Excess earwax can cause physical discomfort and temporary hearing loss. We never recommend using cotton swabs or other objects to remove earwax because sticking anything in your ear canal may compact existing earwax or puncture your eardrum.
The expert doctors of audiology at Audio Help Hearing Centers are trained to safely remove earwax buildup so you can keep your ears and hearing aids clean.
Problems Caused by Earwax Buildup
Earwax, or cerumen, is a natural substance your body creates in the outer portion of your ear canal to protect it from debris and germs. You need earwax to protect your ears, but excessive amounts can be problematic.
Here are some common problems caused by earwax buildup:
Conductive hearing loss: This type of hearing loss occurs when sound waves are blocked from traveling through the outer or middle ear. A blockage, like earwax, can cause conductive hearing loss, but it can usually be treated by clearing the blockage.
Diplacusis: Also known as double hearing, diplacusis can result from too much earwax. As wax builds up in your ear canal, it creates a natural earplug, making it difficult for the hair cells in your inner ear to perceive sounds accurately.
Presbycusis: This type of gradual hearing loss occurs as you age. Earwax production increases as you get older, and dexterity issues can make it difficult to treat it on your own, so your earwax may be contributing to your hearing loss.
Ear infections: Earwax protects your inner ear from dirt, debris and germs. However, too much of it can lead to frequent ear infections and ear pain.
Symptoms of an Earwax Blockage
- Ear discomfort or mild pain
- Reduced hearing
- A feeling of fullness in your ears
- Dizziness or vertigo
Treating Excess Earwax
Audiologists treat most earwax cases. You will receive comprehensive and comfortable earwax removal at Audio Help Hearing Centers. We will ensure the impacted earwax is removed safely to avoid injury and infection. We apply softening agents to loosen impacted earwax and dislodge the blockage. Physical removal may also be necessary depending on the size and severity of the obstruction. We will flush your ear with warm water and use a suctioning device to remove the earwax gently. Our audiologists may prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection if any inflammation or pus is present.
In rare situations, you may receive a referral to an ENT specialist if your earwax is severely compacted or too close to your eardrum.