Managing Ear Wax
Managing Ear Wax
Do you ever wonder why we have WAX (CERUMEN) in our ears?
The correct name for ear wax is CERUMEN and the presences of cerumen in the ear canal is a normal and healthy phenomenon. Wax is a natural moisturiser and prevents the skin inside the ear from becoming too dry. It also traps dirt and dust and foreign bodies before they can reach deep into the canal.
Wax will vary in appearance and is most often yellowish or brown in colour and can be hard or soft. Too much wax in the ear can cause temporary hearing loss and should be removed.
The entire ear canal is involved in producing ear wax. This includes the Cerumen glands, Sebaceous glands and the bony ear canal. Small drops of amber-coloured cerumen are excreted onto the skin of the cartilaginous ear canal. It is a mixture of secretion for the cerumen and sebum glands. The fluid forms drops on the fine hairs in the ear canal and spreads onto its wall and the fluid dries and forms a more solid cerumen. The wax then migrates to the outer part of the canal and is helped along by jaw movement during speech and especially during yawning and chewing. The earwax usually ends up in the ear canal’s opening and is removed by ordinary washing.
Unfortunately individuals often have a compulsion to “clean”their ears with cotton buds, paper clips or hairpins, keys etc. If your hearing is reduced you can often feel “blocked up” or can’t hear properly and in some instances wax can even cause a droning tinnitus. Sometimes the wax might be a solid plug which is a mixture of wax, dried skin and shed hairs and these plugs can be very hard and should be removed.
At Sharon King Hearing Centres we recommend the use of CleanEars which is all natural product which consists of squalene ( derived from Olive Oil) mineral oil and spearmint oil. The squalene is similar composition to ear wax but in liquid form. When it is sprayed into the ear the squalene collides with the cerumen and through imparting its kinetic energy, it partially liquefies the ear wax. The mineral oil irrigates the ear and removes the liquified ear wax. The Spearmint oil warms the ear canal and provides a pleasant odour. At SKHC we have found this product to give the best results and most often results in removal of wax.
At Sharon King Hearing we encourage people to call into our office so that we are able to check your ears prior to booking an appointment as often by just using CleanEars for a few days it will help remove the wax. If this is not the case we request that you use the spray for 4 days before your appointment to ensure that we are able to remove it safely either by syringing or mico-suction.
Caution should be used if there is a history of ear perforation or ear infection. If in doubt always consult your GP.
No appointment is needed if you just need us to check your ears for wax.
If you have any questions we encourage you to call into our office to chat with our friendly staff.
Prevention and early treatment can significantly help to minimise the effects of hearing loss. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our in-house hearing tests.