The Best & Safest Ways to Remove Earwax

Remove Earwax

Earwax, or cerumen, is an oil that comes through the skin’s pores in your outer ear or ear canal. 

The job of the earwax is to lubricate and clean your ear by trapping dirt, dust and foreign objects in it. The wax then makes its way out of the ear when the skin sheds or when we shower, sleep and swim. 

So, is there really a need to clean your ears? 

Today we’ll discuss the best and safest ways to remove earwax from your ears. 

Should You Clean Your Ears?

There is no need to clean your ears as the earwax is nature’s way of cleaning the ears. Also, it’s normal to have some earwax in the ear as it cleans it and reduces bacterial growth in the open ear canal. 

Earwax only becomes a problem when it builds up to a very thick consistency or hardens and doesn’t come out on its own, subsequently blocking the ear. This could happen for various reasons, such as the size and shape of the ear and the use of cotton buds pushing the wax down the ear canal. 

Once the ear is mostly or entirely blocked, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A reduction in hearing
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Your own voice echoing inside your head
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Noises in the ear
  • Ear pain

Many conditions, some severe medical issues, could cause the symptoms above to arise. The only way to identify if the problem is related to earwax is to have your doctor or audiologist look in your ears. 

Once a blockage has been confirmed, it can be removed by one of four easy processes. When the earwax has been removed, any lingering symptoms can also be addressed. 

While earwax removal is straightforward, great care must be taken with the process, as major damage can be done to the ear if not done correctly.

Damage My EarHow Can I Damage My Ear?

Before you can understand how you can damage your ears by removing earwax, you must first know how the ear is structured. 

Positioned at the end of the ear canal is the eardrum, a fragile sheet of skin. The eardrum has two jobs: sealing the outer ear from the middle and inner ear and the brain and keeping out bacteria and foreign objects. 

Second and most importantly, the eardrum is responsible for conducting sound from the outside environment to the inner ear, which goes up to the brain. 

Connected to the eardrum are three middle ear bones connected to the inner ear, so damage to the eardrum can be permanent and cause damage to other parts of your ear and hearing. 

So, a non-medical approach to earwax removal, such as cotton buds, can be dangerous and ineffective as they can push wax further down the ear canal against the eardrum and cause permanent damage. 

Ways to Remove an Earwax Blockage

There are many different ways you can safely remove an earwax blockage, which include: 

Using a wax softener 

It’s common to need to prepare hard, solid wax for removal before seeing the doctor or audiologist. Because the wax is thick or hard and completely blocks the ear, it is essential to soften the wax to make it easier to extract. 

If your ears are prone to building up wax and block the ear frequently, you may want to use a wax softener periodically to manage the wax. This could reduce the frequency of the ear becoming totally blocked and reduce issues associated with that and the need to visit an audiologist or doctor.

If you have a volume of wax in your ear, but it’s not entirely blocking it, a wax softener may be all you need to help extract the wax naturally. 

Irrigation or ear toileting 

Ear irrigation or ear toileting is one of the most common methods used regularly by doctors in general practice. 

This method uses warm water squirted into the ear using a syringe or water pack. The water is injected into the ear canal at an angle to avoid possible damage to the eardrum to flush the wax out of the ear. A bowl will be used to catch the wax and water when it comes out. 

Note: If you have a current perforation or grommet in your eardrum or have had ear surgery in the past, do not use the ear irrigation methods.

Ear Microsuction

Ear Microsuction

Microsuction is a technique that uses a high-powered microscope and a gentle suction device to suck wax from the ear. 

This method is best for children and adults with existing conditions such as grommets or past ear surgery. This is because there is minimal risk of accidentally damaging the weak eardrum. One of the only negatives of ear microsuction is that it can be a little noisy. 

Curette

A curette is a delicate instrument that is used to scoop the earwax from the ear. 

Forceps are used to enlarge the ear canal, allowing better access and a special headlight to improve visibility. The curette is then used to pull the wax from the ear.

This is a quick and effective method that can be performed safely on most people. 

This method is not recommended for people who may be on blood-thinning medication or have a history of ear surgery. 

To Sum It Up 

Occlusion of the ear by wax can cause various symptoms, including a reduction in hearing, a loss of balance, noises in the ear and ear pain. Therefore, it’s essential to have it removed safely and effectively. 

It’s also important to remember that some of the symptoms may be related to a more serious medical condition for which you should seek medical advice. 

If you’ve recently found out that you need hearing aids, EarDeals has some of the best prices on the market. 

Take a look through our range to see which hearing aid is right for you, or contact us for more information. 

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