Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. In some rare cases, however, you may be referred to a specialist in ear disorders (otolaryngologist).

As you prepare for your appointment, it's a good idea to write a list of questions. Your doctor may have questions for you as well. He or she may ask:

  • How long have you been experiencing symptoms, such as earache or difficulty hearing?
  • Have you had any drainage from your ears?
  • Have you experienced earache, difficulty hearing or drainage in the past?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?

What you can do in the meantime

Don't attempt to dig out earwax with cotton swabs or other items — such as hairpins or pen caps. This can push the wax farther into the ear and cause serious injury to the ear canal or eardrum.

Aug. 18, 2011