Ultimate Ears | In-Ear Monitors for Musicians & Sound Engineers

Wax Happens. A Few Points to Consider Before Setting Your Impressions Appointment

What to do before Your Audiologist appointment

You’ve made the bold move to get custom in-ear monitors. You’ve debated and asked around and now you are ready to get your impressions made.  You are stoked. You’ve made the appointment to see your local audiologist; you’re on your way! Then you hear the terrible news… the audiologist looks in your ear and says, “You have wax build-up in your ears and I can’t take your impressions today.” Or even worse, they tell you that you have “impacted ear wax.” You are embarrassed and demoralized.  How did you even get here? This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Well, my friend, an ounce of preparation beats at a pound of bummer any day. If you could take a look in your own ears, you would see the problem and fix it. You would have prepared your ear hole before you got to the appointment. It would have saved you time and egg on your face.

That’s why we are here, to help you help yourself to clean and happy ears. Not to mention a happy and fruitful audiologist appointment. Here’s the nitty gritty, 20% of the population has your same problem and it can be a simple fix. The key word is prevention. So let’s get started.

SUPPLIESWhat you’ll Need

  1. Got to the store. When you are there, get yourself a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide. Get the 3% one. It will only set you back a couple of bucks.  
  2. You’re gonna need an ear syringe. They can sometimes be found separately, but in the worst case, you can find them as a part of an ear wax removal kit.
  3. Get some Kleenex or your favorite brand of tissues and a cup to hold some warm water. You might have a cup at home, if not get it at the same store.

INSTRUCTIONSHow to Safely Clean your Ears

When you get home, open the hydrogen peroxide and pour enough to fill the cap of the bottle.  Squish the ear syringe and put it in the cap with the peroxide. Now the syringe has the peroxide in it, and the cap is just about empty.

Lay down on your right side so that your left ear is toward the sky.  Take the syringe with the peroxide and gently squeeze it into your ear.  Fill it up so there is some peroxide in the bowl of your ear.

Have a seat.  After 2-3 minutes, if you have wax in your ear, you will hear popping/ fizzing/ bubbling sounds in your ear. This is the sound of the peroxide dissolving the wax.  Don’t panic, it is all normal.  After about 10 minutes, or when the noises in your ear canal stop, take a tissue and cover your ear so the peroxide doesn’t leak out when you stand up.  Take you, your syringe and a cup, and head on over to a sink.

Fill the cup up with warm water.  Water that is too or hot or cold will make you dizzy. Nobody likes that.  Take the syringe and squeeze it. Place it in the cup so that it will soak up the warm water into the bulb.  Put your left ear down toward the sink, and remove the Kleenex. Put the syringe in your ear and squeeze it to flush out your ear, the peroxide and hopefully the wax. You might want to make sure you give it some force when you squeeze the bulb. The idea is to get the water behind the wax and flush it out. If you feel plugged up,  you didn’t get all of the wax out.  You’re gonna need to try it again. You might even have to flush out your ear 4 or 5 times to really get it clean. Don’t be grossed out,  you should see wax in the water if you had wax in your ear.  If your ear feels open and clear, then you should be good to go. You are a wax removal master and free and clear of cerumen [that’s the fancy medical name for wax]. If you still feel plugged, put the peroxide back into your ear and sit for another 10 minutes.  If you hear the noises again, you know that the wax is still hiding in there!

Let’s be thorough and even if you feel open and clear, humor us and give it one more go-round. If you don’t hear any noises then boom! you’re all done with that ear.

Now take it the flip side and do your right ear. Follow the same instructions as your left ear. Once the audiologist says both ears are clear,  you should use a Q-tip doused in some hydrogen peroxide on a weekly basis for maintenance. This way the wax will not build up!  Don’t go deep into the ear canal with the Q-Tip; just as far as your monitors will go.

Now you are ready to strut on in the audiologist and get some impressions done. And you will leave a great impression. This is what we call a win-win.

Now get to cleaning. Your ears and your audiologist will thank you.

***Disclaimer***
These suggestions for wax removal are for those persons who know they have “healthy” ears and do not have a perforation of the ear canal, or an ear infection of any kind.  If you do have a tender ear, pain in the ear or ear canal, drainage or discharge from either ear canal- do not attempt this cleaning procedure. Instead, consult an audiologist or your physician.

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