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What happens at an earwax appointment?

Earwax, also known as cerumen, might not be the most pleasant topic, but it plays a vital role in keeping our ears healthy. This sticky substance, ranging from brown to yellowish in colour, is produced by glands in our ear canal and acts as a natural defence system.

Earwax’s Superpowers:

  • Trapping dust and debris: Earwax acts like a flypaper, catching dirt, dust, and other small particles before they can enter deeper into the ear canal and potentially damage the eardrum.
  • Moisturising and lubricating: Earwax keeps the ear canal from drying out and becoming itchy or irritated. It also helps prevent foreign objects from reaching the delicate inner ear.
  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties: Earwax contains enzymes that can help fight off bacterial and fungal infections.

When Earwax Becomes Troublesome:

While earwax is generally self-cleaning, sometimes it can build up and cause problems. Here are some signs you might have excessive earwax:

  • Hearing loss: Blocked ear canals due to earwax buildup can lead to muffled hearing or a feeling of fullness in the ear.
  • Tinnitus: Ringing or buzzing noises in the ear can be a symptom of earwax blockage.
  • Earache: Pressure or pain in the ear can be caused by impacted earwax.
  • Coughing: In some cases, earwax buildup can trigger a cough reflex.

Who’s Most at Risk?

Certain factors can make you more prone to earwax buildup:

  • Age: As we get older, earwax production can become thicker and less sticky, leading to buildup.
  • Hearing aid use: The use of hearing aids can trap earwax in the ear canal.
  • Cotton swab use: While cotton swabs seem like a good way to clean ears, they can actually push earwax further in and cause problems.

Ignoring earwax buildup can lead to complications like:

  • Impacted earwax: This occurs when earwax becomes hardened and difficult to remove on your own.
  • Infection: A blocked ear canal can trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

Safe Earwax Removal Options:

If you’re experiencing symptoms of earwax buildup, it’s best to see a professional for safe and effective removal. Here are some common methods used by our audiologists:

  • Micro Suction – our state-of-the-art video otoscopy equipment is used to directly visualise the earwax to be removed. The earwax is removed with the help of a low-pressure suction machine
  • Ear Irrigation – this replaces the old-fashioned technique of ear syringing and uses an irrigation device to remove earwax. We never want to squirt water directly towards the wax or eardrum, so this method introduces water into the ear via a specially adapted ear piece, allowing the water to flush earwax out safely
  • Earwax Extraction – using the same state-of-the-art video otoscopy equipment to visualise the wax in your ear, we can safely remove the wax with the use of micro-instruments (such as a small hook)

Remember: Never insert anything sharp or pointed into your ear canal! This can damage your eardrum and worsen the problem.

Schedule an Appointment for Safe Earwax Removal

If you suspect you have earwax buildup, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our specialist trained audiologists offer safe and effective earwax removal procedures using state-of-the-art equipment.

Call us at 01223 661399 or book an appointment online today!

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