What would an ENT say about this ear wax removal tool?

The one thing I can think of that may be superior to the rubber bulb syringe I’ve typically used for warm-water cleaning is one of those plunger type devices like doctors use (like a hypodermic syringe). Amazon has a few, though fancy scrapers and other newfangled inventions seem to predominate. No thanks, not for me. The larger syringes seem to have a larger useful water capacity than my current rubber-bulb thingie, and probably have higher pressure and better directionality. When a doctor used one in the walk-in clinic I went to, he got the whole job done with a single fill of warm water. I might get the one on Amazon with a capacity of 60 ml just to keep on hand.

(They also have a professional-looking chrome-plated brass one, but it’s labeled as being “for veterinary use”. It would probably work fine, but there’s something disconcerting about cleaning out my ears with something that might possibly have been intended for cleaning out a horse’s ass.) :astonished:

I say you go old school and get a viking ear spoon

That doesn’t look like a “spoon” so much as just a plain rod, which would invariably push the ear wax further in. I hypothesize from this that sooner or later all Vikings eventually plugged up their ears and went deaf, which would account for their warlike fierceness and reputed bad tempers. It also explains why the most common word in Old Norse, “hvat”, translates to its probable lexical cognate as the English “what?”.

Back in the day, when the local medical insurance company felt comfortable giving warning examples to doctors, (even though the example might be ‘identifiable’), one of examples they gave was of a doctor who hadn’t tightened the parts of the syringe properly, and projected the tip into the ear of the patient.

The insurance company wrote: “We get several cases like this every year, and we always payout damages without dispute. There is no excuse.”

So yes, the chrome-plated brass ones aren’t used on people anymore.

I’ve had earwax plugs removed several times at Kaiser. One location uses the debrox/warm water syringe method, which works perfectly well. At another location the doctor used a waterpik-type device, which works but seems like overkill to me.

What ENT always says: “Don’t stick anything in your ear that is smaller than your elbow.”

It just takes a lot longer to say in Entish.

No, that’s verbatim. It is true many doctors speak venomous vollies of verbiage meant to impress or intimidate, rather than communicate. I don’t find this true of paediatricians (explain like I am five) or ENT doctors (who, unlike ophthalmologists, use monosyllabic words a lot - like ear, nose, throat and possibly ENT).

Bonus point: if your doctor calls X-rays “roentgenograms”, he/she better be over the age of seventy…

Sounds great :face_with_raised_eyebrow:, but my health insurance won’t cover the round-trip fare to Barbados.

There is nothing warm water and a 60cc syringe can’t clear. Those things work great.

Won’t somebody think of the otolaryngologists! :wink:

I used to take my cats to a veterinarian who called x-rays “radiographs.” He was correct, I suppose, but why not just say “x-ray” and avoid potential confusion?

The nice thing about medical nomenclature is you can always make it incomprehensible. I’ve worked hard throughout my career to use simpler language when talking to patients. My natural speech cadence is also too fast and I try to slow it down without being patronizing, particularly when English is not the first language.

But sometimes it is a pain in the posterior. A discomfort in the derrière. A plentitude of proctalgia. A surfeit of sympathomimetic pseudosensorineural nocioreceptive stimuli.

Or larger.

I did not read all the replies.
I have a little blue squeeze bulb that does the job. It cannot insert far enough to do any damage. I clean the sink very well. Fill a little bit with quite warm water, or just fill a clean glass with quite warm water. Suck up some clean warm water into the bulb. Squirt into ear. Rinse and repeat as much as you like. No chemicals. No poking the ear drum and such. Cheap, easy. No batteries, little environmental impact.
In the shower, you can turn down the water flow to a comfortable safe level and nice temperature then just let the stream from the shower head go into your ear. Basically free and no extra stuff needed.
Why buy anything? It is a basic easy thing.
Of course you cannot share ear selfies. Your friends will assume your ears are disgusting festering head hole sewers.

Glad to hear that–and kind of surprised that I figured all of your remarks out.

As a lawyer, I have to try to restrain myself from using “legal Latin” with clients, though I certainly can. But there’s no point, when I can explain everything in simple English to clients who are likely not familiar with Latin, much less legal Latin. I can use legal Latin with other lawyers, as a shorthand, but it’s typically not something I’d do with clients.

Okay, let’s get back to ear wax, and otolaryngologists. :wink:

@Dr_Paprika and @Kedikat , I’m glad to hear that you both have earwax that’s soft and loose enough to be removed with just flowing warm water. Not all of us are so blessed.

I’m still looking for an earworm removal tool.


Maybe try using a very mild form of ear drops at minimal intervals. Just to keep the forming wax soft. Then maybe the mild warm water flush will work better. Drops may also solve itchy ear canal, if that is an issue.

I’m sure you have heard this before, so hesitate to say it. Doctors usually recommend “softening up” the wax by using a few drops of any edible oil a couple times a day for a week or two (perhaps before shower and bedtime), then using water to flush out the ears after that. It seems to work well. If this seems ineffective, undesirable or whatever than as recommended in the post above (over the counter ear drops).

I am not an Asian man, but I also tend toward hard, dry earwax, and lots of it. I loathe any of the water shooting methods; they cause me real discomfort, and often pain. The only way I’ll have wax removed is by an ENT with a curette, and other assorted instruments. I wouldn’t say it’s enjoyable, but it’s certainly satisfying to have big chunks pulled out, and the relief when my ears are “empty” is delightful.