A build-up of earwax can be an uncomfortable issue that leads to dull hearing and may cause earache.
Fortunately, earwax removal is a quick and straightforward procedure that can provide instant relief and improved hearing.
Earwax is a brown/red/yellow substance secreted in ear canals made up of dead skin cells, hair and a waxy oil called cerumen that is secreted by the ceruminous and sebaceous glands of the outer ear canal. Its purpose is to lubricate and protect the skin of the ear canal, as well as helping prevent the introduction of fungi, bacteria and water.
Usually, earwax travels towards the ear’s opening where it comes out or is cleaned away during showering or washing. Some people produce earwax at a faster rate than is naturally removed, and this results in impacted earwax.
Hearing aids are also believed to increase the likelihood of earwax impaction, as they impede the natural removal of earwax from the ear canal.
Prior to your earwax removal appointment, you may be directed to use an earwax softener like olive oil 3-4 times a day over the course of 3-5 days. This breaks down the earwax in the ear canal, making it softer and easier to remove.
During the consultation and initial hearing screening, a digital camera will be used to examine your ear canal, and your hearing will be assessed.
This will give the consultant a clear picture of what they’re dealing with.
A small vacuum will be used to suck wax out of your ear canal – a quick and painless process that is widely accepted to be safer than irrigation or syringing.
Of the three methods, microsuction poses the least risk to the eardrum and uses no moisture, which reduces the likelihood of bacterial infection. It is also the only method that provides a direct camera view of the ear canal during the earwax removal.
After the procedure you will be assessed for whether any further treatment solutions (e.g. hearing aid) are required.
Digital otoscopy results can be shared with ENT surgeons or audiologists if further specialist treatment is required.
We have endeavoured to make the process as straight forward and efficient as possible.
Experiencing aural discomfort can have a profound and negative effect on individuals.
Left untreated, impacted earwax can lead to infection.
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Impacted earwax is harder and drier than normal, so is unlikely to clear up on its own. It’s best dealt with sooner rather than later as it may become infected if left untreated.
Microsuction earwax removal can be noisy and feel a bit strange, but it doesn’t cause any pain.
We offer free advice, including free consultations, to start you on your road to better health or peace of mind. Anything we cannot offer directly, we signpost to our network of selected specialists and clinicians around the country.
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