Although ear wax generally leaves the ear naturally, in some instances, ear wax can build up and can cause issues such as hearing loss, infection, tinnitus, a feeling of fullness, ear pain, itchiness and dizziness. Our team at Lions Hearing Clinics specialise in ear wax removal and offer specialised services to remove ear wax.
Ear wax is a substance produced by glands in the skin of the cartilaginous portion of the ear. It helps protect the ear canal and ear drum from particles, dust, bacteria and other microorganisms. The production of ear wax is a natural healthy function of the ear. Under normal circumstances intervention to remove wax is not required as the ear is self-cleaning. Ear wax normally moves out of the ear naturally with jaw movements such as eating and talking.
Causes of ear wax build up:
Although the migration of ear wax out of the ear occurs naturally, there are a number of factors that can cause ear wax to build up and need to be removed by a doctor, ENT specialist, nurse or audiologist.
The use of cotton buds and other foreign objects to clean out your ear, can actually push wax further down into your ear canal, resulting in wax impaction. In addition, using cotton buds and foreign objects increases the risk of puncturing your ear drum, causing severe pain and even hearing loss. The old mantra ‘never stick anything in your ears that’s smaller than your elbow’ still applies. Every year, thousands of children are sent to the emergency room as a result of cotton bud use (Ameen et al, 2017). In a similar way, use of inner-ear headphones can also cause ear wax to build up, as these devices push ear wax deep into your ear. To reduce ear wax build up from headphone use, use over the ear headphones.
A build-up of ear wax may be due to unusual anatomy of the ear canal and excessive hair growth within the ear. Everyone’s ear canal is unique, if your ear canal is narrow or bendy, it may make it difficult for wax to be removed by the ears natural processes.
There are many alternative or complementary remedies that are promoted to effectively remove wax in the ear, such as ear candles. However, there is no evidence that ear candling removes wax. If ear wax has been pushed deep into your ear, you may need it removed through our Lions Hearing Clinic’s specialty ear wax services.
Consequences of ear wax build up:
If ear wax builds up it can result in hearing loss, infection, tinnitus, a feeling of fullness, ear pain, itchiness and dizziness. However, these symptoms can also be indicative of other hearing issues, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call 1800 054 667 to book an appointment with our hearing specialists today.
Ear wax removal:
There a number of different treatment options available to you if ear wax has built up within your ear. You can place a few drops of olive oil or a solution available at the pharmacist into your ear, which will help soften the ear wax, allowing the ear to remove it by natural processes.
However in some circumstances, ear wax can build up significantly and may need to be removed by one of our specialists at Lions Hearing Clinics. Our experts remove ear wax from your ear using a special tool, ensuring you are comfortable at all times. Our specialists work with you to remove the wax gently and carefully. This method of removal is often the most recommended option, as it minimises the risk of ear infection.
If ear wax is completely blocking your ear, it may need to be removed by your general practitioner or an ENT. A general practitioner will use a water jet to carefully flush water into your ear canal and remove the wax. Should the first two options not be successful, an ENT may be required to remove the wax, this is achieved by using a small vacuum to suck the wax out of the ear.
At Lions Hearing Clinics, we have specialist audiologists that are experts in removing ear wax. All of our audiologists are certified by Audiology Australia (Australia’s audiological governing board), and have completed professional ear wax removal courses.
If you would like to book an appointment to remove wax in your ear, call 1800 054 667 to book your appointment today.
Ameen, Z. S., Chounthirath, T., Smith, G. A., & Jatana, K. R. (2017). Pediatric Cotton-Tip Applicator-Related Ear Injury Treated in United States Emergency Departments, 1990-2010. J Pediatr, 186, 124-130. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.03.049