Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.
Regional Medical Center
1155 Mill St

Children's Hospital
1155 Mill St

Rehabilitation Hospital
1495 Mill St

South Meadows Medical Center
10101 Double R Blvd

Skilled Nursing
1835 Oddie Blvd

Carson Valley Medical Center
1107 HWY 395
Center for Advanced Medicine B
1500 E 2nd St

Center for Advanced Medicine C
75 Pringle Way

Institute for Heart & Vascular Health
1155 Mill St

Institute for Cancer
1155 Mill St
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.
Regional Medical Center
1155 Mill St

Children's Hospital
1155 Mill St

Rehabilitation Hospital
1495 Mill St

South Meadows Medical Center
10101 Double R Blvd

Skilled Nursing
1835 Oddie Blvd

Carson Valley Medical Center
1107 HWY 395
Center for Advanced Medicine B
1500 E 2nd St

Center for Advanced Medicine C
75 Pringle Way

Institute for Heart & Vascular Health
1155 Mill St

Institute for Cancer
1155 Mill St
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Renown Regional Medical Center

1155 Mill St Reno, NV 89502
775-982-4100


Renown Regional Medical Center
1155 Mill St, Reno, NV 89502
Renown Health serves a 17-county region with a total population in excess of 750,000. Our facilities include two medical centers, a rehabilitation hospital, a skilled nursing facility, numerous medical group and urgent care facilities, and the region's most trusted health insurance provider, Hometown Health. 775-982-5000

Renown Children's Hospital

1155 Mill St Reno, NV 89502
775-982-KIDS (5437)

Renown Children's Hospital
1155 Mill St, Reno, NV 89502
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Renown Rehabilitation Hospital

1495 Mill St Reno, NV 89502
775-982-3500


Renown Rebabilitation Hospital - 1495 Mill St
1495 Mill St, Reno, NV 89502
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Renown South Meadows
Medical Center

10101 Double R Blvd Reno, NV 89521
775-982-7000


Renown South Meadows - 10101 Double R Blvd
10101 Double R Blvd, Reno, NV 89521
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Carson Valley Medical Center

1107 Hwy 395 Gardnerville, NV 89410
775-782-1550


Carson Valley Medical Center - 1107 Highway 395
1107 Highway 395, Gardnerville, NV 89410
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Renown Skilled Nursing

1835 Oddie Blvd Sparks, NV 89431
775-982-3232


Renown Skilled Nursing - 1835 Oddie Blvd
1835 Oddie Boulevard, Sparks, NV 89431
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Renown Health Urgent Care

775-982-5000

Renown Health Urgent Care
9 convenient locations
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.
Renown Lab Services offers convenient access to complete your lab work with 10 locations close to your home or work. For your convenience, many of the locations are located inside or next to Renown hospitals and medical groups. Extended and Saturday hours are available at some locations.
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Center for Advanced Medicine B at Renown Regional

1500 E 2nd St Reno, NV 89502
775-982-4100


Center for Advanced Medicine B - 1500 E. 2nd St
1500 E. 2nd St., Reno, NV 89502
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Center for Advanced Medicine C at Renown Regional

75 Pringle Way Reno, NV 89502
775-982-4100


Center for Advanced Medicine C - 75 Pringle Way
75 Pringle Way, Reno, NV 89502
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Renown Institute Heart & Vascular Health

1155 Mill St Reno, NV 89502
775-982-7888


Institute for Heart & Vascular Health - 1155 Mill St
1155 Mill St, Reno, NV 89502
Based in Reno, Nevada, Renown Health continues to be the regional healthcare leader, serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is Reno’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health network offering more services than all other local healthcare networks combined.

Renown Institute for Cancer

1155 Mill St Reno, NV 89502
775-982-5638


Renown Institute for Cancer - 1155 Mill St
1155 Mill St, Reno, NV 89502
 Back Close X

Online Health Library
Search Health Information   
 
 
 

Ear wax

Definition

The ear canal is lined with hair follicles and glands that produce a waxy oil called cerumen. The wax usually makes its way to the opening of the ear, where it falls out or is removed by washing.

Wax can build up and block the ear canal. Wax blockage is one of the most common causes of hearing loss.

Alternative Names

Ear impaction; Cerumen impaction; Ear blockage

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Ear wax protects the ear by:

  • Trapping and preventing dust, bacteria, and other germs and small objects from entering and damaging the ear
  • Protecting the delicate skin of the ear canal from getting irritated when water is in the canal

In some people, the glands produce more wax than can be easily removed from the ear. This extra wax may harden in the ear canal and block the ear. When you try to clean the ear, you may instead push wax deeper and block the ear canal.

Symptoms

  • Earache
  • Fullness in the ear or a sensation that the ear is plugged
  • Noises in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Partial hearing loss, may get worse

Treatment

Most cases of ear wax blockage can be treated at home. The following can be used to soften wax in the ear:

  • Baby oil
  • Commercial drops
  • Glycerin
  • Mineral oil
  • Water

Another method is to wash out the wax.

  • Use body-temperature water (cooler or warmer water may cause brief but severe dizziness or vertigo).
  • Hold your head upright and straighten the ear canal by holding the outside ear and gently pulling upward.
  • Use a syringe (you can buy one at the store) to gently direct a small stream of water against the ear canal wall next to the wax plug.
  • Tip your head to allow the water to drain. You may need to repeat irrigation several times.

To avoid damaging your ear or causing an infection:

  • Never irrigate the ear if the eardrum may have a hole in it.
  • Do not irrigate the ear with a jet irrigator designed for cleaning teeth (such as a WaterPik).

After the wax is removed, dry the ear thoroughly. You may use a few drops of alcohol in the ear or a hair dryer set on low to help dry the ear.

You may clean the outer ear canal by using a cloth or paper tissue wrapped around your finger. Mineral oil can be used to moisturize the ear and prevent the wax from drying.

  • Do not clean your ears too often or too hard. Ear wax also helps protect your ears.
  • Never try to clean the ear by putting any object, such as a Q-tip, into the ear canal.

If you cannot remove the wax plug or you have discomfort, consult a health care provider, who may remove the wax by:

  • Repeating the irrigation attempts
  • Suctioning the ear canal
  • Using a small device called a curette
  • Using a microscope to help

Expectations (prognosis)

The ear may become blocked with wax again in the future. Hearing loss is often temporary, and usually returns completely after the blockage is removed.

Rarely, trying to remove ear wax may cause an infection in the ear canal or damage to the eardrum.

Calling your health care provider

See your health care provider if your ears are blocked with wax and you are unable to remove the wax.

Also call if you have an ear wax blockage and you develop new symptoms, such as:

References

Riviello RJ, Brown NA. Otolaryngologic procedures. In: Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 64.

Armstrong C. Diagnosis and management cerumen impaction. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Nov 1;80(9):1011-1013.

House JC, Lee DJ. Topical therapies of external ear disorders. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 138.

O'Handley JG, Tobin EJ, Shah AR. Otorhinolaryngology. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 19.


Review Date: 9/4/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com