Preparing for your appointmentBy 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.
- Earwax. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/earwax.cfm. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Dinces EA. Cerumen. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Clinical practice guideline: Cerumen impaction. Alexandria, Va.: Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. American Academy of Otalaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/Practice/upload/FINAL-CerumenImpaction-Journal-2008.pdf. Accessed April 26, 2011.