The effects of too much ear wax are found in the symptoms of itchy ears, feeling of fullness, tinnitus, dizziness, and hearing loss. All or even one of these symptoms can be signs of other health issues as well. It is best to have an audiologist look in the ear canals to see if there is an abnormal buildup of wax. Call our office and schedule an appointment with audiologist Dr. Kristi Mendoza to look in the canals to determine if you have wax that needs to be removed.
The process of cleaning the wax takes very little time and can save you a lot of stress and worry if you are unsure of where the ear pressure, tinnitus, pain, and dizziness can be resolved. If you come in to have your wax cleaned and there is no wax in the ear canal, or very little wax for the symptoms that you have, we can also complete a hearing test so you have more information about your hearing health.
When a blockage in the canal occurs because of wax and you try to remove yourself, you can do more harm than good. The canal skin along the wall is very thin and giving yourself a blood blister is very easy. Have a professional do it with the proper tools who can see down the canal and see what type of wax is produced and determine the best way to remove the wax in the canal. Although it seems like you can do this on your own, it is always best to have a professional like a Doctor of Audiology clean your ears. This ensures the wax does not go down your ear canal any further and prevents injury to your eardrum.
An audiologist can clean ears in a number of different ways. The wax can be removed with a tool such as a curette where the wax is gently removed from the ear canal by the Audiologist. This is often a little more painful if the wax is dry and hard as it can be difficult to get this type of wax off of the ear canal wall.
When the wax is dry and hard, sometimes we have to use drops in order to get the wax to dissolve and move away from the canal wall. The best way to have the wax removed is with the Earigator device that uses warm water to easily and safely clean the wax from your ear canal wall.
At Optimum Audiology, we have a device for cleaning wax out of the ear canal in a safe and painless manner that is called the Earigator.
Dr Mendoza was introduced to it by her colleagues at Entheos. They talked highly of the unit which would clean ear canals without the discomfort often seen with other devices.
The unit consists of a basin of water that is heated to body temperature and is then used to flush out the ear canal. The earigator is quick and painless and before you even realize it, the wax is totally cleaned out of your ears and you feel like you have had a spa day for your ears.
Ear wax or the medical term cerumen is the waxy substance in our ear canals. The ear wax can come in different consistencies which is affected by your heritage, genetic make up, health conditions, medications and if you stimulate production by cleaning your ears too frequently. The cerumen is meant to keep our ear canals healthy by catching and moving debris out of the canal such as hair, dust and other items. It has a noxious odor to dissuade bugs and other insects from crawling into your ear. It is always best to let your ear wax do what it is made to do, produce cerumen. This keeps the ear very healthy.
Some people do produce too much and this issue tends to increase with age. It is best not to push the wax down the ear canal with a cotton swab or other object as this is not only dangerous but often pushes the wax into the bony portion of the ear canal where the hair follicles are no longer located and therefore can’t help to push the wax out of the ear canal. When there is a blockage in the canal the individual will experience symptoms such as temporary hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus and ear pain.
If the hydrogen peroxide is diluted (4 parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide) then it can be used safely. It is not recommended to use full strength hydrogen peroxide on your skin especially on a regular basis. Hydrogen Peroxide can dry out the skin and can cause extreme irritation.
If there is an overproduction of wax, or the wax is very hard (not soft and waxy) then pushing the ball of wax into the eardrum is a very real possibility which can cause a serious blockage and up to a 40% decrease in your hearing temporarily until the wax is removed.
Your audiologist should also be aware of medications or health conditions that affect skin health when working in the canal as some medications make the ear canal walls very thin and prone to bleeding.
Since we clean wax out of ear canals every day, we know the signs and symptoms and can look in the ear to help devise the best treatment plan to manage any further ear wax build up.