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At the UW Carbone Cancer Center, the state's only comprehensive cancer center, patients with head and neck cancer are seen by a multidisciplinary team.
At UW Health, our team of otolaryngology specialists is at the forefront of providing in-office treatments for swallowing disorders and many voice, resonance and airway conditions. Our experts see patients with concerns related to speaking and voice, as well as swallowing disorders, and have an international reputation for providing highly specialized care. Our ear, nose and throat physicians work together with audiologists to evaluate and treat patients with hearing impairment, dizziness and balance disorders. UW Health surgeons use minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible, with benefits to patients including less pain, shorter hospital stays and a quicker return to the lifestyle to which they're accustomed.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Come in for a free hearing evaluation and receive a FREEcaption call phone (restrictions apply).
Whether it be an ENT (Ear, nose, throat doctor), audiologist, or hearing instrument specialist, an ear doctor's office can look a little bit odd with all of the various tools and instruments.
An otoscope is most commonly used to look inside the ear to look for ear wax buildup, signs of ear infection, and diagnose other issues. This instrument is used by a wide range of medical professionals, including your general physician.


There are a couple of common instruments that ear doctors use to remove ear wax in their office. A curette is a long, skinny instrument with a small scoop on the tips that can fit inside the ear canal.
Many people are a little scared to think of a doctor putting this device inside of their ear, but rest assured that doctors are professionals and the last they they want to do is damage your ear or hurt you.
Irrigation is used by many professionals to clear built up ear wax and debris from the ears. In the office, ear doctors often have a slightly stronger irrigator that allows a solution to flow through the ears a bit more. Our staff has been recognized nationally and internationally for excellence in the research and treatment of ear, nose, throat, head and neck disorders.
Timothy McCulloch, the chair of the Division of Otolaryngology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, is part of a department that balances innovative treatments along with tried and true methods. Our specialists from otolaryngology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, speech-language pathology, dentistry and neuroradiology are among the nation's leaders in head and neck cancer treatment. An otoscope (also known as an auriscope) is a medical instrument that allows healthcare professionals to better see the outer and middle portions of the ear. In young children and infants, an otoscope can diagnose issues that the child can not vocalize what is bothering them, as in the case of a baby with an ear infection.


It is used at routine checkups to make sure that all is well and looks healthy in your ears.
For most cases of ear wax buildup or blockages, patients will be sent home with an at-home ear wax removal kit. Curettes are used to gently scoop ear wax out of the ear and is handy when ears are especially compacted with ear wax. The solution used is generally a medication that softens ear wax so that it can be removed easily. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the instruments used in the office so that you have an understanding of what your doctor plans to use and why. In adults, an otoscope can confirm symptoms and help the doctor understand how to treat your ears. If you visit your physician or an ear doctor with complaints about ear pain or discomfort, and otoscope is likely the first instrument that will be used to look at your ears. However, some tools are needed for severe cases in which ear wax cannot be removed at home with a kit.



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