Cerumen impaction, or earwax blockage, happens when earwax builds up inside the ear canal. It can cause symptoms such as ear pain, hearing loss, ear ringing, and dizziness. Anyone can develop earwax blockage, but it is more likely to occur in people who use hearing aids, earplugs, or earbuds; have a lot of ear hair; have narrow ear canals; frequently wear earplugs or hearing aids; and routinely use cotton swabs to clean their ears. A healthcare provider can diagnose impacted cerumen during a physical examination. Treatment involves at-home and in-office methods such as solutions that dissolve earwax, ear irrigation, or in-office earwax removal. To prevent earwax buildup, it is recommended not to put anything inside the ear canal and only to use cotton swabs on the outer part of the ear. If experiencing ear pain, dizziness, hearing loss, or a feeling of fullness in the ears, it is recommended to seek medical attention.
Earwax blockage can happen to anyone, but impacted cerumen is more likely to occur in people who:
- Use hearing aids, earplugs or earbuds.
- Have a lot of ear hair.
- Have certain skin conditions like eczema.
- Put cotton swabs or other items into their ears.
- Are over the age of 55.
- Have developmental disabilities.
- Have misshapen ear canals that interfere with natural wax removal.
These are the common symptoms of cerumen impaction:
- The feeling of fullness in the ear
- Earache or pain in the ear
- Partial or complete hearing loss, which may worsen over time
- Ringing or buzzing sound in the ear (tinnitus)
- Itchiness in the ear
- Discharge or odour coming from the ear
- Dizziness or vertigo
Did you know that earwax buildup can cause discomfort and even hearing loss? Understanding what causes it is essential so you can take the necessary steps to prevent it. Here are some common causes of earwax buildup:
- Excessive production of earwax due to genetics or other factors.
- Having narrow ear canals or a lot of ear hair that can trap and hold onto earwax.
- Frequent use of hearing aids, earplugs or earbuds can push earwax deeper into the ear canal.
- Regularly using cotton swabs can make earwax further into the ear canal and even damage the eardrum.
If you or someone you know experiences discomfort or hearing loss due to earwax buildup, it's essential to seek professional help. Our team of experts can provide safe and effective earwax removal services to help restore your hearing and improve your overall ear health. So don't let earwax buildup affect your quality of life - contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Furthermore, if the earwax buildup is not removed, it can lead to complications such as infection, earaches, and even ruptured eardrums. In rare cases, untreated earwax impaction can cause balance problems and vertigo. Therefore, it is essential to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of impacted earwax and have it safely removed by a healthcare professional.
In addition to a physical examination, your healthcare provider may also ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may also conduct a hearing test to determine if the earwax affects your hearing ability. In some cases, imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, may be necessary to determine the extent of the earwax buildup. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your healthcare provider can recommend appropriate treatment options to remove the impacted earwax safely.
When it comes to treating impacted earwax, there are several methods available.
Your healthcare provider can recommend at-home or in-office treatments, depending on the severity of the impaction. Some common treatments for impacted cerumen include:
- Solutions that dissolve earwax: Over-the-counter ear drops and oils can help soften and loosen earwax, making it easier to remove.
- Ear irrigation: Your healthcare provider may use a syringe or specialized device to flush the earwax with water or a saline solution.
- In-office earwax removal: Your healthcare provider may use specialized instruments, such as curettes or suction devices, to safely remove the earwax.
You should consult your healthcare provider before removing earwax or trying any treatment, as improper removal techniques or products can cause further damage or complications.
Proper Ear Cleaning Techniques and Using Solutions to Dissolve Earwax Ear cleaning is vital to maintain good ear health. However, cleaning your ears safely and avoiding using cotton swabs is essential as they can damage your eardrum and cause more earwax buildup. Instead, clean the outside of your ear with a washcloth and dry them properly after showering or bathing.
You can use cerumenolytic solutions, including saline solution, baby oil, glycerin, mineral oil, or hydrogen peroxide-based ear drops to dissolve earwax. Put a few drops of the key into the affected ear and lie on the opposite side to let the solution drip into the ear canal. Be cautious not to use too much oil or solution. If using an over-the-counter earwax removal solution, follow the provided directions.
Consult with your healthcare provider before using any earwax removal solutions. They can examine your ear and recommend the best solution for you.
Preventing Earwax Buildup and Knowing When to Seek Medical Care
Earwax buildup can be prevented by avoiding the use of cotton swabs or any other objects to clean the inside of your ears. It's also essential to keep your ears dry and clean the outer part of your ear with a washcloth after showering or bathing. If you experience frequent earwax buildup, consult your healthcare provider for advice on how to prevent it.
If you develop symptoms of cerumen impaction, such as ear pain, itchiness, tinnitus, dizziness, hearing loss, or a feeling of fullness in your ears, seek medical attention. It's also crucial to seek immediate medical care if you experience a fever, an earache that doesn't go away, drainage coming out of your ear, or a foul odour. Remember, early detection and treatment of earwax buildup can prevent serious complications.
At Auricle Hearing, we understand the importance of proper ear care and the potential risks of earwax impaction. While it is essential to maintain good hygiene practices, it is also crucial to avoid damaging your ears with improper cleaning methods, such as using cotton swabs or suction devices.
If you experience symptoms of earwax impaction, such as hearing loss, tinnitus, or a feeling of fullness in your ears, it is best to consult a healthcare provider. They can perform a physical examination and recommend the most appropriate treatment options, such as cerumenolytic solutions or in-office earwax removal procedures.
Remember, your hearing health is vital, and we encourage you to take the necessary steps to protect it. If you have any concerns or questions about earwax buildup or hearing health, please don't hesitate to contact Auricle Hearing for expert advice and support.