How to Suction the Ear Canal

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Doctors usually use suction to clean out excessive ear wax but you can do it yourself with the right tools. A doctor uses a suctioning device and ear microscope to do the cleaning, but all you need is a nasal aspirator and a few more ingredients found around your home. Be sure to follow some simple steps so that you do not damage your eardrums when suctioning the ear canal at home.

How to Suction the Ear Canal
(Jessica Isaac/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Wet wash cloth
  • Warm saltwater
  • Ear wax drops (optional)
  • Nasal aspirator
Step 1

Use a wet wash cloth to wipe out the inside of your ear lobe and any wax immediately in your ear. Wash cloths are better than cotton swabs because they cannot be inserted very deeply into the ear. Objects inserted very far into the ear can damage your delicate inner ear.

Jessica Isaac/Demand Media
Step 2

To loosen any junk inside your ear, pour warm saltwater into your ear. The saltwater will kill some microbes as an added bonus. Ear wax dissolving drops also are available. If you choose them, use the drops about 30 minutes before rinsing.

Jessica Isaac/Demand Media
Step 3

Use a clean nasal aspirator to suction your ear. (Nasal aspirators are what you use to clean out a baby's nose.) To clean it, you can soak the tip in rubbing alcohol for a minute or so, or you can hold the tip under very hot running water. Insert the tip of the aspirator only very slightly into the ear. Then squeeze the bulb and let go.

Jessica Isaac/Demand Media
Step 4

Take the nasal aspirator out of your ear and run the tip under hot water. Also squeeze out the aspirator several times under the running water to clean the inside of the device. You might need to repeat steps two and three once or twice for that ear.

Jessica Isaac/Demand Media
Step 5

When you think the first ear is clean, repeat steps 1 through 3 for your other ear. Again, take care not to insert any device inside your ear canal.

Jessica Isaac/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Be very careful when you are cleaning your ear. Do not stick anything into the ear canal. If you feel uncomfortable about suctioning out your ear yourself, have your doctor do it for you.

References

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