Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced by our bodies. It helps to protect and lubricate the ear canal. But, excessive earwax can lead to discomfort, hearing loss, and other complications. In this article, we discuss signs of too much ear wax and what a professional ear cleaning entails. We will also discuss when to contact an audiologist for excessive earwax removal.
Signs That It’s Time to Clean Your Ears
Some amount of earwax is necessary for maintaining ear health. But, there are signs that it may be time for a professional ear cleaning. The most common sign that you need a professional ear cleaning is hearing issues. Excessive earwax can block the ear canal. This can lead to temporary hearing loss or even more severe issues. A buildup of earwax can also cause tinnitus symptoms to worsen. Impacted earwax can put pressure on the eardrum. This causes pain or discomfort, often mimicking the signs of an ear infection. In some cases, excessive earwax can affect the inner ear. When this happens, you are more likely to feel symptoms of dizziness or vertigo. Earwax buildup can also create a breeding ground for bacteria. This excess bacteria can lead to ear infections, which can cause damage if left unchecked.
What Does a Professional Ear Cleaning Entail?
A professional ear cleaning often involves one of three methods. The first is manual removal. With a manual removal, a doctor uses special instruments like a curette or forceps. These tools work to remove earwax from the ear canal. The second method for ear wax removal is ear irrigation. This method involves using a syringe to flush the ear canal with warm water or a saline solution. This helps to dislodge and remove the earwax from your ear canal. The final ear wax removal method is microsuction. With microsuction, a small suction device vacuums the earwax out of the ear canal. This method is often used on people with narrow ear canals or a history of ear surgery.
A qualified healthcare provider should be performing these types of ear wax removal. Qualified healthcare providers include audiologists, primary care physicians, or nurse practitioners. This is important because it ensures safety and effectiveness.
When to Contact an Audiologist for Excessive Earwax
Some people can manage earwax buildup at home using over-the-counter ear drops. But, there are times you should consult an audiologist for professional ear cleaning. If you have tried at-home ear cleaning methods with no luck, it’s time to contact an audiologist. Furthermore, if you have hearing issues with excessive ear wax, you need to see an audiologist. If you have a history of ear infections or ear surgery, talk to an audiologist. They can go create an earwax management plan and schedule you for an ear wax removal. Regular ear cleanings are especially important for hearing aid users. Excessive earwax can impact how well the device works over time.
Professional ear cleaning offers many benefits to all sorts of people. It improves hearing, reduces discomfort, and decreases the risk of ear infections. It’s vital to your health to recognize the signs that it’s time to clean your ears. Contact the audiologists at Atkins Hearing Center for excessive earwax removal. We can help you maintain optimal ear health and prevent complications.