Ear Wax Removal
If you feel as if you may be struggling with ear wax blockage, your doctor can determine so by looking in your ear with an otoscope, an instrument that lights and magnifies your inner ear. He/she can then remove the built-up ear wax by using a small, curved instrument called a curet or by using suction. It may also be flushed out using a water pick or rubber-bulb syringe filled with warm water.
What Is Ear Wax?
What we know as ear wax is actually a substance called cerumen, and its function is to protect and lubricate your ears. Without it, your ears would probably be itchy and dry. It has antibacterial properties that keep harmful substances, such as dirt and dust, out of your inner ears. Chewing and moving your jaw helps to move old ear wax out of the ear to the ear opening, where it can dry up and fall away. Ear wax blockage is caused by pushing wax deeper into your ear, which may happen if you clean your ears with a cotton swab.
Should I Clean My Ears?
Cleaning out your ears may be a part of your everyday routine, but your ear canals should not need cleaning. The antibacterial properties of cerumen make your ears self-clean. Swabbing your ears can cause infection, rupturing of the eardrum, or significant hearing loss. However, if too much ear wax builds up and starts to cause symptoms or keeps your doctor from doing a proper ear exam, you may have cerumen impaction, meaning that ear wax has completely filled your ear canal. Symptoms include pain or a feeling of fullness in your ear, ringing in your ear, partial loss of hearing, coughing, itching, discharge, or a smell coming from your ear. Call your doctor if you begin experiencing any of these symptoms.
How to Clean Your Ears Properly
Gently clean the outside of your ears with a washcloth, or try putting a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil, or glycerin in your ear to soften the wax. Never use hydrogen peroxide or ear candles. Hydrogen peroxide can make a problem worse if it is more than just an ear wax buildup. Ear candles can cause burns and pierce the inside of the ear.
Greenville Health Care
Greenville Health Care is a Family Practice and walk-in Medical Clinic dedicated to serving the citizens of Greenville and surrounding counties with excellent, timely, and compassionate patient care. We offer routine medical care for diabetes, high blood pressure, lacerations, ear wax removal, and more. Contact us today for quality health care at an affordable price!