Earwax, medically known as cerumen, is a natural and protective substance produced by the ear canal. Its primary function is to trap dust, debris, and foreign particles, preventing them from reaching the delicate inner ear.
However, sometimes, earwax can become a nuisance when it builds up and causes blockages, resulting in discomfort and hearing problems.
In this article, we’ll delve into what earwax blockage is, how it is diagnosed, and treated, and explore safe earwax removal in Pittsford, NY.
Ontario Hearing Centers have audiologists who can help you in managing earwax-related concerns.
Earwax Blockage – The Culprit
Earwax blockage occurs when the wax accumulates and hardens within the ear canal. This can be due to various factors, including overproduction of earwax, narrow ear canals, or incorrect attempts at cleaning the ears with cotton swabs, which often push the wax deeper, exacerbating the problem.
Diagnosis: Identifying the Issue
If you suspect an earwax blockage, it’s essential to consult an audiologist or an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist). They will assess your symptoms, which may include earache, hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, or a feeling of fullness in the ear.
Using specialized instruments like an otoscope, they can visually inspect the ear canal to confirm the presence of earwax blockage.
Treatment for earwax blockage typically involves removing the accumulated wax. There are several methods for doing this, depending on the severity of the blockage:
- Earwax Removal Drops: Over-the-counter earwax removal drops, which usually contain hydrogen peroxide or saline, can be used to soften the wax, making it easier to remove. Follow the instructions carefully, and if you experience pain or discomfort, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.
- Irrigation: In some cases, an audiologist may use a gentle irrigation technique, where warm water is flushed into the ear canal to dislodge and remove the earwax. This should only be done by a trained professional to prevent damage to the delicate structures of the ear.
- Microsuction: Another method employed by audiologists is microsuction. This involves using a specialized device to suction out the earwax safely. It’s effective and minimally invasive.
- Manual Removal: For more severe blockages or hardened earwax, an audiologist may opt for manual removal using specialized tools. Again, this should only be done by a trained professional to avoid injury.
To minimize the risk of earwax blockage:
- Avoid Cotton Swabs: Never insert cotton swabs or any sharp objects into your ear canal, as this can push wax deeper and potentially damage the eardrum.
- Regular Cleaning: Gently clean the outer part of your ear with a washcloth during your regular hygiene routine.
- Ear Protection: When swimming or in noisy environments, consider wearing earplugs to prevent water or excessive noise exposure.
Earwax Removal in Pittsford, NY: Ontario Hearing Centers
Audiologists at Ontario Hearing Centers are healthcare professionals trained in the diagnosis and management of hearing and balance disorders and are trained to perform professional earwax removal in Pittsford, NY.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!