Safety Technology And Customer Care
The most important aspect of any procedure is safety. This is why we invest in the very best equipment and all our clinics utilise tiny cameras which are gently inserted into your ear canal to determine the health or otherwise of your ear and what needs to be done.
We also take images after a completed procedure to show you the efficacy of what we have done and explain to you the current health of your ear and how to maintain its optimum condition. This is done using a large screen so you can see the constituent parts of your ear.
Any wax removal procedure we perform is undertaken using a high powered microscope which illuminates and magnifies the ear canal far more effectively than simple head loupes or head torches.
Before you book a wax removal, always ask whether cameras are used before and after that you can view on a screen, and are microscopes used for the best view and safest way to carry out wax removal? However, dont just take our word for how good and efficient we are, simply check out our live reviews on our home page.
Earwax Buildup And Blockage
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What is earwax buildup?
Your ear canal produces a waxy oil called cerumen, which is more commonly known as earwax. This wax protects the ear from dust, foreign particles, and microorganisms. It also protects ear canal skin from irritation due to water. In normal circumstances, excess wax finds its way out of the canal and into the ear opening naturally, and then is washed away.
When your glands make more earwax than necessary, it may get hard and block the ear. When you clean your ears, you can accidentally push the wax deeper, causing a blockage. Wax buildup is a common reason for temporary hearing loss.
You should take great caution when trying to treat earwax buildup at home. If the problem persists, visit your doctor. Treatment is generally quick and painless, and hearing can be fully restored.
Use A Saline Solution
Sometimes a little bit of salinity in the water helps to remove earwax. Its best to make your own solution instead of the bottled saline. Completely dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a half-cup of warm water. Soak a cotton ball in the saline solution, tilt your head and then use the saturated cotton to drip the salt water into your ear. Allow the water to stay in your ear for a few minutes, then tilt in the opposite direction to drain out the saline. Do this for each ear.
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Drainage From The Ear
A very common symptom of earwax buildup is drainage from the ear. Its relatively normal for a small amount of ear wax to drain from the ear every now and then. However, individuals should start looking for other signs of earwax buildup if they notice an excess of drainage from the ear. As earwax builds up within the ear canal, it may start to drain onto the outer ear canal, which is a visible portion of the ear. If patients notice drainage of earwax, its almost a certainty it is caused by a buildup of earwax.
Once individuals notice this symptom, it is safe to use a washcloth to clean the outer portion of the ear canal. However, it is essential that individuals dont try to remove the earwax with a cotton bud. Doing so will only push the earwax further in while also potentially damaging the eardrum. This is the most harmless symptom associated with earwax buildup, which is why its important for individuals to seek treatment quickly. By not removing the earwax buildup, patients increase the risk of suffering from more severe symptoms.
How Do You Know If You Have Impacted Ear Wax
Impacted earwax generally causes symptoms that develop over time and are difficult to notice at first. Symptoms include gradual hearing loss in the affected ear, ringing or buzzing in the ear, a sense of fullness in the ear canal, and possible earache. You may notice dark yellow or brown earwax, but this is not necessarily a sign that earwax has become impacted.
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Things Never To Do When Cleaning Earwax
- Stick cotton swabs, rolled up toilet paper, pencils or pens in your ear. This will push dirty, old wax back into your ear, driving the skin cells, bacteria, dirt, etc. back against the eardrum. Earwax is supposed to continually move out of the ears not back into them.
- Use Ear CandlingHolding an open flame near your ear or hair is a very bad idea and is unsafe.
Instead, try the following:
Hear better and feel better without the excessive ear wax.
Page medically reviewed by Kevin St. Clergy, Audiologist, on May 29, 2020.
Does Ear Wax Removal Work
Yes, it is very effective, not really sure where this one came from, to be honest. Again the caveat is going to a professional. Although in fairness, I have seen people arrive at my clinic who have allegedly had earwax removed a couple of months before that simply couldn’t have. When earwax is old it is black and hard.
I have had people turn up with black hard earwax in their ears who had earwax removed a couple of months before. The job was not done correctly, it simply couldn’t have been or black hard earwax would not be in their ear canals.
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Putting Things In Your Ears
There are a few items that are meant to go into your ears. These include:
- Earplugs to protect your hearing or keep water out.
- Hearing aids to help you hear.
In these cases, the benefits may outweigh the risks. But your ears dont know the difference between helpful things in your ears and harmful ones. They may produce extra wax to try to push them out.
How Is Earwax Buildup And Blockage Treated
Earwax can be removed in several ways. Some of these methods can be done at home.
