Ear wax, the “dirt” found naturally in ears, is actually more important than most people believe. As it happens, ear wax is actually part of the body’s defence mechanism. It helps to trap debris that may go deeper into your ear and damage the eardrum. As well as this, ear wax is also a natural cleanser.
Ear wax has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that are useful to protect your ear from fungi and bacteria. As earwax becomes old, it’s expelled from the body with the help of skin changes inside the ear. As well as jaw movements.
In some cases, however, the earwax may fail to come out of the ear by itself. The majority of patients attempt to remove the stuck wax using cotton swabs. But actually, end up pushing the wax even further inside the ear. The result is usually a blockage of the ear canal, causing pain, infections, and several other problems.
Symptoms of Wax Build-up in the Ear
If wax has accumulated in your ear to the point where your ear canal becomes blocked, you may experience the following:
- A sticky ear
- Reduction in the ability to hear
- Tinnitus (foreign sound that seems to be originating in the ear)
- Blocked feeling in your ear
If you use hearing aids, they may start to whistle or become blocked. The least you can experience from excessive ear wax is a feeling of discomfort in your ear.
What Measures are Taken to Unblock the Canal?
Hardened wax should be removed by an ENT specialist to avoid further damage and discomfort. There are also some general practitioners who have been specially trained to conduct ear wax removal procedures. There are a couple of methods that can be used to remove earwax as explained below:
1. Micro suction
This is a fairly new method used as an ear wax extraction treatment. It’s not only a safe and gentle ear wax removal method, but it’s also very effective. It’s the best ear wax removal method that ensures instant relief and full hearing restoration as soon as the procedure is completed.
The procedure requires the use of a micro-suction tube to remove the wax. Great precision is paramount when using this method. For that reason, a high-power magnification microscope is used to view the ear canal when inserting the micro-suction tube into the ear.
If you don’t have a perforated eardrum, you can insert a few olive oil drops preferably 2 or 3 days before your appointment. Doing this will make the process of removing the ear wax easier.
2. Use of ear drops
Ear drops are not exactly used to actively remove wax from the ear. Their work is to soften and loosen the ear wax, making it easier to remove. The ear drops have different compositions with the most common being olive oil, hydrogen peroxide, and sodium bicarbonate.
Olive oil-based ear drops are the least harmless when used to soften ear wax. Hydrogen peroxide and sodium bicarbonate are quite irritant to the ear canal and should, therefore, not be used for long.
This method uses water at body temperature to remove the excess earwax. The water is then fed into your ear at a controlled temperature and pressure to facilitate a smooth extraction of the ear wax. Once the wax is out, the ear should then be dried using a process referred to as dry mopping.
4. Aural toilet
This method makes use of an instrument referred to as the Jobson Horne probe. It’s a specially-designed thin plastic or metal instrument used by specialists to remove earwax from the ear canal of a patient.
Can You Remove The Wax On Your Own?
It’s true that DIY ear vacuum kits have been approved for earwax removal. As such, you can use such a kit if you wish to remove the excess wax without a specialist’s help. However, it’s highly recommended that you see a professional instead of removing the wax yourself for the following reasons:
- Specialists can look into your ears to determine whether you really have excess earwax that should be removed. This is in consideration that there are several other medical problems with symptoms similar to those of an ear canal blockage.
- Removing the excessive wax at home may not be as effective as having the wax removed by a specialist who has access to special equipment.
- After removing the wax, a specialist can re-examine your ears to determine if you have any other problem that may require extra medical attention.
- You get free advice on how you can effectively clean your ears
If you have excess wax in your ear, having it removed by a specialist is the most advisable action to take. You’ll enjoy the relief and comfort that comes with having your ears fully cleaned.
Remember that you should never use cotton swabs to remove wax from your ears. Doing so may cause more harm than good, with the effects ranging from irritation to rupture of the eardrum.
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