Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell or Dr. BCW. Today, let’s talk about a common condition many experience—ear wax. While ear wax is usually harmless, there are instances when it can cause discomfort and require medical intervention. In this article, we will explore: the symptoms of excessive ear wax, the importance of seeking professional care, and what to expect during a visit to a healthcare provider for ear wax removal.
Symptoms of Excessive Ear Wax:
Excessive ear wax buildup can lead to various symptoms that may require attention. These include pain, hearing loss, pressure, muffled sounds, hearing an echo, dizziness, and a sensation similar to being underwater or changing altitudes. If you experience any of these symptoms, please consider consulting a healthcare provider. A healthcare provider can determine if ear wax removal is required.
Professional Care and Avoiding Self-Help Methods:
When faced with ear wax-related issues, avoiding the use of cotton tips, bobby pins, or any other objects in your ear is crucial. These methods can push the ear wax deeper into the ear canal, exacerbating the situation or potentially causing damage to the delicate structures of the ear, including the eardrum. Seeking professional care is the safest approach for effective, safe removal.
Visiting a Healthcare Provider:
During a visit to a healthcare provider, an examination will be conducted to determine the presence and extent of ear wax buildup and if ear wax removal is required. The provider will use an otoscope, a medical device that shines a light deep into the ear, to inspect the ear canal thoroughly. If excess wax is observed, the provider may opt to soften the wax by introducing a water-based solution containing either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide into the ear. This process typically produces a popping or crackling sound similar to crisp rice cereal.
Wax Removal Procedure:
After allowing the wax-softening solution to take effect for a few minutes. Finally, the provider will conduct the ear wax removal using a bulb syringe or a spray bottle filled with warm water. It is vital for the provider to examine the eardrum before and after wax removal. This allows the provider to ensure there is no infection or damage.
Excessive ear wax can cause discomfort and affect your hearing. If you experience symptoms related to ear wax buildup, it’s important to seek professional care instead of attempting ear wax removal yourself. A healthcare provider will assess the situation, soften the wax using a safe solution, and remove it using appropriate tools. Remember, maintaining ear health involves avoiding inserting objects into your ear and seeking professional care when necessary.
Stay informed and make well-informed decisions about your health and well-being.
-Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)