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.
March 24, 2015
- Earwax and care. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/content/earwax-and-care. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Dinces EA. Cerumen. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 14, 2015.
- Roland PS, et al. Clinical practice guideline: Cerumen impaction. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2008;139:S1.
- Beatty CW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 2, 2015.