Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a waxy oil produced by the ear canal. It’s produced as a cleaning mechanism. Essentially, it keeps dust, foreign particles, and germs out of the ear. Earwax typically passes on its own, but sometimes it can build up inside the ears and cause a blockage.
What Causes Earwax Buildup?
Earwax can be caused by several different factors. Some people just produce more earwax than others; this causes it to get hard and then block the ear. Some people have narrow or hairy ear canals, which can also cause a buildup. People who stick objects into their ears a lot (like q-tips or hearing aids) are also at an increased risk of having a buildup of earwax.
Earwax buildup is actually quite common. In some cases, it can be treated with ear drops from the pharmacy, but this isn’t always the case. This typically only works for more minor buildup; it serves to soften the earwax so that it will pass on its own. Sometimes, professional earwax removal may be necessary. This is typically the case if you have tried ear drops and they didn’t work. Professional earwax removal, however, is quick and painless.
Before we move into a discussion of how you can tell if you need earwax removal, it is important to first stress that earwax removal shouldn’t be attempted at home. This can be dangerous and you risk damaging your ear or pushing the earwax further down your ear. Earwax removal should always be completed by a doctor.
How Do You Know If You Need Earwax Removal?
The following is a list of signs that you may have a buildup of earwax and that earwax removal may be necessary.
- Itchiness (either in the ear itself or around it)
- An earache (an earache can also be a sign of an infection. Sometimes it can go away on its own and other times it needs to be treated with antibiotics)
- Tinnitus (this is a ringing or buzzing in the ears)
- Sudden hearing loss
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
If you have a buildup of earwax, it is important to get it taken care of as soon as possible. Earwax buildup can lead to an infection, which can be painful.
If you are in need of an earwax removal, consider visiting House of Hearing Clinic. House of Hearing Clinic is a well-established hearing care clinic, home to professionally trained audiologists. We have successfully treated more than 7000 patients. Book your appointment today here. You can also contact us here.