Earwax is generally good for the ears and in most cases, it is best to leave it alone. In fact, earwax is a natural body secretion, acting like a protective layer and lubricant in the ears. Several tests have shown that earwax has antifungal and antibacterial properties. However, too much earwax is not a good sign.
Excessive earwax can lead to blockage, impaction, and related hearing problems. Norfolk Audiology offers professional earwax removal services in Norfolk, NE.
What does it mean when earwax becomes impacted?
When earwax becomes impacted, it means that a significant amount has already built up in the ear canal to the point that some auditory concerns may be experienced. While ears are designed to clean themselves, earwax buildup can happen. Attempting to clean the ears using cotton swabs or other pointed objects only pushes the earwax further into the ears and causes further harm.
Why does earwax vary in color and texture?
The color of earwax is generally affected by age. Newer earwax tends to be lighter while older earwax darkens as it ages and accumulates more dirt. The texture, color, and amount of earwax can vary naturally from person to person.
Side Effects of Excessive Earwax
Excessive earwax may lead to symptoms of earwax blockage including ear irritation, hearing loss, etc. Impacted earwax may also make a literal obstruction in the ear, to the point that it is difficult to see into the ear, which may result in potential hearing concerns going undiagnosed.
How Do You Clean Your Ears?
The outer ear may be cleaned by wiping it with a soft cloth. Make sure not to wad up the cloth and use it to push into the ear canal.
There are various cerumenolytic solutions available in drugstores which may include mineral oil, glycerin, baby oil, saline solution, and hydrogen peroxide or peroxide-based ear drops. These types of solutions entail putting a few drops into the affected ear with a dropper or using a soaked cotton ball to put the solution into the affected ear.
Another option to clean ears is by irrigation or ear syringing. This involves using a syringe to flush out the ear canal with saline solution or plain water. Ear irrigation is usually done when the wax has been softened or dissolved by cerumenolytic solutions. This type of ear cleaning is best done by an audiologist using special tools and equipment such as a cerumen spoon, suction device, or forceps.
How Does An Audiologist Clean Ears?
In most cases, audiologists use a vacuum to suck large amounts of earwax out of the ear while loosening impacted earwax in the process. Before performing earwax removal, we assess the ears physically to check if there are any visible blockages, impaction, or perforation that we need to take note of.
Norfolk Audiology provides a complete earwax removal session that is safe, efficient, and hygienic. After earwax removal, you should find your ears feel clearer and any pain, discomfort, or itchiness may dissipate. For hearing loss triggered by impacted earwax, a significant improvement in hearing can be observed as well.
Ear irrigation is a routine procedure used to remove or loosen earwax, dirt, and foreign objects from the ears. Too much earwax or impacted earwax can cause an ear blockage which could result in tinnitus, temporary hearing loss, or earaches.
How do you know if you need ear irrigation?
Primarily, an audiologist or your hearing care provider can assess if you need ear irrigation. This recommendation will usually be based on certain factors which include hearing loss, itching, pain, or chronic cough.
Can I use a WaterPik to clean my ears?
Flushing earwax using a WaterPik jet irrigator creates a forceful flow of water that springs from the nozzle of the irrigator. If done correctly, the flow of forced water may loosen impacted cerumen. However, if used incorrectly, the WaterPik may lead to further damage or complications. We highly suggest having earwax removal done by a professional.
How often should I get my ears professionally cleaned?
Earwax production varies per individual, so there isn’t really a specific timeline on how often the ears should get professionally cleaned. On average, it’s best to schedule professional ear cleaning at least once every six months to one year.
Is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide in your ear?
When used correctly, using hydrogen peroxide to clean the ears is safe. However, using this type of component to clean the ears needs extra caution because hydrogen peroxide can cause blistering and other sorts of skin irritation. In fact, it could even lead to burns at concentrations over 10%. Overuse of hydrogen peroxide can also irritate the delicate skin inside the ear which could lead to inflammation and earaches.
Earwax Removal – Norfolk, NE
As part of our comprehensive hearing care services, Norfolk Audiology offers professional earwax removal services. If you experience muffled hearing or observe that your hearing aids are not working as they should, earwax may be a likely culprit. Our audiologists can perform a physical examination of your ears to determine what’s causing your hearing concerns.
At the end of the day, DIY earwax removal kits or home remedies may provide temporary relief or comfort, but professional earwax removal performed by an audiologist is the safest and most effective way to enjoy clean ears.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!