Does Earwax Need to Be Removed?

Friday, 28 Jun 2013 09:57 AM

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Question: I feel pressure in one of my ears that I think may be a buildup of ear wax or water. Is there a safe way to clean out my ear, or do I need to see a specialist?
 
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
Self-diagnosis of ear conditions is risky. You would be wiser to have your ear examined to see if you have fluid behind the eardrum or wax in the canal outside of the eardrum.
 
You would probably be surprised how many people I see who think they have wax in their ears, when they actually have a middle ear condition with fluid behind their eardrum. The small bones — called ossicles — behind the ear drum are designed to be in a non-fluid environment, and can be irreversibly damaged when they are continually bathed in fluid.

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