If you’ve noticed your hearing loss has gotten worse recently, or are suffering with an increased amount of tinnitus, it could be down to an excess amount of ear wax building up in your ear canal. It’s something that could also be causing discomfort and earache.
You might be thinking it’s a good idea to try and rectify the issue by giving your ears a clean, in an attempt to remove the wax. The issue often lies quite deep within the ear though, and you’ve likely heard the advice that you should put “nothing smaller than your elbow” into your ear many times.
As such, you should avoid self-treatment, as you could end up leaving yourself in a worse condition than you started. Help is readily available though, with local audiologists across the country offering wax removal appointments.
Why you shouldn’t deal with ear wax yourself
While it might be tempting to try and clean your ears on your own at home, it’s something that should be avoided. Not only can it be ineffective, but it can also be damaging to your ears.
Some methods of cleaning your ears are necessary and safe to carry out. Sometimes, excess ear wax can leak out of the ear, looking quite unsightly – as such, it’s perfectly fine to use a cotton swab to gently clean the outer ear. However, it should be reiterated that the swab should NOT enter the ear itself. You’ll notice on every packet of cotton swabs you purchase that there’s a warning label, telling you not to insert them into the ear. You might think it defeats the point of purchasing them, but it’s actually saving you from some potential long-term damage.
If you have a build-up of excess wax, you have to ask yourself how pushing a cotton swab into your ear will help deal with it. Of course, you’re aiming to remove the wax, but all you’ll be doing is pushing it even deeper into the ear canal. The blockage being pushed deeper makes it even more difficult to remove, with this build-up, also known as impacted ear wax, potentially reducing your hearing level.
Even if you don’t have a wax-build up to push back, inserting a cotton swab into your ear can cause problems in other ways. Whilst a professional audiologist knows everything there is to know about the inner ear, most people have got no idea how deep in the canal the eardrum is located – it’s why you should leave any inner-ear explorations to professionals, as not knowing your way around can be damaging. If you go too far with a swab, you can cause issues with the pressure within your ear, and can even rupture your eardrum. This can cause pain, tinnitus, and hearing loss, with the side-effects often taking a considerable amount of time to clear.
The benefits of professional wax removal
We’re not saying that you should leave your build-up of wax alone – removing it can in some cases have great, positive effects. However, it should absolutely be dealt with by a trained, experienced professional, rather than a DIY attempt.
A build-up of wax can cause you to feel some slight pressure in your ear, as well as a feeling of discomfort and even sometimes an aching pain. Having your build-up professionally removed can help to relieve these symptoms, and can sometimes even deal with issues you didn’t realise were being caused by it.
In the most severe cases of wax build-up, people will notice a very distinct loss of hearing, sometimes quite sudden. In most cases though, it can happen mildly and gradually – in time, your hearing will be worse off, but you might not actually notice. Many patients report an instant improvement to their hearing after having their excess wax removed. Of course, it’s not the same for everyone, and if you have ongoing permanent hearing loss issues, you might not benefit from the biggest of improvements.
How microsuction works
Here at The Hearing Specialist, we use the microsuction method of wax removal. It’s a simple procedure that takes very little time, and is completely safe and stress-free.
It’s one of the most effective methods of wax removal, and uses a small suction device to remove your excess ear wax. At the start of your appointment, your audiologist will take a look inside your ear, using a microscopic camera to get a clearer picture of your situation. It’s helpful to see just how much wax needs to be removed, and locate any blockages.
After this, the microsuction device is carefully inserted into your ear, gently suctioning your excess wax, causing no discomfort or pain along the way.
Most traditional wax removal procedures involve inserting water into the ears, with ear irrigation and syringing common services. However, it’s not suitable for patients who have issues such as a perforated eardrum or ear infection, with microsuction being the perfect solution for them instead. As well as being suitable for a wider scope of patients, microsuction is also seen as the most effective way of clearing your ears.
Microsuction can be carried out in the comfort of your own home, with our COVID-secure home visit service in Croydon, Sutton, Banstead and surrounding areas. Alternatively, you can book an appointment at our newly opened clinic in Wimbledon.