Ear wax, also known as cerumen, is produced in the ear canals by glands. Wax acts as part of the ears natural defense system preventing infection due to antibacterial agents. Its moist sticky properties also catch dust, debris and foreign objects which enter the ear.
Ear wax consists of:
1. Dust, debris & foreign objects
2. Old skin cells
3. Oily secretions from glands in the ear canal
When does wax need to be removed?
Small amounts of wax in the ear canals are normal and keep the ear healthy. Large build ups of wax can cause the ears to become blocked.
Common symptoms of excessive wax include; pain, feeling of fullness, itching, ringing and partial/complete hearing loss.
Ear wax should always be removed by a professional or with the presence of a clinician to avoid long term damage to the ear. Home attempts almost always have a negative effect by pushing wax further in the canal and making it more impacted – making it more difficult to remove.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: DO I HAVE TO USE EAR DROPS BEFORE I COME TO SEE YOU?
A: No! You can come and see us as soon as you have a problem and have it sorted out in one visit. Don't worry if you have been using them already - we can deal with that as well.
Q: I HAVE OTITIS EXTERNA (INFLAMMATION/ INFECTION OF EAR CANAL) IN BOTH EARS, CAN I STILL DO EAR CLEANING?
A: You should not proceed with an ear cleaning if you have been diagnosed with otitis externa. Your audiologist will advise you if you have doubts.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR A EAR CLEANING SESSION?
A: It depends on the amount of ear wax in your ear. Usually it takes about 30 minutes to an hour.
Q: DO I NEED TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR EAR CLEANING?
A: Yes, appointment is neccessary.