Ear wax is natural but sometimes it can build up causing a blockage of the ear canal resulting in hearing loss and sometimes ear infections causing discomfort and/or pain.
Wax occurs naturally in the ear canal and is present to protect your ear from dirt and dust. It is produced in the outer third of your ear canal and naturally migrates out of your ear in most cases. There are a number of reasons ear wax may build up and cause you a problem:
- Wearing ear plugs or hearing aids can sometimes stop this natural migration of wax out of the ear causing a blockage
- Use of cotton buds will push the ear wax down the ear canal and can cause impaction of wax against the tympanic membrane (ear drum) stopping the natural movement of wax out of the ear
- Some medications can change the consistency of the ear wax meaning it gets stuck in your ears or can increase the amount of wax produced
- Hairy ear canals can mean the wax gets stuck
- Very narrow ear canals can mean the wax can’t move out naturally
Some of the symptoms of wax build up may be
- Hearing loss
- A blocked sensation in one or both ears
- Fluctuating hearing where the ear may block up when you get water in your ear or when you push the ear in a certain way
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ear
- Pain in the ear
How do you remove wax from your ears?
Trying to remove wax from your own ears is not recommended. Cotton buds are a no no. remember the saying ‘Nothing smaller than your elbow should go in your ear’’
At Echuca Moama Hearing we use Direct Vision Microsuction. Often wax softening spray or drops are recommended for a few days prior to your appointment to soften the wax from the ear canal walls. It is important that you only put drops in your ears if you know that you do not have an infection or a hole in your eardrum. If you are unsure wait until your ears have been examined by an audiologist before administering any softening agents.
We examine your ears using an otoscope to see into your ear and assess the wax build up. A test called tympanometry is performed to check the movement of your eardrum and ascertain whether there is a wax blockage, a hole in your ear drum or perhaps a blockage of the middle ear.
Microsuction uses a low pressure vacuum to gently and safely remove the wax from your ear canal. This is a painless process which normally can be done in less than 30 minutes. It is preferable to avoid having water put into your ears as this can create a moist environment in which bacteria may thrive.
If you are concerned about wax build up, have a blocked ear or ear pain make an appointment at Echuca Moama Hearing to have the wax removed safely and painlessly via direct vision microsuction.
If you would like to speak about ear wax removal options, please email Echuca Moama Hearing at email@example.com or call us on (03) 5480 1655. Pensioners and DVA clients can be seen through the Commonwealth Government’s Hearing Services Program. No referral is required.