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Earwax

Medical people call earwax “cerumen”.  If you like to hear, earwax is not your friend.  Lansdowne Hearing makes it our job to inform you of your current earwax status and educate you on maintaining a 0% earwax level daily.  This will help you now and if you need to use hearing aids.  Earwax can be like a tennis ball and a kitchen sink.  If you put a tennis ball into a kitchen sink, the water will not go down.  In a similar wax, if you keep earwax in your hearing aids, they will stop the sound from getting to your eardrum.  Earwax can also damage your hearing aids in the long run.


What is earwax?

The body creates earwax as a self-cleaning agent with protective, lubricating and antibacterial properties.  Dry, itchy ears may result if one had no wax.  The body tries to self-clean with an orderly movement of earwax and dead skin cells from the eardrum down the ear canal.  Under natural conditions, older earwax is constantly being transported down the ear canal with the assistance of your chewing motion.  Earwax is only formed in the outer 30% of your ear canal, not close to your ear drum.  With this in mind, you can see that putting in earplugs when you shower and preventing water from entering your ears will also inhibit the natural process of wax removal to occur.  Also, there are different ear canal shapes which do not promote the natural removal of ear wax.

Many believe that people should discontinue using cotton swabs or other objects into the ear canals.  Lansdowne Hearing suggests not to use bobby pins, bamboo shoots or pins to remove wax.  All of these methods have been used by people who we educated about ear care.

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There are many people that get cerumen (ear wax) impaction because their earwax does not exit their ear canal naturally.  In this case, they can get the wax removed from their doctor.  Also, they can use hydrogen peroxide to soften the wax and help the wax to exit their ear canal.  Just lay your head on your side and put a cap of hydrogen peroxide in your ear.  If it starts bubbling, you might have some ear wax.  This should not be done with an ear drum perforation, you have diabetes, a hole in the eardrum (perforation), tube in the eardrum, skin problems such as eczema in the ear canal or a weakened immune system.

 

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How the doctor might clean your ears?

There are about five methods to remove cerumen and irrigation (ear syringing) is often used. This is usually done with warm water and hydrogen peroxide. Ear syringing combined with softening of the wax with other solutions 30 minutes before treatment is most helpful.  Avoidance of this process if you have diabetes, a hole in the eardrum (perforation), tube in the eardrum, skin problems such as eczema in the ear canal or a weakened immune system.

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Manual removal of earwax is also effective. This is most often performed by an otolaryngologist using suction or special miniature instruments, and a microscope to magnify the ear canal. Manual removal is preferred if your ear canal is narrow, the eardrum has a perforation or tube, other methods have failed, or if you have skin problems affecting the ear canal, diabetes or a weakened immune system.

Source    ENT Network

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