Earwax and what causes it
We all have earwax in our wars, but what exactly is it? Earwax is the build up of natural waxy oil called cerumen that connects to hair follicles in the ear canal, sometimes building up enough blockage that it causes hearing loss. While people might think that earwax is unappealing and want nothing to do with it, there is a bodily purpose for it. Earwax prevents bacteria, dust, water, and other germs from damaging the inner ear and obstructing airways. So, we do want to leave some wax in the canal but not too much that it affects our hearing.
Symptoms of earwax buildup include a sensation of a plugged ear, headaches, dizziness, partial hearing loss, and strange sounds from within the ear. Ear wax typically has a yellow to orange coloring, depending on how old the wax is and how much air it’s been exposed to over time. If earwax is greenish, has blood in it, or is leaking out on its own, it is time to call a medical professional.
How to safely clean your ears
Earwax buildup is one of the most common reasons that people experience temporary hearing problems, but can be easily remedied. Most people have Q-tips in their bathroom for multipurpose use, but research has shown that Q-tips often push earwax buildup further into the ear canal. So, we wanted to give you some better methods to clean your ears and to ensure good hearing.
Below are safe and effective ways to clear your ears at home. It must be noted that you should not clean your ears too often as some earwax is helpful and healthy for proper functioning.
- Use a warm, damp washcloth (small enough to minimally enter the ear canal)
- Over-the-counter liquid solution meant for ear cleaning (usually drops)
- Earwax softener (do not use ear wax removal candles)
- A syringe with a solution to irrigate the ear canal (must follow directions)
If no at-home remedies are working, the buildup may be beyond what is available to you at the pharmacy. In that case, it’s recommended that you make an appointment to see us at the Breathe Clear Institute.
Treatment we offer
Severe blockage or impaction of the ear canal might lead to a noninvasive surgical procedure to remove excessive earwax. Despite very few accounts of pain during the procedure, we will put you under anesthesia and can expect only minor discomfort. You will regain partial hearing that you lost, experience relief of the clogged or full sensation, and eliminate any itching within the ear caused by the blockage. The best part about this procedure is the results are immediate and you can go home right after your appointment.
Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute
Ear canal blockage can interrupt your hearing and cause unnecessary pain and discomfort. We have treatments to help clean your ear canals and restore hearing. Your ears not only serve the purpose of hearing, but they also are a key part of maintaining your balance.