Earwax is the body’s natural way of cleaning your ear canals of dead skin and dust. While build-ups of earwax often affect hearing, home remedies for removal can be unsafe, ineffective, and only make the situation worse. A build-up of earwax can also lead to infection.
On the good side, earwax removal feels great and may be all you need to restore normal hearing. If you wear hearing aids, earwax removal can enhance the performance of your devices.
What is earwax?
Earwax isn’t actually wax at all. In fact, it’s a water-soluble substance made of secretions from glands in your ear canal, dust from the air, and dead skin cells. This mixture will usually move out of the ear naturally as you move your jaw throughout the day through talking, eating or drinking. It usually dries out and falls away without you even noticing.
Symptoms of Earwax Build-up
- Feeling like your ear is blocked
- Sounds becoming muffled, which may get progressively worse
- Tinnitus (ringing in your ear )
- Itchy ears, odor, or ear discharge
- If you wear hearing aids, you might hear them whistling or it might feel like they aren’t working properly.
Microsuction – the right way
The introduction of tiny cameras that enter the ear canal, called video otoscopes, have made it possible for clinicians to view the ear canal and eardrum in much greater detail than they could with a traditional otoscope. Video otoscopy provides significantly greater magnification to explore the ear, making ear wax removal much safer.
Our audiologists use a technique called microsuction, which is the safest and most painless way to remove stubborn earwax.
Don’t push anything into your ear canal!
The biggest cause of earwax build-up is people trying to clean their own ears. They end up pushing wax further down your ear canal, making it difficult for your ears to push it out naturally. This can lead to wax packing up against your eardrum. So, please don’t push cotton q-tips, pen lids, bobby pins, or hooks into your ears!
Medical intervention for more serious symptoms
Unremoved earwax build-up can lead to infection. Contact us if you experience the symptoms of infection, such as:
- severe pain in your ear
- pain in your ear that does not subside
- drainage from your ear
- persistent hearing loss
- an odour coming from your ear
It’s important to note that hearing loss, dizziness, and earaches also have many other causes. You should see your doctor if any of these symptoms are frequent. A full medical evaluation may help determine whether the problem is due to excess earwax or another health issue entirely.
Arrange an appointment
If you are a pensioner under the Hearing Services Program, you can receive one free earwax removal appointment every year. Private-pay clients are charged $85 to have earwax removed using microsuction.
If you would like to arrange an appointment to remove earwax, call us today or complete the form below.