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Wax Removal 2017-10-12T10:15:51+00:00

Wax Removal

All about Wax

Earwax is also known as cerumen. It is a substance that is brown/yellowish in colour and produced in the ear canal. There are two distinct types of earwax; the dry-type and the wet-type. This is majorly determined by an individual’s genetic makeup.

The earwax has three major roles:

Cells from the ear drum migrate outwards and move towards the entrance of the canal. This in turn causes the earwax to slowly carry out any matter that it may have gathered. Movement of the jaw allows dislodgement of debris, increasing the changes of its expulsion.

Modern studies have provided evidence of the how earwax can reduce the viability of a range of bacteria. For example, Haemophilus influenzae, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus can sometimes be reduced by up to 99%. This is due to the slight acidity of the cerumen and the presence of saturated fatty acids and lysozyme.

Earwax acts as a natural lubricant, preventing desiccation of the ear canal skin. This is mostly prevalent in ‘wet-type’ cerumen.

How to tell if your ears are blocked with wax:

 

  • Itchiness

  • Muffled/unclear hearing

  • Earache and dizziness – very rare

  • Tinnitus (click here for more information)

Ear wax build-up

An excessive build-up of earwax may in fact act as a barrier to sound in the ear canal, causing a temporary ‘conductive’ hearing loss. Please click here to visit our hearing loss page to find out more about this topic.

Common causes of ear wax build-up include:

  • Hairy or narrow ear canals

  • Age – wax gets harder and more difficult to fall out

  • Use of ear plugs or hearing aids that may block the ear canal

Earwax Removal

If you suffer from excessive earwax build up and are experiencing some of the symptoms outlined above, it may be worth booking an appointment with us. We offer excellent prices in addition to same day appointments!

Click Here to Book Your Appointment

Preventing earwax build up

The production of earwax is one that is naturally occurring. It is there to protect your ears from germs and debris. However if individuals have problems with excessive earwax build up, the use of ear drops from the pharmacy may help to soften the wax. You should always consult with a pharmacist or a qualified clinician prior to administering any drops. Ear drops may help the cerumen fall out on its own and prevent excessive build up.

Microsuction

At London Hearing, Microsuction is considered as the gold standard for earwax removal.

Microsuction is a very simple procedure which is performed to extract wax from the ear canal. It is seen as the safest and most comfortable method of ear wax removal. It involves a skilled clinician using a suction technique to draw the wax out of the ear. Hence this allows minimal mess as no water is required, unlike ear irrigation. The procedure is pain free and can even be completed within a couple of minutes. A video otoscope is used to show before and after pictures at the appointment to give assurance to patients that the ear is wax free.

It is important to note that it is strictly not recommended to insert anything in your ear by yourself in an attempt to extract wax. This is because you may in fact push the wax in deeper into the ear and perhaps damage the ear drum, which may result in a hearing loss. It is only permissible for a qualified clinician / doctor to extract wax.

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