Earwax is a completely normal component of your ear’s natural systems– everybody has earwax! While a majority of the time earwax does not affect people, there are certain times when it can get out of control and build up to create blockages. Many then wonder, is there a hearing specialist near me who knows why earwax builds up and how it can be prevented?
Our audiologists at Active Hearing Health answer the most pressing questions people have about earwax buildup below.
What is earwax?
Earwax, also referred to as cerumen, is created by the body as a protector for your eardrum. Earwax is antibacterial, anti-fungal and helps to clear out the dead skin cells that collect inside your ear. It creates a barrier that prevents particles from the outside like dust from entering into your ear canal and causing damage. Plus, it also helps to prevent water from irritating your ear canal.
What causes earwax buildup?
Some people produce more earwax than others, but the body does a good job of regulating and clearing that wax out. Some of the most common reasons for buildup include: people wearing hearing aids, people inserting q-tips and other foreign objects into their ear, and people with ear canals in a unique shape that interferes with the ear’s natural processes.
What is earwax impaction?
Sometimes earwax buildup can continue up to a point where something begins to feel off. This is when you may begin your google search for a “hearing specialist near me.” Some symptoms you may experience during an earwax blockage include:
Tinnitus, or a ringing in your ears
The ear feeling full
A lot of pain in your ear
Difficulty hearing that could worsen over time
How can I prevent earwax buildup?
The most important thing someone can do to prevent earwax buildup is to not stick anything in their ears. This means q-tips!
How do you treat earwax buildup?
There are some safe at home removal techniques like cleaning the outside of your ear with a damp cloth. You can also use cerumenolytic solutions to soften hard wax and dissolve buildups. These are things like mineral oil, baby oil, hydrogen peroxide, and saline that are dropped into the ear canal as someone lays down on their opposite side. These solutions are left to sit until the wax is more easily removed through irrigation.
Water irritation is where a syringe of water or saline solution is pushed into the ear to push out the softened ear wax. This technique should not be used, however, if you have holes in your ear drum.
If the impaction is causing a lot of pain and at home remedies aren’t working, then the next step is to visit a professional. An audiologist will have special tools to help to remove the wax manually. If you are seeing an audiologist more than once a year for ear wax removal, it is in your best interest to ask them if there are any additional steps or procedures you can do to decrease the amount of wax you produce.
When you are searching for a “hearing specialist near me,” then look no further than Active Hearing Health! Home to two of the best audiologists in Omaha, Nebraska, they can help you with all your earwax buildup problems. Contact us to learn more!