Suspect you might be struggling with ear wax blockage? Or are you prone to getting ear wax build up in your ear? The safest way to find out whether your ear wax is causing issues with your ear is to see a hearing professional – get in touch today to book an appointment with our expert team of audiologists.
The team at South East Hearing Care Centres can help you. Not only can we look directly into your ear and easily discover the problem, we can also quickly and painlessly remove any excess ear wax.
Here, we will be able to accurately diagnose any issues you have been having and ensure a safe removal of wax from your ears.
Removing ear wax – a guide
1. What is ear wax?
Ear wax – or cerumen to give it its medical name – is actually something our ears need to fight off dust and dirt from getting into the ear. It’s totally natural and helps to protect the delicate skin lining of the ear canal and provides a form of defence against bacteria, fungal infections and water.
Whilst the body produces ear wax naturally to help protect your ears, it can produce too much which can cause discomfort and sometimes pain. By having wax removed from ears by a professional, you can ensure your ear canal is still protected but your hearing isn’t muffled.
2. Why do I need to have ear wax removed?
- Ear wax had built up and is causing you pain or issues with hearing
- You are having a full ear test or having impressions taken for aids
- You are planning to go deep-sea diving
- Untreated ear wax build up could lead to an infection
There are many reasons as to why you’d need to have ear wax removal. The main reason we see is because of an excess build up of ear wax that is causing pain and issues with hearing. This is a natural thing that can happen sometimes so there is no need to worry.
Another reason you may need to have ear wax removal done is if you are having a full hearing test, or having impressions taken for hearing aids. Especially if you are having in-the-ear type hearing aids fitted, then it is important that your ear canal is clear of wax, otherwise these cannot be fitted.
It is also important to have wax removal before deep-sea diving as seawater may get into the ears behind the wax and not be able to get out, setting up ideal conditions for an ear infection.
If you suspect you may have a build up of ear wax, ensure you seek help from a professional rather than attempting to do it yourself with olive oil or cotton buds. You can end up doing your ear far more damage this way, so always seek medical, professional help before trying any at home remedies.
3. How do you know if you have ear wax build up?
If you’re unsure whether you have a build up of ear wax or not, there are a few telltale signs which can indicate that something is wrong.
- Ringing noises or tinnitus
- A feeling of fullness in the affected ear
- Hearing issues in the affected ear
If you experience any or all of these symptoms, our experienced team of audiologists will be able to help. We will be able to assess your ear canal and discover whether you need ear wax removal treatment.
If you leave it and don’t undergo ear wax removal, you can end up with an infection which can be even more painful and damaging to your ears. It’s always worth getting it checked out by a professional to ensure everything is ok.
4. What are the benefits of having ear wax removed?
There are many reasons why having removing ear wax is good for you and your ears, these include:
- Healthier ear canals – the cleaner they are, the healthier they are
- Reduced risk of fungal or bacterial infection such as Otomycosis (Singapore Ear), which can cause severe discomfort
- Ability to fit hearing aids – it is not possible to fit in-the-ear hearing aids when the ear canal is blocked with wax
- It may relieve an aching jaw
- It can help deep-sea divers avoid ear infections through ingress of seawater
- It may relieve the symptoms of tinnitus, especially if these are not related to long-term exposure to loud noise
The procedure to ear wax removal is quick and easy and can provide a whole host of benefits that make day to day life much easier.
5. How is ear wax removed?
There are two main ways that ear wax removal can be performed; either irrigation or microsuction. A full medical history and thorough ear examination is taken prior to any procedure, to determine which is the most suitable and safest method.
With both procedures we undertake VideoOtoscopy which is a video recording of the inside of your ear. You can view the VideoOtoscopy images on the screen before any procedure is done and discuss with our team the medical reasons for why ear wax removal would be a good solution. We will also show you a video of your ear after the removal is done so you can see the difference! This is a unique service offered by us and gives you peace of mind before undergoing any treatment.
In most circumstances we can remove wax immediately, unless in very rare cases, it is extremely hard and impacted. In these instances and only after an ear inspection, we would recommend using olive oil for a couple of days to soften the wax.
This is the preferred and most common method of treatment for medical staff and patients alike, for guaranteed effective and safe removal of ear wax.
A gentle, pain free procedure, this involves one of our trained audiologists using a microscope to accurately discover the area in your ear which needs microsuction. Then a suction tool will be used to remove any ear wax or debris which is blocking the ear.
The tool works like a vacuum cleaner and quickly and painlessly removes any ear wax, without using any water, leaving the ear dry, which is the healthiest option.
The audiologist will always carry out a thorough ear examination first , using a video otoscope, a tiny colour video camera, to see what is happening in the ear canal and at the eardrum. The images will be transferred to a screen so that you can see exactly what is happening.
Then, using an electronic irrigation device, the audiologist will direct a flow of water into your ear canal to clear the wax. The water will be around standard body temperature, and minimum pressure is applied. This will flush out any ear wax and quickly remove the blockage.
Whilst you may feel some discomfort, this is not a painful procedure and lasts for a short amount of time.
How South East Hearing Care Centres can help
With over 35 years in the audiology industry, our team are experts when it comes to ear wax removal. We can quickly and easily diagnose and remove an ear wax build up using the latest technology, microscopes and otoscopes to ensure there is no damage to your hearing.
Our three practices across Sussex are known for their professional and friendly approach to all things ear related, so you can relax in the knowledge that you are in safe and understanding hands.
Want to know more about the symptoms of ear wax blockage? Take a look at our helpful guide which is packed full of information. We also have another guide which will provide you with more information about how to remove ear wax safely.
If you’d like to book in to have one of our team assess your ears, then get in touch today. You can either contact your local clinic directly, or use our online appointment service to book an appointment with our team.
What our clients say
Liam delivered my repaired Phonak aid to my home.Mr Finlayson – Seaford patient