Most ear blockages are caused by earwax build-up. Ear wax production is perfectly normal, but an excess can potentially be uncomfortable and painful. At this juncture, you may need your medical practitioner to remove the earwax without injuring your ear. Please do not attempt to remove the ear wax yourself!
There are several earwax removal methods. However, micro-suction has emerged as the most effective and safest technique and is also my personal favorite. I may specialise in general and sexual health, but ear wax removal is one of the services outside my field that I offer and am really passionate about. And yes — ear wax removal is suitable for everyone regardless of gender or age.
Ear blockage can cause pain and discomfort and in severe cases even partial hearing loss.
Micro-suction is a well-tolerated earwax removal technique and an efficient procedure.
An ear microscope is used so that your doctor has a clear view of the ear canal. This facilitates the thorough ear wax cleaning with little to almost no discomfort. The doctor is able to use both his hands and the required tools.
Apart from removing impacted ear wax, this form of treatment can help to clean abnormal ear discharge and remove any foreign bodies, which can cause discomfort.
Micro-suction is often successful where other methods have failed.
Generally, micro-suction is recommended for the following individuals:
Ear irrigation or ear syringing basically works by using a jet of water to dislodge the collected earwax and propel it out of the ear canal. This method is relatively effective although there are a few side effects you should be aware of.
The side effects of ear irrigation include:
Ear syringing is not recommended for persons who suffer from middle ear complaints, perforated eardrums or have had ear surgery.
Micro-Suction is favored above other ear wax cleaning methods because doctors are allowed to view the ear canal to remove earwax safely without the use of water.
Removing ear wax on your own especially with cotton buds is dangerous because you may end up pushing the ear wax further into your ear.
If you attempt to dig the ear wax out of your ear you may injure your ear and increase your risk of infection. There is also the possibility of hearing loss.
You might also leave a dislodged cotton bud tip in the ear!
While you wait you can use ear wax softening drops. They can be bought over the counter from your nearest Guardian or Watson’s Pharmacy.
There is no after-care with micro-suction, but your doctor will perform a formal hearing test to ensure that your hearing is back to normal after the earwax has been removed.
Micro-suction is a short procedure that only lasts about 10-15 minutes.
If you are not experiencing any discomfort, loss of hearing, or pain due to earwax, you should not opt for ear wax removal. However, if you are having issues, ear wax cleaning should be explored. You should never try to remove earwax on your own. Feel free to speak to your doctor to see if earwax removal method is right for you.
Compared to all other methods, micro-suction remains the safest and most effective way to remove wax from your ear. If ear wax is compromising your hearing and by extension your quality of life, you should look into micro-suction.
Any concerns should be discussed with your doctor.
Yes, the elderly should explore the option of having earwax removed. Preserving hearing in the elderly can help maintain cognitive function and vital social interactions.
Additionally, ear wax cleaning can help restore any residual hearing that an elderly person may still have.
They should be reassured that the process is not lengthy and extremely manageable.
Studies have shown that restoration of hearing in the elderly has many health benefits which includes reducing risks of depression and social isolation. Not to mention that hearing is extremely important when it comes to prevention of safety hazards.
Micro-suction is not a painful process. There may be a little discomfort particularly if the patient has an accompanying ear infection.
Yes, you will be able to hear after your earwax removal procedure if your hearing loss is due to ear wax impaction.
Ear blockage due to ear wax build-up can significantly compromise your hearing. However, after the ear wax is cleaned you will notice significant improvements.
Well, if you are not experiencing any unpleasant symptoms, there is no need to remove the ear wax from your ear.
However, if you cannot hear properly, are in pain or have discharge coming from your ear, you should consider going for ear wax cleaning.
Do not be mistaken, earwax has an important function within the ear. It provides adequate protection from dust, foreign particles, and even microorganisms. Additionally, it protects your ear canal from water irritation. Earwax is a sticky yellowish substance that is a combination of secretions from your sebaceous and ceruminous glands and dead skin cells.
However it starts to cause problems when there is a build up of it.
You may have an ear wax build-up if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Temporary, partial, or sudden hearing loss. You may find yourself having to ask people to repeat themselves or having to raise the volume on your audio devices.
- A heavy or full feeling within the ear
- Earache or inner ear pain
- Ear discharge
- Tinnitus (ringing in one or both ears)
We most certainly do not recommend ear candling. Ear candling is the process by which you place a hollow candle against your ear and light the other end in the hope that it will remove the wax.
Given the risks of burns, this method is neither safe nor effective and should not be attempted.
You should never try to flush earwax out of your ear on your own. You run the risk of causing damage to your inner ear. You may run the risk of an ear infection or hearing loss.
Instead, we suggest that you visit your doctor for an examination if you are experiencing symptoms.
Your doctor will be able to provide a diagnosis since there is the possibility that your issues may not be ear wax-related. He will also have the suitable medical equipment to address your condition.
You may consider chemical ear drops or olive oil to soften the wax within the ear.
If you are having ear-related problems that you believe may be caused by earwax build-up, do reach out to us.
Get the help you need today!