Ear Wax Removal, Austin TX

The RK Audiology Ear Spa:  Professional Ear Wax Removal 

Though there are several options for Austin ear wax removal services, RK Audiology is one of only a few Audiology offices in Austin that offers professional ear wax removal services. Now, the RK team has added a new earwax treatment option – the Earigator™ – the latest in cerumen management technology.

We’ve completely transformed both the ear wax removal experience and the expected results. Our “ear spa” treatment delivers a comfortable, effective, and fast method for cleaning your ears and eliminating buildup.

What is the Earigator™?

The Earigator™ is a newly-debuted ear irrigation system, meaning that it’s designed to “rinse out” the ear canal and structure with a safe and well-tested approach. This unique tool combines all the functionality of a traditional ear irrigation system with an otoscope, which allows the nurse or doctor to maintain full view and control of the process.

Here are just a few other features of the Earigator™ that makes it a particularly exciting new option for our patients:

  • The machine has a self-contained temperature control function, which consistently regulates the water to match your body temperature. As a result, you can avoid any caloric effects or unwanted sensations of vertigo (common side effects of other irrigation methods).
  • Precision-level pressure controls ensure quick, effective removal of even the most stubborn buildup, all while eliminating risk to the eardrum.
  • The procedure is much faster than traditional methods, taking just 3-5 minutes per ear.
  • Unlike other methods for removing ear wax buildup, the Earigator™ has no reported side effects of lingering discomfort.
  • Instead of a visit to your audiologist for a consultation and then a referral for ear wax removal elsewhere, you can now enjoy the convenience and comfort of completing the entire process at RK Audiology. Our professional and experienced audiologists will treat your ears in your choice of our conveniently located offices in Austin and Westlake.
While some may think that ear wax, also known as cerumen, is an annoying secretion, it is actually a vital part of maintaining overall ear health. Ear wax is a natural and helpful defense of the body as it protects, cleans, and lubricates the ear canal by slowing the growth of the bacteria and trapping dirt and debris. The wax is created in the outer portion of the ear canal and will usually migrate out of the ear on its own. Sometimes, outward migration of wax and skin cells can be disrupted and ear wax will start to accumulate, and eventually cause a blockage. The blockage of an ear with wax is called a wax impaction and should be removed because it can cause discomfort and conductive hearing loss. The wax impaction should be removed by a trained professional – an audiologist or an ear, nose & throat physician (ENT). There are several methods for removal, including flushing, suction, and manual removal with proper instruments. If you think you need ear cleaning, come visit one of our offices.  All our audiologists are trained in ear wax removal and will utilize video otoscopy so you will be able to see what we see, including a before and after view of your ears.

Ear Wax Removal Questions

WHEN IS EARWAX A PROBLEM?

Ear wax becomes a problem when it accumulates and forms into a plug that blocks the ear, which can cause temporary hearing loss. Earwax buildup can also cause ear pain/earache, itchiness, fullness/pressure and can even cause an ear infection.

Individuals who are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms need to seek the care of an expert audiologist or an ENT for testing, evaluation, and review.

WHAT CAUSES EXCESS EAR WAX BUILDUP?

Technically, excess ear wax does not mean that it will automatically lead to blockage, also referred to as impacted cerumen, or cause hearing problems. Ear wax is produced by the ceruminous and sebaceous gland in the outer ⅓ portion of the ear canal. When the natural outward migration process of the wax is disrupted, the ear wax can start to accumulate, and eventually lead to an impaction. 

One of the most common causes of impacted ear wax is actually those attempts to remove it at home using foreign objects like bobby pins, Q-tips or cotton swabs that push the ear wax deeper in the ear canal. Some may think that they are cleaning the ear with a cotton swab but it may be doing more harm than good.  Using earphones or earbuds is also on the list of causes for the need for ear wax removal from a professional. Additionally, individuals who wear hearing aids are more susceptible to excess ear wax buildup. Natural causes of ear wax build-up are due to anatomy; very small ear canals or curvy ear canals can cause the natural outward migration of the wax to not happen as effectively.

HOW IS EAR WAX BUILDUP TREATED?

Once it is already established that a patient has an ear wax buildup, an audiologist or an ENT can remove the excess wax using a curette (a small, curved instrument) by using a suction technique, or by using irrigation.

HOW CAN I REMOVE EAR WAX AT HOME?

There are lots of home remedies or DIY and OTC drops for ear wax removal. While some people swear by these remedies that involve flushing warm water or using ear drops on the ears, an expert audiologist or ENT will still recommend a thorough evaluation first to make sure that the root cause of the excess ear wax or buildup is established and to rule out any other underlying cause of the problem.

The use of hydrogen peroxide as ear drops is also a popular home remedy for ear wax removal. Since hydrogen peroxide is supposedly cerumenolytic, it is believed to soften, dissolve or break down ear wax easily. 

HOW CAN I TAKE CARE OF MYSELF AFTER EAR WAX REMOVAL?

As previously mentioned, excess ear wax and its buildup can be a recurring problem so even if you already had an ear wax removal, you can still encounter the same problem in the future.  Follow the suggested ear cleaning instructions of the audiologist to help lessen the buildup of earwax. The audiologist will recommend a follow-up schedule for future ear cleanings.

WHAT TO DO IF MY HEALTHCARE PROVIDER RECOMMENDS I HAVE MY EARS WASHED?

Washing the ears, also known as irrigation, is an ear cleaning method used to remove earwax buildup. Our providers will complete a thorough otoscopy to determine if a person is a candidate for irrigation. Ear irrigation is not recommended for individuals who have a perforated eardrum, or pressure equalization (PE) tubes. If irrigation is recommended, the provider will be flushing fluid into your ear canal while also holding a basin under your ear. The basin will collect the fluid flowing back out of the ear canal and any debris that is flushed out. This procedure as the potential to cause temporary dizziness, so it’s important to say seated for several minutes following the irrigation.