You can clean the outside of the ear by wiping with a cloth. Dont wad up the cloth and push it into the ear canal.
You can use cerumenolytic solutions into the ear canal. These solutions include:
- Mineral oil.
- Hydrogen peroxide or peroxide-based ear drops .
- Saline solution.
With these solutions, you put a few drops into the affected ear with a dropper and lie on the opposite side so that the solution can drip into your affected ear. You can also soak a cotton ball and put it over the affected ear and let the solution drip into the ear.
Another option is irrigating or syringing the ear. This involves using a syringe to rinse out the ear canal with water or saline solution. Generally, this is done after the wax has been softened or dissolved by a cerumenolytic.
Finally, your healthcare provider can remove the wax manually using special instruments. The provider might use a cerumen spoon, forceps, or suction device.
Note: Your ears _should not _be irrigated if you have, or think you have, a perforation in your eardrum or if you have tubes in the affected ear.
How not to clean your ears
Dont use suction devices for home use . They arent effective for most people and arent recommended.
Ear candles, which are advertised as a natural method to remove earwax, are ineffective. They can also cause injuries such as burns to the external ear and ear canal and perforation of the eardrum.
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Anxiety Can Cause Ear Fullness Pressure And Pain
Its not unusual for people with anxiety to experience ear pain and pressure, especially during a panic attack or when under a lot of stress. You may experience this as ear pressure, fullness, pain or even that your ears simply feel weird. You may have a near-constant urge to pop your ears to relieve the pressure, but the ear popping does little to help you feel better.
Why does this happen? The inner ears are very sensitive to changes in fluid and blood supply. If your heart is racing and/or your blood pressure is elevated because you feel anxious , your ears can be affected very quickly. Likewise, elevated stress hormones can alter the delicate balance of fluids in your ear, making them swell.
What Are The Symptoms Of Clogged Ears
Below are 6 symptoms of earwax blockages, as summarized by the SEORL CCC, :
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Ear Problems That Cause Lack Of Balance
It can be extremely disconcerting to feel unbalanced and dizzy. If you suffer from balance disorders, then its a strong indication that theres something amiss in your ear. Here we look at five common ear problems that are associated with lack of balance and the best ways to combat them.
If youre struggling with balance issues, book an appointment at one of our hearing care centres in Sussex. Our team of fully qualified audiologists will be able to diagnose and treat any ear infection you may be suffering from.
Are Ear Wax Removal Drops Safe
I suppose it depends, if you are talking about the earwax drops you buy in a chemist, well then the answer is yes. The companies that manufacture the oil take great care to ensure that it is inert. In essence, they boil the oil to make sure that there are no living organisms in it that may make a home in your ear. If you are making your own with olive oil or almond oil, boil it first, then let it cool and bottle it. Likewise, over the counter ear drop solutions with hydrogen peroxide are carefully controlled. They are usually no more than 2 to 3% hydrogen peroxide.
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Are Ear Wax Removal Candles Safe
The answer to that is a resounding no, not only are they not safe, they actually don’t help to remove earwax. You can read more about Hopi ear candles here. Honestly, just don’t do it, people who offer these ear candles make ridiculous claims about them with no hard scientific backing. Put simply, they don’t work.
When To See Your Gp
Contact your GP surgery if you have particularly troublesome symptoms or eardrops havent helped after three to five days.
Your GP or practice nurse will look inside your ears to check if theyre blocked and might carry out some simple hearing tests.
They may suggest using eardrops for a bit longer, or they may carry out a minor procedure called ear irrigation to clean out your ear canal.
If these treatments arent suitable or dont help, your GP may refer you to the ENT department of your nearest hospital for more specialised treatments such as microsuction or an aural toilet.
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How Does A Doctor Diagnose Mnires Disease
Ménières disease is most often diagnosed and treated by an otolaryngologist . However, there is no definitive test or single symptom that a doctor can use to make the diagnosis. Diagnosis is based upon your medical history and the presence of:
- Two or more episodes of vertigo lasting at least 20 minutes each
- Temporary hearing loss
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
Some doctors will perform a hearing test to establish the extent of hearing loss caused by Ménières disease. To rule out other diseases, a doctor also might request magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans of the brain.
What Is Impacted Ear Wax
Ear wax is a protective covering in the ear canal that helps protect the skin of the external ear canal from water damage, infection, trauma, and foreign bodies. Impacted ear wax is when ear wax accumulates enough to cause symptoms.
Impacted ear wax is more common in young children and older adults.
