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Vol. 17 - Num. 67

Special Articles

Extraction of wax from the ear

José Ignacio Benito Orejasa, Mercedes Garrido Redondob, Juan Vicente Velasco Vicentec, Miriam Mata Jorged, M.ª Rosario Bachiller Luquee, Beatriz Ramírez Canoa

aServicio de Otorrinolaringología. Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid. Valladolid. España.
bPediatra. CS La Tórtola. Valladolid. España.
cPediatra. CS de San Pablo. Valladolid. España.
dPediatra. CS de Valladolid Rural I. Valladolid. España.
ePediatra. CS Pilarica Circular. Valladolid. España.

Correspondence: JI Benito. E-mail:

Reference of this article: Benito Orejas JI, Garrido Redondo M, Velasco Vicente JV, Mata Jorge M, Bachiller Luque MR, Ramírez Cano B. Extraction of wax from the ear. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2015;17:e223-e-231.

Published in Internet: 10-09-2015 - Visits: 276109


Through four successive articles we aim to show the procedures we consider to be most useful for the diagnosis and follow-up of otitis media with effusion (OME) by Primary care Pediatrics. In the first one, we expose what we believe is the best way to clean wax from the ear of a child.

The conclusions provided combine the recommendations offered by the main guides on extraction of wax from the ear and the literature review carried out, with the experience of a team of pediatricians and otolaryngologists from the same Healthcare Area.

Around 50% of children require clean wax from their ears in order to perform a correct otoscopy. To do this we can use the instillation of cerumenolytics, irrigation, manual removal, or any combination. There is no evidence in the literature that a procedure is better than another one.

Conclusions: after applying different cleaning techniques, we believe that if the wax is external and the ear canal permeable, the best way to remove it is by the use of blunt ear curettes or applicator with triangular tip, but if the wax is deeper or is impacted, the better choice will be washing with warm water irrigation, in this case, the previous application of a cerumenolytic will be of great help. We advise to perform such irrigation with a syringe of 20 cc and an intravenous catheter Abocat® 14-16, in order to avoid risks.


Cerumenolytic agents Ear canal Ear wax Otoscopy



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