Cleaning Ear Wax

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Ear wax is a mixture of oil and dead skin that can build up in the ears, which needs to be cleaned out periodically. Ear wax may also be referred to as cerumen. It protects and lubricates the skin in your ear canal. Additionally, it helps to keep clean and protect against dust and water as well fungi and bacteria.Even though most people don’t think twice about cleaning ear wax today, this was not always the case.

Ear cleaning has been part of medical practice for hundreds of years. Even in ancient times it was known that ears needed to be cleaned: the Ebers Papyrus (circa 16th century BCE) says “for treatment one should push back the ears with grease and fat; then remove the dirts within.”

The methods have improved since then!

How Often Do I Need to Remove My Ear Wax?

We recommend that you clean your ears every one to two months. However, there are a few factors that can influence how often you need to remove ear wax:

  • The type of ear wax you have
  • If you use headphones or earplugs
  • If you swim regularly

At Leek Hearing Centre we recommend that you consider at least an annual visit as part of your general health care. We can check your ears to see if you need an ear wax removal service and give you regular hearing checks.

How Important is it to Remove Ear Wax?

Ear wax is great at what it does, but too much of a good thing can be bad. Excessive build-up can block sound waves from traveling into your ear canal and that will cause you to temporarily lose some of your hearing.

Removing ear wax is important because it helps keep your ears clean and free from bacteria and other organisms. This not only ensures you avoid ear infections it also means you can maintain your hearing in perfect condition. Ear wax build-up can also lead to hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and other problems. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see an audiologist for a proper evaluation.

How is Earwax removed?

Cleaning Ear Wax using microsuction
Ear Wax Removal

Another common way to remove ear wax is with an irrigation system. This involves using warm water and a syringe-like device to flush the wax out of the ears. Some people also use over-the-counter ear drops to dissolve the wax. However, it is important to consult with your audiologist before using any type of drops, as some aren’t as effective as others.

We also use microsuction as a method for cleaning the ear wax. This is a gentle and painless procedure. It usually takes around 15-20 minutes, and we will use an otoscope to get a good look inside your ears. Then we will clean out any wax or debris that’s present using suction and special tools.

There is also the instrumentation method. We use medical-grade equipment, guided by a microscope or video endoscopy, to remove the ear wax manually.

Who needs ears cleaned?

Ear wax removal should be done if you’re experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty hearing
  • Irritation in the ear
  • Desire to clean them yourself
  • Frequent ear infections

If your hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, or you have a build-up of earwax and debris in your ears that is making them feel stuffy and uncomfortable. Come see us so we can remove the ear wax from your ears using one of the approaches mentioned above.

Only a hearing and ear wax cleaning professional should be performing these procedures. We train to do these operations safely for our patients. Audiologists have access to additional equipment that enables them to see and test deeper into the ear canal. We can tell if there is too much wax in your ears and assess your hearing abilities with our knowledge and tools.

Don’t hesitate, make an appointment with us today. We can take a good look in your ears and give you a quick answer to any questions you may have. You could also take a free hearing test if necessary.

Happy hearing!

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