Ear Flushing Procedures

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There are over-the-counter products that are sold to flush the ears, but the safest way to have ears flushed is by an ear surgeon or other professional. Discover reasons why ear flushing may make ear conditions worse with help from a neurologist and otologist in this free video on ear problems and hearing.

Part of the Video Series: Ear Problems
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Dr. Jack Shohet, and I'm here to talk about ear flushing procedures. There are over the counter products, that are sold to flush your ears, and there's ear flushings that are done by a primary care doctor, in their office, to remove wax from the ears. Generally, I don't prescribe to ear flushing procedures, as I as an ear surgeon, typically see the worst of those, but they are generally considered to be safe, when done by a professional. The over the counter preparations, I cannot recommend those, as they may potentially force more wax further in your ear canal, than pull out. If you feel the need to have wax removed from your ear canal, the safest way, and the most effective way, is to have it done using a microscope, by an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor. They'll use a special instrument called a curette, to pull the wax out of the ear canal, and by doing that, they can see the extent of the wax, and see the important structures to avoid, while removing it. If ear flushing is done, and there's some underlying ear condition, such as an infection in there, or a hole in the eardrum, you can actually make things in your ears a lot worse, by doing a flushing in your ear canal.

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