Earwax Buildup & Blockage – When Does It Become A Problem?
While everyone has earwax, most people are perturbed by it. Earwax is naturally produced by the sebaceous glands in your ears and is also known as cerumen. This waxy substance helps to lubricate your ear canals and trap debris and dust so that they can’t travel further down in the ear canal. While this substance helps to protect the health of your ears, it can become problematic when too much of it builds up in your ears.
Your body should naturally clear cerumen from your ears. However, it can sometimes build up and cause blockages. Having a blockage of earwax in your ears might make your ears feel irritated, blocked, or full. Some people might also suffer tinnitus in their ears, which is a sensation of ringing.
Q-tips and Earwax
Many people think they can remove excess earwax by inserting a Q-tip into the ear canal. However, you should avoid doing this. Q-tip use is the leading cause of compacted earwax and can push the buildup deeper into the ear canal. In some cases, people can also insert Q-tips too deep inside of the ear canal and injure or perforate their eardrums.
What Are the Symptoms of a Blockage of Ear Wax?
You might have an earwax blockage if you experience the following symptoms:
- Feeling of fullness in the ear
- Pressure in the ear
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Hearing loss
If you have an earwax blockage, it might need to be removed. Ear wax removal can be completed at home or an audiologist’s office, depending on the severity and size of the blockage.
Best Practices for Earwax Removal
Numerous over-the-counter products are advertised online to remove earwax. However, not all of them work. Some products work by making the wax softer so that it is easier to remove. If the ear wax is immobile, it can be painful to remove. Immobile wax molds to the crevices of the ears and is difficult to dislodge. In that situation, you would need to visit an audiologist to determine the most beneficial treatments for ear wax removal.
Earwax Removal With Audiology by Accent
Our Audiologists at Audiology by Accent can remove earwax blockages by using safe, non-invasive procedures. This can give you relief.
We can use a specialized otoscope to look inside your ears and assess your earwax. We will then either use a syringe or curette to remove the buildup. A curette is a long, thin, curved, and lighted instrument that can be used to gently scrape away and scoop out the earwax. The syringe can be used to flush it out with a medicated solution. If you have a buildup of earwax or are experiencing discomfort in one or both ears, you should contact Audiology by Accent today to schedule an appointment by calling (352) 271-5373.