Earwax issue? What can you do?
First things first
In most cases, you don’t need to remove your earwax manually. Your ears are designed to clean themselves by pushing out any excessive earwax naturally with jaw movements such as eating and talking. In fact, you need a small amount of earwax in your ears to reduce the chances of ear infection and dead cell accumulation and to moisturise the ear canal. However, there are times when the wax can get out of control. For some people, ear wax builds up much faster than the others. If there is a large amount of wax build up, blocking the ear canals, a temporary hearing loss can happen. If this is you, read on.
So, how should you deal with your excessive earwax?
NOT cotton buds/q-tips
While you might think that the popular answer might be cotton buds/Q-tips, it is actually not the right way to clean our ears. The use of cotton buds in your ears could push earwax further down into your ear canal, resulting in more wax blockage. What’s worse is that, using cotton buds increases the risk of damaging your eardrum, causing severe pain and hearing loss.
Make sure your eardrum is intact
Before you continue with any kind of earwax removal, you have to be absolutely sure that you have intact eardrums. Or else, any action that you take might make matter worse. The best way to know if your eardrums are intact, is by visiting your audiologist or any doctor with an otoscope. It takes literally seconds to see if your eardrums are intact.
Seek professional help
Since you are visiting your audiologist or doctor anyway, why not get your earwax removed right there. To remove your earwax professionally, one of the following methods will be used:
- syringe method to flush the wax out with water
- ear curette method to dig the wax out manually
- vacuum suction method to clean your ear canal
All three methods are used under different situations. Your doctor are more likely to use the syringe method, and your audiologist are more likely to use the ear curette and vacuum suction methods. Curette would be the most comfortable way for you, providing that your earwax is not too hard or compact.
Soften the earwax beforehand
If your earwax is too hard and compact, you can soften the wax beforehand to make removal much easier. Apart from using wax solutions from pharmacies, you can drip the following liquids found at home into your ear canal:
- a few drops of olive oil, or
- a few drops of baby oil, or
- few drops of hydrogen peroxide
After softening the earwax, your ear canals can push out the excess wax safely and naturally. If you do this before taking shower or washing hair, the water will also help rinse out the softened wax naturally.
If you have excessive earwax issue, it is wise to get your ears professionally cleaned at least once every 6-12 months. Ear spray can be bought from pharmacist to slow down the wax buildup too.
If you ignore a buildup of excessive earwax, it could cause hearing loss, or worse, damage to your ears. Contact us today and we can help you check your eardrums and earwax situation. Once we identify any issues, we can give you advice on the best course of action to take.