Earigator Cerumen Irrigation

One of the most common phone calls that my hearing care clinic receives is:  Do you provide professional ear wax removal?  As Doctors of Audiology, we say yes. We not only provide ear wax removal services but that we also educate patients on the causes of ear wax build-up and provide options for cerumen management systems such as the Earigator cerumen irrigation.

Ear wax buildup is extremely common with hearing aid use and in many cases, patients can be taught successful ear wax removal techniques to successfully perform ear cleaning at home as part of their hearing care plan.  That being said, however, once most patients learn about and experience our new ear cleaning service via the Earigator wax removal system they opt for ear irrigation in the office on a routine basis not only for removing their cerumen but also for the pure pleasure of the massage like sensation that it provides.

Features and Benefits of Earigator

Historically when having cerumen removed patients have experienced manual removal with instruments, irrigation via large intimidating syringes, or suction removal via a vacuum system.  Although all three of these methods are effective they each have downsides that can lead to a less-than-pleasing experience.

Manual removal utilizes metal instruments that can cause pain when coming into contact with the bony portion of the ear canal. Large metal syringes used for irrigation have unregulated water flow that can cause painful irritation to the canal wall and or the eardrum.  Suction, my preferred method prior to the Earigator in trained hands although painless can be very loud and uncomfortable.

The primary benefit to the patient of the Earigator is the soothing comfort of the procedure itself.  Imagine body temperature water being massaged into your ear and bathing your external auditory canal with warmth and gentle pressure that eliminates ear wax in minutes in most cases causing most patients to ask  Is that it? Are you done?

Fully automated temperature and water pressure controls ensure comfort and safety. The stable body temperature provided by the Earigator ensures comfort and avoids the triggering of vertigo often caused by manual irrigation systems. The highly effective and pain Earigator has been used on tens of thousands of patients without any adverse effects.  Patients simply sit back and enjoy the feeling of warm water bathing their ear canal in a massage-like pattern without lingering pain commonly associated with traditional ear wax removal procedures.

Can the Earigator help with treating smelly ear wax?

The Earigator cerumen irrigation system is a medical device used by healthcare professionals, typically audiologists or ENT specialists, to safely remove excessive ear wax or cerumen from the ear canal. It’s a controlled and gentle method that involves flushing warm water into the ear canal to dislodge and remove wax buildup.

While the Earigator can be effective in addressing wax accumulation, its primary goal is to manage earwax-related concerns like hearing loss, discomfort, or irritation. If you’re dealing with smelly ear wax, it’s important to first ascertain the underlying cause, as odor can result from various factors including bacterial growth or trapped debris.

Consulting an audiologist is recommended to accurately diagnose the issue and determine the best approach how to treat smelly ear wax, which might involve proper cleaning methods, ear drops, or other specialized treatments depending on the cause.

What to Expect During Earigator Cerumen Irrigation

First and foremost you should expect a relaxing, pain-free, and effective procedure when using the Earigator to remove your ear wax buildup.  Most patients report a desire for us to keep going even though the wax has been removed and many patients schedule routine visits just for the massage-like experience.

Are There Any Risks or Complications Linked to Earigator Cerumen Irrigation?

Addiction to comfort is a possibility!  In all seriousness though there are possible complications if you have a history of middle ear surgeries, eardrum perforations, and or chronic ear infections so our audiologists will be sure to ask you these questions prior to using the Earigator.

Tips for keeping your ears healthy and free from wax build-up

The external auditory ear canal is lined with follicles of hair above the skin and below the skin lies glands that produce oily secretions called cerumen.  Ear wax typically, self-clears from the ear thanks to the outward migratory growth of skin from the eardrum towards the opening of the ear canal.  At the opening of the ear canal ear wax will either fall out on its own or be removed while washing.

Should wax not self-clear, be removed during washing, or managed by an audiologist it can build up and actually cause a conductive hearing loss.  Wax-induced hearing loss is common and we see at least three patients per month suffering from long-term hearing loss that was simply caused by wax and corrected via the use of the Earigator.

Although ear wax protects the ear, too much ear wax can occlude the ear canal and cause hearing loss.  Some patients simply produce more wax than others, while others may have excessive ear hair or coarse hair that prevents wax from migrating out of the canal.  Additionally, hearing aid use may impede self-clearing of wax from the canal reinforcing the need for consistent follow-up care not only to service your hearing aids but to maintain good ear health.

Historically, though the leading cause of ear wax buildup leading to impaction that I see clinically has been due to patients’ trying to get their ear wax out with cotton swabs, bobby pins, pen caps and/or streaming water from the shower head, or from a bulb syringe.  Even though patients may clear some of the wax they inadvertently push the wax deeper and wind up blocking their ear canal.  As a result, I’m a strong advocate of not reaching into your own ear.

Should you desire to remove ear wax buildup, consider using any number of FDA-cleared softening agents and / or hydrogen peroxide.  Simply laying your head flat and pouring a capful of hydrogen peroxide into your ear canal and allowing it to soak for two minutes once a month is typically enough to manage ear wax.  For heavily impacted ears I recommend two times daily for four days to really soften up ear wax followed by a visit to the clinic for the use of the Earigator cerumen management for complete wax removal.  Obviously, if you have a history of eardrum perforations please do not put liquids in your ears as described above.

Why did a ball of wax fall out of my ear after using an Earigator cerumen irrigation?

The sight of earwax falling out of the ear following an Earigator cerumen irrigation is not uncommon and often signifies the successful removal of built-up earwax. When using the Earigator, the gentle flow of warm water helps to dislodge and flush out accumulated earwax that might have been causing discomfort or hearing issues.

As the irrigation process continues, the softened earwax gradually loosens and breaks apart, which can then lead to pieces of wax naturally working their way out of the ear canal. This occurrence is typically a positive outcome, indicating that the procedure effectively removed excess earwax. However, if you experience any discomfort, pain, or unusual sensations, it’s advisable to consult a qualified audiologist for further guidance.


Ear wax removal no longer has to be scary or painful!  Thanks to Earigator cerumen management, you can now experience a spa-like procedure that is painless, fast, and extremely effective at managing ear wax.

Dr. Al Turri

Al is the Director of Audiology for The Villages Health in FL, where he leads a team of nine audiologists. He earned a doctoral degree from the Pennsyvania College of Optometry School of Audiology in 2006. He was selected for a coveted clinical fellowship at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, where he completed his residency treating hearing loss, tinnitus and providing aural rehabilitation.
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Dr. Al Turri

Al is the Director of Audiology for The Villages Health in FL, where he leads a team of nine audiologists. He earned a doctoral degree from the Pennsyvania College of Optometry School of Audiology in 2006. He was selected for a coveted clinical fellowship at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, where he completed his residency treating hearing loss, tinnitus and providing aural rehabilitation.
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