  • The procedure is performed with great care to avoid any damage to the ear canal.

  • It is usually painless, but you may feel some pressure during the removal process.

Aftercare and Follow-Up

After your ear wax removal procedure, we will provide you with advice on how to keep your ears healthy and prevent future build-ups. Here are some general tips:

  • Avoid using cotton swabs or other objects to clean your ears, as these can push wax further in and cause impaction.

  • Use ear drops if recommended by us to keep the wax soft and less likely to build up.

  • Schedule regular check-ups, especially if you are prone to excessive ear wax production.

If you experience any unusual symptoms such as persistent pain, discharge, or significant hearing loss after your procedure, contact our clinic for a follow-up appointment.


Ear wax removal is a routine procedure that can significantly improve your comfort and hearing health. At our audiology clinic, we are committed to providing safe, effective, and personalised care. If you have concerns about ear wax build-up or need professional removal services, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us. Your ears are in expert hands!

For more information or to schedule your consultation, contact our clinic today. We look forward to helping you maintain optimal ear health, as your listening experts.

Your audiologists,

Peter & Nicole

Peter Byrom is an Audiologist and Hearing Aid Dispenser who specialises in a range of Audiology & Hearing Aid Dispensing services. Based in Sheffield he covers all of South Yorkshire including Chesterfield, Barnsley, and Rotherham. He is qualified with a Masters in Science (MSc) Advanced Practice and has over 25 years NHS (latterly as adult clinical lead) and 15 years private sector experience. He is registered with the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists (RCCP) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). His aim is to provide the best Audiology Service available to you.

Our Clinics
  • Peter Byrom Audiology
    Thornbury Hospital
    312 Fulwood Road
    Sheffield S10 3BR
  • Peter Byrom Audiology
    12 Causeway Head Road Dore
    Sheffield S17 3DT
    0114 419 1800