Ear Wax Extraction Cost


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

While ear wax can protect the ear from damage and infections, it can cause hearing problems, pain and/or even dizziness if it builds up too much.

Ear wax blockages, commonly seen by a variety of reasons, which we will get into below, may require a visit to the doctor to help alleviate the pain.

Ear Wax Extraction Cost
130312-A-RE111-221” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by JEKruger

How much does an ear wax extraction cost?

The cost of an ear wax extraction will depend on a few factors, including the doctor you visit and your health insurance policy, and for most visits to a local physician’s office or even a health clinic, the costs often range anywhere from $69 to $170 per visit without any health insurance.  Since the procedure is relatively straightforward, most doctor’s offices will just charge an office visit fee to extract your ear wax, with an ENT visit often costing a bit more than a primary doctor visit.  Using a curette, however, could add another $100 to the bill as it can be deemed as “surgical” procedure as per the Wall Street Journal.

As for health insurance, most policies will cover the visit as long as your visit was deemed medically necessary, with co-pays greatly depending upon your policy restrictions and company you use.  For the most part, be prepared to pay whatever you have paid in the past for a doctor’s visit without any testing.

The CVS Minute Clinic, as per its official pricing sheet, charges $89 to $99 for a visit, for instance.

If you do not want to visit the doctor, there are highly-rated ear wax removal products on the market that cost less than $10.




Ear wax extraction methods

Every doctor has their own preferences, but in a medical setting, doctors often resort to two options:  either an irrigation or microsuction ear wax removal method.  Regardless of which option they use, your doctor will first want to ask you questions in regards to your symptoms as well as visually inspect the ear to see if any infections exist in the ear canal.  If your doctor suspects that ear wax buildup is, indeed, the problem, then he or she will use one of the methods mentioned below:

Irrigation

The irrigation method will use a small spray-like machine which is designed to spray a liquid into the ear to break up the ear wax, but before it’s used, the solution is warmed to your body temperature to prevent any dizziness since any liquid cooler than your body temperature could cause temporary vertigo.  Once warmed to temperature, your doctor will pull your ear upward and back gently to straighten out the ear canal and will then place a container beneath to collect the liquid as it leaves the canal.  Then, once everything is in position, the doctor will aim the nozzle of the sprayer inside of the canal, aiming it so the water flows along the roof of the canal, ensuring the water steers clear of the ear drum at all times.  As this solution enters the canal, it will break up the impacted wax, allowing it to flow along the canal’s floor, essentially into the container beneath the ear.  Depending on the severity of your buildup, your doctor may need to perform the procedure more than once.

Microsuction

The microsuction process uses a medical grade vacuum pump attached to a suction tube to gently suck the ear wax out of the canal while the doctor uses a specialized microscope, allowing your doctor to see exactly where they are inside of the ear canal.  Considered to be the safest method, no liquid is required and is often the preferred method by most medical professionals.

What exactly causes ear wax buildup?

Source:  Harvard University

Symptoms of ear wax buildup

Tips to know

If your ear wax isn’t causing any problems, then most doctors will simply tell you to leave it alone and allow the ear to naturally clean itself as it pushes the ear wax out normally.  However, if you’re slowly finding out that the ear wax is slowly clogging the ear canal, then you will start to see some of the symptoms mentioned above, especially after dealing with anything water-related such as swimming and/or taking a shower.  At this point, if you’re starting to feel any uncomfortable symptoms at the point where you’re becoming dizzy and/or a slight loss of hearing, then it will need to be removed as the ear will no longer be able to naturally release it.  Seeing your eardrum is a delicate part of your body, your doctor will always recommend you come in for a visit and avoid any at-home kits to avoid any further damage


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Average Reported Cost: $303.33

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Jessica (Baton Rouge,  Louisiana) paid $550 and said:

    I am beyond mad. Just received the bill and was charged over $1,000 for a “microscopic ear exam.” All the doctor did was use a suction device and took less than 10 minutes!!!

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Mary S (Orlando,  Florida) paid $130 and said:

    Brought my son in for a doctor’s appointment and doctor confirmed wax buildup. Took a vacuum device, sucked it out and entire procedure took seconds. This $130 was for the removal ONLY and did not include office visit fee.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. Mark (Brooklyn,  New York) paid $230 and said:

    Was feeling dizzy and went to urgent care. NP examined my ear and wanted to remove ear wax. While it did help my dizzy spells, it cost me over $200+ for a silly 10-minute visit. Won’t even get into the 1 hour wait.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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