There is no shortage of earwax removal tools on the market.
You have Eardrops, Q-Tips, car keys, crazy corkscrew tools, and even vibrating suction devices. But perhaps the most intriguing device that you can find online is the video endoscope. A video endoscope is a camera with a light that lets you look into dark areas, like your ear canal, so you can see what's inside. Some companies have added wire loops to the end of these devices so you can attempt to remove your own earwax. Advertisements from these companies show a party-like atmosphere of young adults removing their own earwax with this tool.
Since these companies clearly indicate that the self removal of earwax using a video endoscope is safe, fun, and effective, I decided to review this product myself. I invited back Retired Nurse Practitioner, Heather Wen, who you may recognize from my Ear Candling video. Heather always has plenty of earwax for us to remove and she wanted to see if this video endoscope would do the trick so she could stop coming to see me.
After multiple attempts, Heather was unsuccessful using the Video Endoscope to remove her earwax. It had a few main issues, First, it didn't help her see her earwax because the camera is too big. There wasn't enough room in her canal to insert the camera and still remove the earwax.
Second, the metal loop on the Video Endoscope move around too much. Removing earwax is difficult with the proper instrumentation, let alone a flimsy wire attachment.
Since Heather was unsuccessful, I decided to see if I could remove some of her earwax. I was able to get some out, but only because I knew how to maneuver the wire loop without looking at what I was doing. Some earwax came out, but there was still plenty left behind.
However, since I'm a licensed Audiologist with years of training and experience under my belt, I probably am not the best representation of a friend or family member using this tool to remove your earwax.
This is why we brought in my front office assistant Kris.
Kris has ZERO experience removing earwax so she is the perfect representation of a friend or family member. Upon attempting the removal of earwax for less than 1 minute, Kris scraped Heather's ear canal and jammed the earwax into her ear canal. This resulted in an abrasion on Heather's ear canal, and an irritated, albeit non-punctured, eardrum.
The moral of the story is that attempting to remove your own earwax, or having a friend or family member attempt to remove your earwax is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Earwax removal should only be attempted by a licensed professional like an Audiologist, Hearing Instrument Specialist, Otologist, or Otolaryngologist.
While using a Video Endoscope to remove your own earwax may seem like a good idea, and great way to save some money. It is really just another dangerous tool that I would consider even more dangerous than Q-Tips for removing earwax. So while you might save a little money buying products like these to remove your earwax, you may also require expensive surgery if you accidentally make a mistake.