Medical Tip of the Week: Cleaning out your ears

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cerumen in ear 7-1-2016Update July 1, 2016- I just removed this from a patient’s ear. The hearing was improved right away.

November 25, 2011- by Steven E. Greer, MD

The ears are one of the most neglected parts of the body. Your primary care doctor might glance into the ear canal with an otoscope, if you are lucky. But in this screwed up healthcare system of ours, with everything compartmentalized, if a primary care doctor sees an impaction of ear wax (i.e. cerumen), they will refer you to a specialist ENT doctor. You will then, weeks later and only if you have good insurance, be seen by an ENT to have your ears cleaned out.

Most people do not bother with this time and expense and that is why many are walking around with partial hearing loss due to clogged up ear canals. Here is what you can do on your own to clean out your ears.

First, do NOT insert a cotton tip swab. That will just cram the ear wax farther into your ear. You need to dissolved the cerumen.

A very effective product is called Debrox (glycerin, propylene glycol, citric acid, and other ingredients). Follow the instructions. After about an hour, with your head tilted to allow for drainage, your ear canals should open up and you will be amazed at the improvement in hearing.

If you have any problems, we recommend seeing the nearby Urgent Care Clinic, where you will be seen within 30 minutes.

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