Ear wax (cerumen) is an organic substance produced naturally by your ears to flush away debris and prevent infections, but an excess can become problematic and even lead to permanent hearing damage.
As much as possible, nature should take its course when dealing with excessive earwax; however, in certain instances an OTC product may be needed to loosen it and allow more air into your ears.
Earwax is a natural part of the ear’s process
Most people’s ear canals produce and expel earwax on an ongoing basis, also known as cerumen, in an effort to protect the eardrum from dust and debris as well as absorb sound waves and regulate pressure within their ears. Some individuals produce more earwax than others which may build up and cause itchy ears, ringing ears or blocked canals; it typically falls out during bathing sessions or removal by professionals; although doing this on one’s own is generally sufficient. It is important to remember that professionals use special instruments and techniques in order to avoid damaging either canals or drums in terms of protecting both these organs!
Earwax can be softened at home to facilitate its passage out more quickly, using baby oil, mineral oil, glycerin or 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in an eye dropper and applying several drops into each ear canal with it. Tilting your head sideways while tilting back will allow the liquid to help soften earwax build-up to break apart more easily. You could also run room temperature water through each canal to loosen and drain any build-ups of earwax from buildup build-up in ears – providing another option.
Syringing the ears regularly to remove earwax is also a popular method, though this procedure should never be attempted without medical supervision. Syringing can cause your body to over-produce earwax which leads to blockages and clogged canals; anything smaller than your elbow (such as cotton swabs or the end of a pencil) should never be stuck into an ear canal as doing so will push more wax back in. Sticking objects in ears may damage hearing by pushing more earwax back into the ear canal than needed – avoid doing it all together if possible!
Earwax can clog the ear canal
Most people are familiar with earwax buildup, and may worry that it is causing earaches or hearing loss. However, in most cases this should not be cause for alarm as earwax is part of our body’s natural cleaning process and usually removed by itself. On rare occasions however, it may become lodged in our canal and cause symptoms such as fullness or tinnitus; should this happen it will need to be removed professionally by a physician.
People often try to remove earwax with cotton swabs or other objects, but this can actually push more wax deeper into the canal and increase risk for infections or hearing loss. A better method for eliminating earwax is an over-the-counter earwash solution or bulb syringe for flushing your ears – these products softening and making removal simpler.
To use these products, start by tilting your head to one side while placing several drops of safe earwash or saline solution into each ear, waiting a minute or two for it to work its way through your wax and fluid build-up, and tilting again so the excess wax and fluid drain off naturally. Do this several times each day until all your earwax has vanished or use mineral or baby oil instead and wait several minutes while tilting; once this time period passes naturally.
Earwax can block sound
Earwax plays an essential role in protecting both the ear canal and eardrum from damage, but too much earwax can prevent sound waves from entering the inner ear, known as earwax impaction, the primary cause of conductive hearing loss. Signs of impaction include feeling that one or both ears have become blocked up; hearing loss that worsens over time; or ringing in one or both ears (tinnitus);
If there are signs of earwax buildup, it is wise to seek medical advice rather than attempt removal yourself with cotton swabs or other objects that could scratch or puncture the eardrum; these tools could push further deposits deeper into the canal resulting in infection or impaction of earwax deposits.
Removal of earwax involves several methods, such as irrigation and syringing. Irrigation is generally safe for most individuals and can be completed at home with either a rubber bulb syringe or commercial solution that softens wax; however, those who have recently undergone perforated eardrum surgery or experienced perforations should refrain from this method.
Syringing is an intensive procedure involving using a long, small tube to flush out your ear canal with fluid, usually recommended by health care providers or an ENT specialist. Unfortunately, this method should not be performed on children.
Many at-home devices claim to safely suction or vacuum out earwax from your ears, yet these methods may damage skin in the ear canal and perforate the eardrum, not to mention being ineffective as they only temporarily dislodge it from the ear canal and dislodge temporary blockages of wax from ear canal walls and perforate them further. Also be wary of natural alternatives like candles which claim to help unclog ears like suctioning; such treatments have been linked with injuries as well as burns due to being oversaturation of power source and suctioning out excess earwax build-up in some peoples ear canal and perforations of the perforated perforations of perforated perforations of perforated perforations of perforated perforations of perforated perforations of perforated perforations of perforations of perforated perforation of perforated perforation of perforated perforations of perforation of perforated perforations to use of temporary dislodgement of dislodged temporary dislodgement temporarily dislodgement temporarily dislodgement temporary dislodgment and people should avoid their use; similarly ear candles advertised as natural ways to remove earwax have been linked to injuries and burns associated with misuse ear wax removal by mistake.
Earwax can damage the eardrum
Ear wax is essential to overall ear health, yet overproducing or becoming impacted can create problems in the ear canal and hearing, as well as damage the eardrum. Therefore, it is best to leave the natural process of earwax production alone and only clean outer ears using washcloths or use over-the-counter drops available from most pharmacies that loosen earwax so it naturally falls out over time – these drops are safe to use without harming the eardrum!
Other home treatments claiming to remove earwax may actually aggravate the problem. Removing it regularly with cotton swabs or other objects pushes it farther into the ear canal, potentially leading to blockages and perforations of the eardrum. For infants and toddlers in particular, placing anything into their ears could prove dangerous; using fingers to dig out earwax could even result in serious injury.
Those experiencing hearing loss or discomfort in their ears should seek professional medical advice as soon as possible. A licensed Doctor of Audiology can perform an in-depth diagnostic evaluation in order to diagnose the source of their issue, and then recommend appropriate solutions.
One common approach for removing earwax is flushing with saline solution, either at home or in our offices. Unfortunately, our ENT doctors do not advise this practice because it may cause blockages or ruptured eardrums. As an alternative solution we suggest trying making your own homemade ear wash recipe using 15% baking soda solution by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water in an eyedropper bottle.
Earwax can cause hearing loss
Ear wax build-up can become problematic if it obstructs the ear canal, leading to symptoms including hearing loss that is usually temporary and correctable by professional ear cleaning services. People wearing hearing aids are at an increased risk for blockages due to earwax becoming lodged within its vents or receivers and potentially making sound muffled.
Many people attempt to remove their earwax at home using cotton swabs or other items, which may appear beneficial but could actually prove counter-productive. Cotton swabs may push further earwax deeper into the canal and damage its integrity resulting in hearing loss due to over time.
Over-the-counter earwax removal products may help soften earwax for easier removal from the ear canal, however these should only be used sparingly and as directed. Hydrogen peroxide should also only be used with caution and only after diluting properly; undiluted hydrogen peroxide could potentially harm the ear canal and its walls. Some people also use rubber bulb syringes to irrigate their ears – this method should be done gently so as to not damage the eardrum.
A hearing care provider can be the ideal way to remove earwax by offering professional ear cleaning. A hearing care professional will be able to remove any build-up and provide advice on preventing future instances. Make an appointment now by contacting Amplifon Hearing Health Care providers!