Ear wax is a naturally occurring substance that is produced by hair follicles and glands in the ear canal. Ear wax cleans, lubricates and protects the ear canal from dust, bacteria, insects and particles. However, if it is impacted, it can lead to a host of symptoms such as:
- Hearing loss
- Infection or discharge
- Fullness or coughs.
Occluding ear wax can prevent effective examination of the ear canal and the eardrum, interfering with the diagnostic assessment, i.e. hearing test, tympanometry, taking impressions, fitting hearing aids using real ear measures and can cause hearing aids to whistle.
Therefore, it is important to visit and Ear Care Professional to have your wax removed safely and effectively. There are three main methods used to extract ear wax safely, namely via; Manual Instrumentation, Water Irrigation and Micro-suction (BSA, Aural care (ear wax removal), 2017).
There is no evidence of other methods of wax removal work. Some people try to clean their ears using Cotton swabs or cotton buds. However, this only pushes ear wax further into the ear and can cause temporary hearing loss, trauma in the ear which can cause infection and pain. It must be taken into consideration that even clinical wax removal procedures particularly ear syringing may have higher risks of eardrum injury and ear infections compared to micro-suction.
The UK ear specialist and US food and drug administration (FDA) are warning people against the use of ear candles because they can cause serious injuries, such as burns to the ear and face, bleeding, punctured eardrums, injuries from dripping wax and fire hazards. Therefore, people must seek professional advice regarding wax treatment.
At Nolke Opticians and hearing care we will be offering ear wax removal services very soon. Our recommended ear wax removal method is micro-suction.
Micro-suction is the safest, most comfortable and hygienic method of ear wax removal. Micro-suction is performed with a special gentle medical suction machine and a microscope.