earwax. #earwax removal. #earwax remover. earwax  removal specialist

        AUDIOLOGY & EARWAX REMOVAL CLINIC

EARS2HEAR WsM 

                                                                                  

We do earwax removal. We use microsuction, manual removal and gentle irrigation.

Earwax removal

What is wax?

Earwax is a normal build-up of dead cells, hair, foreign material such as dust, and natural wax which forms a protective coating on the skin in the ear canal. The quantity of earwax produced varies greatly from person to person. 

Earwax is natural and helps to protect the ear canal from bacteria and debris that can cause infections. 

Wax is produced by glands in the ear canal. Wax could be any colour from yellow, to bright orange, to dark brown. 

Your body will normally produce enough earwax to maintain health, but sometimes this wax can become hard and impacted, which can lead to problems like hearing loss, or discomfort. 

 

 

Why does wax build up?

Most common reasons for wax build up, is  

  • Using cotton buds 
  • A narrow / hairy ear canal 
  • Frequently using earphones/ ear plugs/ hearing aids. 
  • Some people naturally create a lot of ear wax. 
  • Producing hard or dry ear wax. 
  • Age, because ear wax becomes drier as we get older. 
  • Bony growths in the ear canal. 

 

Excessive ear wax can cause 

  • pain, 
  • tinnitus, 
  • infection 
  • and hearing loss through blockage.   

When to speak to your GP. 

In certain circumstances we will not be able to perform wax removal and you would be advised to seek medical advice: 

  • Any pain in last 90 days, not related to impacted wax. 
  • Middle ear/ Outer ear infection with discharge in last 90 days. 
  • Current/ recurrent ear infection. 
  • Past operations in/ around the ears.
  • Sudden hearing loss, not related to wax.

How do you know if you need wax removal? 

There are a range of symptoms which might improve when the ear wax is removed. These include fullness, earache, hearing loss, tinnitus, itchiness, dizziness and/or ear infections. 

 

Please be aware that above mentioned problems could be caused by other issues as well and wax is not the only reason for these symptoms.  

 If you’ve got any of these symptoms, reach out to your GP / ask an audiologist to have a look in your ears.  

 

Prior to booking your ear wax removal treatment, it is important to know that you would need to use oil in your ears for 2-3 days before your appointment, if you have hard wax. This helps to soften the wax in preparation and make the treatment much more effective. 

Not everyone’s wax is the same. Some people do not need wax softening. This is based on the average wax.  

 

What are the risks?

The clinician has been trained and is a certified competent ear wax removal specialist. 

There are risks involved in using a suction machine and suction handle to remove wax, but the risks are reduced by the fact that we can see what we are doing. 

 The biggest risk is the fact that the machine can be noisy and when wax gets dislodged, it makes more noise. When skins are sucked into the machine it can also make a high-pitched noise, which is right in your ear.  

You could have a temporary hearing threshold shift from the noise, or tinnitus. (When you come in, we have a list of all possibly, rare and uncommon risks and side effects) 

Another risk is minor skin tears if the skin breaks off whilst still attached. We will try and minimize this for you as much as possible.  

If you’ve got any of these symptoms, reach out to your GP / ask an audiologist to have a look in your ears.  

 

We do not recommend that you have a hearing test for 24 hours after noisy wax removal.  

Microsuction

Microsuction is a new technique. Unlike ear candling, syringing or irrigation, microsuction ear wax removal has a significantly lower risk of causing damage to your eardrum. This is because the procedure is performed under direct vision and avoids the use of any liquids at high pressure. This makes the procedure safer and comfortable for the patient.  

The audiologist carefully inserts a very thin suction tube into the ear canal, which is connected to a suction machine. It is a very thorough process. 

Manual Removal

Manual ear wax removal is performed using a long thin instrument that are carefully and gently used to dislodge the wax and remove it from your ear.  

 

This method is most typically suitable for removing a small amount of wax that has built up near the entrance of your ear canal. 

Water irrigation

Water irrigation is not the same as the old “syringing” method, instead using a small irrigation unit that is safer, gentler and more effective. 

The irrigation unit uses water heated to body temperature (37°C) which is sent out at low pressure into the ear canal. 

This flushes out any debris in the ear canal and is ideal to remove the last little bit of very soft ear wax. 

HOW TO USE EAR DROPS/ OIL SPRAY: 

If you have hard wax, you would need to use oil for 2-3 days to soften the wax before your appointment.

 

  1. Warm the drops before using them. 
  2. Lie on your side with the affected ear uppermost. 
  3. Pull the outer ear gently backwards and upwards to straighten the ear canal. 
  4. Put 2 -3 drops of olive oil into the affected ear(s) and gently massage just in front of the ear. 
  5. Stay lying on your side for 10 minutes to allow the wax to soak up the oil. 
  6. Afterwards, wipe away any excess oil but do not plug your ear with cotton wool as this simply absorbs the oil 

 

Olive oil in a gentle spray bottle works well for this. Your ears might feel more blocked after using the oil, as the oil soften the wax and it might feel like it swells before it starts feeling better, keep going, as the wax will shift and get softer, and this will make is feel better.  

At any point if you experience a bad taste in your throat after using oil, discontinue to use and consult your GP, as you might have a perforation. 

If you wear hearing aids, try to keep them out whilst using oil in your ear as the tubing/ filters can get blocked, and you can damage the aids, your hearing aid warrantee might not cover this. 

Some people might experience some discomfort with using oil.  Speak to your GP/ pharmacist.  

What can you expect at your appointment?

We are fully qualified audiologists trained to safely remove ear wax, using one of three methods.  

 

It does not matter which method is used, as we would always choose the more viable and safest method for your ear 

 

Which method is best for you will depend upon the level of wax build-up, pre-existing ear conditions you may have, and whether you softened the wax prior to your appointment using the oil. 

 

Your wax removal appointment will take around 30 minutes. It would be helpful if you could attend your appointment on time. 

 

You’ll need to sign a consent form before we remove any wax from your ears. 

 

We will first examine your ears to confirm there is earwax present.  

 

Using the information you provided on your pre-completed health questionnaire, we will determine if microsuction is a viable option  

 

We’ll then talk you through the procedure and show you the equipment that will be used and explain how it works. 

 

Once you are happy to go ahead, our audiologist will use a magnifier on a head loupe and suction tube to gently remove any wax that is in your ear

After our clinician has performed the procedure, they will then check the health of your ears and record this information.  

 

Our aim is to remove excessive wax, skin and debris. If there is a smear of wax, we will leave it, as we aim to remove excessive wax, not harm your ear.

 

If we are unsuccessful in removing all excessive wax, we’ll advise you on your next steps. 

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