If your hearing ability has lessened and/or your ears feel like they’re clogged up, it’s possible that you have a buildup of earwax in them.
While this is the most likely explanation, the hearing loss and blocked feeling might alternatively be from an infection or growth inside your ear canal, so it’s important to see a hearing professional to make sure.
Earwax is actually beneficial. It traps dust and dirt, preventing it from traveling toward your inner ear, and it also helps prevent bacterial and fungal infections.
However, too much earwax can cause sudden hearing loss, ear pain, headaches, balance problems, or dizziness. It’s made far worse by some supposed “cures.” Below, we talk about some of the most common ones and how helpful they really are.
In general, the safest, quickest way of clearing out unwanted earwax is to have an audiologist or other hearing professional do it. We often find that the wax buildup is the cause of a hearing loss, so by clearing out the wax, we can speedily take care of two problems in one visit.
Safe And Unsafe Ways To Get Rid Of Earwax
- Cotton Swabs or Q-tips – Never insert one of these into the ear canal. It causes the earwax to become impacted and can damage the eardrum severely.
- Ear Candles – These are ineffective and very dangerous. The FDA has published hundreds of reports of these causing facial burns, ruptured eardrums, accidental fires, ear injuries, and bleeding inside the ear.
Ear candles are long, hollow bits of cotton soaked in beeswax or paraffin. One end is inserted into the ear canal, and the other end is set alight for 15 minutes, with the supposed effect of vacuuming out the earwax.
- Avoidance – Avoiding the issue could prove fatal, and we’re not being dramatic about this. A small percentage of people who think they just have built-up earwax actually have an untreated hearing loss or a more severe problem that requires immediate medical attention.
- Ear Drops – made of glycerin, saline, hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid, or sodium bicarbonate solutions. It can take one to two weeks of administering these drops before you see any results. The goal of them is to soften the earwax, so it makes its own way out.
- Oil Drops – Similar to over-the-counter ear drops, oil can take its time working. Olive oil or mineral oil is dropped into the ear with a dropper twice every day. Be careful, though – some people are allergic to mineral oil. Also, if the problem is a ruptured eardrum, you’re sending oil straight to it.
- Audiologist – Quick, safe, and professionally done with immediate results.
Visit Us At Audicles For Expert Earwax Removal
The safest, best way to clear out your earwax is to come to see us at Audicles. We have 3 Doctors of Audiology all trained to perform this procedure, so you’ll never have to wait long for an appointment.
Here’s what your visit will look like:
- We welcome you to our relaxing environment. Because we also care for children’s hearing health, this welcoming atmosphere is something we are delighted to create.
- We speak with you about your concerns and your hearing and medical history. This gives us a better idea of what the cause of the blocked feeling or hearing loss might be.
- We have a physical look into your ear canal using a video otoscope so you can see what we see.
- Removing the earwax. We use a curette to scoop out any earwax, which can feel like a very mild tickle. Sometimes, if the earwax is very dry, we may need to use some drops to soften the earwax before removing it, which only adds about 5 minutes to the appointment.
- Feeling good! If the earwax was causing your hearing loss, your hearing is now back to what it was. You’ll feel as if your ears just reacclimated to your environment, and any challenges the earwax caused should be gone.
Book Your Earwax Removal
We can remove earwax for about 90% of the people we see in our office without referring them to a medical specialist (which can be a long and expensive process).
CLICK HERE to book your earwax removal appointment today.
If you would like to discuss your or your children’s hearing challenges with one of our licensed doctors of audiology, or you suspect a buildup of earwax, contact us through the website form or call us at 210-820-0525.
We look forward to seeing you and/or your child.