Most people take their ears for granted.
- Have you ever paused to think about what your ears do for you?
- Have you ever just listened to the sounds around you?
- Why not give it a moment now?
The amount of information that comes into your brain through your ears is incredible. Your ears also assist you in walking and keeping your balance.
Wax Build Up
Just like the rest of the systems in your body, your ears are built to take care of themselves. Most of the time, they do this quite well, but sometimes something goes wrong, internally, or externally, and the wax in your ears builds up.
In healthy amounts, ear wax protects your ears against:
But an excess of ear wax can clog up the ear canal and cause:
- Make it hard to hear
You may have considered digging excess wax out of your ear with a q-tip. However, this action may:
- Compact the wax
- Damage the canal
- Pop your eardrum
If you want to safely remove ear wax build-up, scheduling an appointment with us is the best decision you can make.
How You Hear Sounds
All three of your ear’s main parts- outer, middle, and inner- are used for hearing. Sound waves enter your outer ear. They pass into your middle ear and vibrate your eardrum.
The vibrations are transmitted through three tiny bones, called ossicles, in your middle ear. The vibrations are transmitted into your inner ear by three tiny bones called ossicles.
Your inner ear is a snail-shaped organ that sends nerve impulses to your brain. Your brain recognizes the impulses as sounds.
If your ear canal gets clogged up with ear wax or debris, then the whole process becomes faulty, and your hearing is affected.
Your Ears Assist in Maintaining Balance
The ear isn’t used just for hearing. It has a complex system of parts that assists you in walking. That’s why one of the symptoms of ear wax build-up is dizziness.
The Eustachian tube, located in the middle ear, equalizes the air pressure between the middle ear and the air pressure in the atmosphere. If the air pressure cannot be equalized, then you may feel dizzy or off-balance.
Ear Wax Impaction
Your body keeps your ear canals healthy by using ear wax (cerumen) to collect bacteria, dirt, and other debris. Without any consideration on your part, the wax and debris are naturally cleared from the body through jaw motions like chewing.
As your jaw moves, the wax exits the ear canal. When this self-cleaning process stalls out or if your body produces an excessive amount of ear wax, the wax can become impacted in the ear canal.
Impaction can cause:
- An earache
- A feeling of fullness or ringing in the ear
- Impaired hearing in the affected ear
- An unpleasant odor coming from the ear
If you are older, use hearing aids or earplugs, have developmental disabilities or have an ear abnormally shaped ear canal, you are at higher risk for wax impaction.
Let Us Examine Your Ears
Trying to clean out your ears with small items like cotton swabs, bobby pins, or napkin corners may seem like a good idea at the time, but you may end up forcing the wax deeper into the canal or even damaging the ear canal or eardrum.
You may have heard claims that ear candling might also be a good solution, but according to the American Academy of Audiology, there is no evidence of this.
In studies performed, measurements taken in the ear canals before and after candling showed no reduction in earwax. In fact, in some cases, it was the other way around.
Researchers discovered there was even more wax in the ears because the candles deposited wax in the canals.
The Best Solution
The best solution is to let us perform an ear lavage (ear cleaning). Not only is it safer, but sometimes your symptoms don’t have anything to do with wax build-up.
There may be another underlying issue causing your problems. You won’t know this unless you visit us.
When you visit us for your appointment, we will talk with you about your symptoms and then examine your ear canal with an otoscope. If we see build up, then they will perform an ear lavage.
What is Ear Lavage
Ear lavage, also referred to as ear irrigation or wax removal, is an ear cleaning treatment in which a medical professional uses a syringe to irrigate the ear canal with water or a water-saline mixture.
The irrigation loosens compaction and removes any excess wax and debris. The procedure is simple, and we can perform it in the office during your appointment.
After the procedure, we will explain what you can do to prevent future build-up and provide you with techniques on how to keep your ears clean at home.
If you experience regular build-up or fall into higher-risk categories for impaction, then we may recommend coming in for regular cleanings every 6-12 months.
You may be tempted to wait to get medical assistance. Keep in mind that ear infections can come on quickly.
If you have any fluid drainage, pain in the middle ear, or impaired hearing, make an appointment with us as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
We’re Here to Help
If you have any symptoms associated with ear wax compaction or are fall into the high-risk category and need some guidance, we can help.
At your consultation, we’ll take the time to walk through your health history, concerns, and goals with you. We’ll check your ears for wax build-up, perform an ear lavage if necessary, and then give you the tools you need to prevent further problems.
We’re here to support you on your journey back to optimal health.
When you visit OneLife Medical, we will listen to you and work together to uncover the root of your health problems. You only live once, live well! Schedule your consultation today!
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