Ear syringing was the first method used to remove wax from the ear canal. The original syringe design consisted of an adapted enema syringe of metal construction with a piston end. This was inserted into the ear, warm water was then used to flush the ear canal but as there was no means to regulate the pressure of the water, eardrum perforation was common with this procedure.

Ear syringing has been replaced with ear irrigation. Specialised equipment has now replaced the syringe, regulating the pressure of water, thus reducing the risk of ear perforation. However the term syringing is still commonly used when discussing ear wax removal.