Ear & Balance

This is how an ENT Specialist removes your impacted earwax

February 1, 2020
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Earwax is a waxy material made from sebum, dead skin and secretions from the ear canal. It helps protect the ears from dust, bacteria and other microorganism. The ear canal has a self-cleansing system in which it acts like a conveyor belt, pushing the wax outwards on its own. When you move your jaw (e.g while chewing or talking), you help the earwax migrate away from the eardrum to the ear opening and it drops off on its own. Hence, one should not need to dig his or her ears.




However, in some people, they may have a tendency for wax buildup which may block off the ear canals. Common reasons for frequent earwax buildups include:


  1. Frequent ear diggers
    Putting a cotton bud (aka Q-tip) into the ear canal will push the earwax deeper and everything gets jam-packed against the eardrum. Digging the ear canals also stimulate more wax production
  2. People with small ear canals
    Some people are born with smaller ear canals and may be more likely to get wax buildups
  3. People with dry skin on the outer ear
    Some people may have dry, scaly skin just outside the ear canal (condition called dermatitis). The dry skin may extend into the outer part of the ear canal and cause wax buildup.
  4. People who use earbuds or plugs
    for prolonged period of time
  5. Genetic predisposition
    to more wax production
  6. Constantly exposed to a dirty or dusty environment
    This may stimulate more production of earwax


If using earwax softeners (available from the Pharmacy) does not help you get rid of wax buildup, an ENT Specialist can remove your earwax in the clinic (look at the 2 videos below). This is done usually under microscope or endoscope guidance with a “mini-vacuum cleaner” (procedure is known medically as Aural Toilet). As the ear canal is quite small, magnification of the visual field is important to ensure that the ear canal and eardrums are not injured during the ear cleaning process.



Ear Examination

Removal of earwax (aural toilet) under microscope guidance





If you are interested in the ultimate guide to earwax removal in Singapore, check out my aricle published in DxD by clicking on the following link:



    When Should You See an ENT Specialist in Singapore?

    • Any ear, nose or throat symptoms that you are troubled with or concerned about
    • Persistent blocked nose with mouth breathing or snoring

    Dr Gan Eng Cern

    Dr Gan Eng Cern is a distinguished ENT doctor with fellowship training. In addition to his clinical practice as an ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore, Dr. Gan has contributed to the academic field as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He is recognised for his extensive research work, with numerous contributions to reputable international ENT journals. Dr Gan is also highly sought after as a speaker and has shared his surgical knowledge as a surgical dissection teacher at various prominent ENT conferences and courses.


    • 2020 – Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best ENT Specialist (Expat Living Singapore)
    • 2016 – Best Educator Award (Eastern Health Alliance)
    • 2016 – “Wow” Award (Patient Compliment)
    • 2014 – Eastern Health Alliance Caring Award – Silver
    • 2014 – 19th Yahya Cohen Memorial Lectureship (awarded by the College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine Singapore for best scientific surgical paper)
    • 2012 – Human Manpower Development Award (Ministry of Health, Singapore)
    • 2007 – Singhealth Best Doctor Award


    • MBBS – Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
    • MRCS (Edin) – Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    • MMed (ORL) – Master of Medicine in ENT (National University of Singapore)
    • FAMS – Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Singapore

    Why Choose Dr Gan Eng Cern


    Reliable & Reputable ENT Expert

    Experienced and patient ENT Specialist who has your best interests at heart. We aim to provide you with accessible and specialized care for any ENT condition in a comfortable setting.


    Friendly & Helpful Clinic Staff

    Our friendly staff will assist you to the best of our ability and we are happy to accept most insurance providers and assist with E-filing with relevant insurance providers or Medisave.


    Advanced ENT Equipment & Fully Equipped Facility

    Our ENT Specialist, Dr Gan Eng Cern, will be able to diagnose and offer personalised treatments for your specific ENT condition. You can expect a high level of ENT care in a spacious setting with in-house minor surgical, endoscopy, allergy testing and microscopy services.


    Financial Options

    There are various financial options available for you to ensure that you are able to receive the most optimal treatment and care. Our ENT clinic staff will be able to assist you with your medical insurance claims and work with your chosen healthcare organization to minimize the hassle and paperwork required. In some cases, you may be able to utilise the funds in your Medisave account to defray part of the costs of your treatment. As our clinic is accredited by the Medisave board, we are able to process your claims from your Medisave for certain clinic procedures.

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