The use of a bulb syringe at home may help relieve earwax blockage more effectively than a professional ear irrigation procedure.
240 adults in the U.K. got either ear drops and a bulb syringe to use at home or ear drops and then irrigation by a clinic nurse. Patients were reassessed after 2 weeks, and those with persistent blockage had their ears irrigated professionally.
At 2 years' follow-up, patients initially managed clinically returned to the clinic for earwax concerns more often than the home-treatment group (73% vs. 60%).
The authors suggest that self-treatment with drops and then self-irrigation may be a significantly less costly alternative to a doc 'laying on hands'.
Annals of Family Medicine article (PDF, Free)