Earwax is a naturally occurring substance in the human ear, produced by specific glands in the outer third of the ear canal. Its primary purpose is to keep our ears healthy by providing a layer of protection against dust, debris, and potentially harmful bacteria. The sticky nature of earwax also helps to trap these unwanted particles and prevent them from reaching the delicate inner ear.
While earwax is crucial for maintaining ear health, problems arise when there's an overproduction or the natural expulsion mechanism is compromised. This can lead to an accumulation of earwax, known as cerumen impaction, which may block the ear canal and cause various symptoms such as a sense of fullness in the ear, hearing difficulty, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, or even earache.
At Evanston Audiology, we offer two main types of earwax removal services – microsuction and manual removal using a curette. Note that we do not use irrigation methods for earwax removal.
Microsuction Earwax Removal
Microsuction is a safe, quick, and efficient method of earwax removal. It involves the use of a microscope to view the ear canal and a medical suction device to gently remove the earwax. This technique is particularly effective for removing hard or impacted wax and is generally more comfortable and safer than other methods.
Manual (Curette) Earwax Removal
For mild earwax issues, manual removal using a small, curved instrument known as a curette can be an effective solution. This method involves carefully scooping out the earwax under the guidance of a specialized light and magnifying glass.
During your earwax removal appointment at Evanston Audiology, our skilled audiologists will first conduct a detailed assessment of your ear health and the extent of earwax buildup. This is typically done using an otoscope, a tool that lights and magnifies the inner ear, allowing the audiologist to accurately determine the best course of action.
Depending on your specific needs, the audiologist will then proceed with either the microsuction or manual removal method. Rest assured, these procedures are generally painless and quick, often completed within a few minutes.
While it may be tempting to try and remove earwax at home, certain methods can be dangerous and should be avoided. These include using cotton swabs, hairpins, or other sharp objects, which can push the wax further into the ear canal and potentially damage the eardrum. Similarly, ear candling or the use of home remedy kits purchased online are not recommended due to their potential risks and lack of proven effectiveness.
Recognizing the signs of earwax blockage is crucial for timely intervention and treatment. Common symptoms include a feeling of fullness or 'plugged' sensation in the ear, hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness, earache, and even coughing. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's advisable to seek professional help.
While earwax blockage can affect anyone, certain individuals are more at risk. These include hearing aid users, as the device can prevent the natural expulsion of earwax, leading to accumulation. Additionally, individuals who frequently use cotton swabs or earplugs are also at a higher risk, as these objects can push the wax deeper into the ear canal.
Choosing Evanston Audiology for your earwax removal needs ensures you're in the hands of skilled professionals who prioritize your ear health and comfort. Our audiologists are not only fully qualified but also receive additional specialist training in microsuction and manual earwax removal. We utilize the latest technology and best practices, aiming to provide you with a safe, comfortable, and effective earwax removal experience.
If you're experiencing symptoms of earwax blockage or simply wish to ensure your ears are in optimal health, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Evanston Audiology. To book your earwax removal appointment, please call us or book your appointment online.
In this section, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about earwax removal. If you have any additional queries, do not hesitate to contact our team at Evanston Audiology.