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Our Ear Wax Removal Services
Micro suction is a pain free procedure that involves a microscopic examination to discover where in your ear needs micro suction. Once found, a suction tool is used to remove ear wax and any debris from blocking the ear.
Irrigation involves directing a flow of water into the ear canal to clear earwax. The water is around body temperature and will be applied with minimal pressure. Whilst it can cause some discomfort, it isnt a painful procedure.
Dry wax removal is when we use tools like a Jobson Horne and miniature forceps to gently tease the wax and remove it from the ear.
Discuss with our experts which might be the best solution for your needs.
When To See A Doctor About A Clogged Ear
While ear wax is generally more annoying than dangerous,sometimes you need a doctor to clear it. If home remedies dont work, your earhurts or you have trouble hearing, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh says its smart to seek medical evaluation.
Someone needs to look in andsee if the ear canal is open or if the wax is plugging it up, he says.
If the situation is minor, you may be able to get yourears unblocked right then and there. If not, ENT doctors can useoperating microscopes to magnify inside the ear canal, loosen the wax and vacuumit out.
And a clogged ear may have othercauses. It could be a middle ear infection with fluid filling up the spacebehind the eardrum, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh cautions. Or you could have a viralinfection that affects the inner ear. In those cases, a doctor can diagnose andtreat you to prevent permanent hearing loss.
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Ear Wax Build Up Increases The Risk Of Serious Infection
Ear wax works to protect the ear from infection because it helps to create an acidic environment in the ear canal which kills off bacteria. However, when ear wax builds up and doesnt move out of the ear naturally, it can actually harbour foreign bodies and bacteria and increase the risk of infection.
Ear infections can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including:
- Severe pain
What Is Earwax Buildup
Earwax is produced by glands in the ear canal. Although scientists are still not completely sure why we have earwax, it does trap dust and other small particles and prevent them from reaching and possibly damaging or infecting the eardrum. Normally, the wax dries up and falls out of the ear, along with any trapped dust or debris. Everyone makes ear wax, but the amount and type are genetically determined just like hair color or height. Smaller or oddly shaped ear canals may make it difficult for the wax our ears make naturally to get out of the canal. This can lead to wax impactions. This is earwax buildup.
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Medical Treatment For Earwax Blockage
Your doctor may use one or a combination of methods to remove your earwax:
They can scoop it out with a small plastic spoon called a curette.
They can irrigate your ear with warmed water, sodium bicarbonate, or other prescription-strength ear drops and flush the wax out.
They can use gentle suction to remove the wax.
Causes Of Impacted Earwax
Blockages or impactions occur more commonly in the elderly and developmentally delayed, but the issue is also high in healthy adults and children, with 1 in 10 children and 1 in 20 adults suffering from wax impaction.
This can occur for a number of reasons including:
- The use of cotton tips and other items to remove superficial wax
- Wearing hearing aids, or using earplugs frequently
- Working in a dusty or dirty environments
- Genetics some people overproduce earwax
- Having narrow, curvy or hairy ear canals
- Surfing or swimming in cold water
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Muffled Or Decreased Hearing
Muffled or decreased hearing is another sign there is an earwax buildup and potential blockage. Changes in one’s hearing may onset suddenly and depend on the size of the blockage. Smaller blockages may result in only minimal hearing change while individuals with larger blockages may experience more moderate hearing loss. The depth of and recognizing the direction of sounds may also occur, as the non-impacted ear begins to work a bit harder. The sudden decrease in hearing can be overwhelming and frightening for some individuals. It is important to note the decrease in hearing is not indicative of inner ear damage, and hearing loss is typically temporary. Once the blockage has been removed, hearing should return to normal.
Who Experiences Earwax Buildup
Earwax buildup can happen to anyone. Its estimated to be present in about 10% of children and 5% of adults who are healthy.
However, it is more likely to occur in:
- People who use hearing aids, ear plugs or ear buds.
- People with a lot of ear hair or who have certain skin conditions.
- People who put cotton swabs or other items into their ears.
- Older people.
- People with developmental disabilities.
- People with ear canals shaped in such a way as to interfere with natural wax removal.
Children produce earwax. Unless they produce too much, you should be careful about cleaning their ears. Only use a washcloth to clean the outside. Dont worry about it unless there are signs that your child is being bothered by earwax buildup. These signs may include pulling or tugging at the ears, putting things into the ears or problems with hearing. If this happens, contact your healthcare provider.
Older adults may have difficulty with earwax buildup if they wear hearing aids. They might also just ignore their ears. Earwax buildup can cause significant hearing loss and should be addressed.
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