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Barnstaple ear wax removal,

To Oil or Not to Oil? When to oil your ears

I get asked this question everyday and the quick answer is – yes, mostly it is of benefit!

But let’s look at the complexities more closely – firstly we need to establish whether the full feeling, pain, or itchiness in your ear/ears is due to wax or infection (normally Otitis externa – an outer ear infection).  If you felt you were experiencing the latter (there is a watery discharge and usually pain) then oil is of no benefit – head straight to your GP for a swab of the ear canal and possible antibiotics.

However if we are certain that the blocked feeling is due to wax then yes – oil is a benefit. There are just two important rules here when oiling – volume and frequency.

Our goal here is to just oil the canal and soften the wax slightly.  If we over-oil then we end up spreading the wax over the surface of the ear drum which is less comfortable to have suctioned off.

So the key is to oil only one day prior (two applications is satisfactory). Using an eye dropper is the easiest – half full the eye dropper with olive oil – lying on your side is the easiest way – slowly insert the oil – massage the tragus (The tragus is a small pointed eminence of the external ear) gently post application, as oil likes to sit in a bubble sometimes and massaging will allow it to penetrate deep into the canal.  Stay lying on your side for 5 – 10 minutes. Use a cotton ball or piece of tissue to catch any excess oil.

Ear wax removal near South Molton

 

There is only one exception to the rule (gee there is always one!).  In this case, we would NOT apply oil if we (as above suspected an outer ear infection) or suspected a perforated ear drum (Tympanic Membrane). A perforation is usually associated with pain, hearing loss and normally a discharge but not always.  Oil would be of no value and we do not want oil to seeping into the middle ear space.

If you are unsure if oiling is going to be of value prior to Microsuction then a quick chat on the telephone or popping into our clinic for a quick checkup.

If you are in South Molton, Bude or Bideford we can remove ear wax almost on the same day. We have appointments available  now.
Earwax Microsution Barnstaple

Do’s and don’ts of ear wax removal

Barnstaple Ear wax removal

Ear wax, also known as cerumen, is a grey, orange or yellow material made in the ear canal. It cleans and protects the ears from bacteria, dust, foreign particles, and microorganisms. In normal conditions, wax works its way out of the canal and into the ear opening naturally. However, when there is a build-up of wax, there are many ways to remove it. Some are safe, and some are not. Let’s review best practices for dealing with ear wax.

Appointments available within two working days at the Devon Ear Clinic

Do’s

 

  1. Do understand that ear wax is normal. If it does not block the ear canal or impede your hearing, it can be left as is.
  2. Do know the symptoms of ear wax build-up. These include decreased hearing, ear fullness, ringing in the ears, and changes to hearing aid functionality (distortion, etc.).
  3. Do seek medical help if you experience a change in hearing, ringing, or fullness in your ears, and/or ear pain. Other conditions may exhibit symptoms like ear wax build-up, such as ear infections. See a medical professional to rule these out if you experience any of the previously mentioned signs.
  4. Do ask a medical professional prior to using at-home remedies to remove ear wax. Certain medical conditions can make some at-home remedies unsafe. your specialist might suggestion ear irrigation or micro suction as the best option for you.

Bideford ear wax removal

Don’ts

  1. Don’t clean your ears too much. Over cleaning can cause irritation or infection of the ear canal and can even cause the wax to build up.
  2. Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. Avoid using cotton swabs, bobby pins, keys, paper clips, etc. to clean or scratch your ears. These can cause damage to your ear canal — such as a cut, or even puncture of the eardrum — which can lead to many other issues.
  3. Don’t use ear candles. Studies have shown ear candling does not reduce the amount of wax in individuals’ ear canals. Additionally, ear candling can damage the ear canal and eardrum.
  4. Don’t forget to clean your hearing aids as recommended by your hearing healthcare professional. Click here for more information on how to clean your hearing aids.

If you need professional ear wax removal and you are in the Barnstaple area we are just 20 minutes drive away In Torrington and have daily availability. Please call for an appointment.

Please see our fees page for more details

North Devon ear syringing clinic

Five things you should know about earwax

North Devon ear wax removal

 

When you hear the word “earwax”, you might immediately think YUCK! But, did you know that earwax actually plays an important role in the health of your ear? I’d like to share some facts about earwax and the part it plays in a healthy ear.

1. Earwax is not YUCK at all

In fact, earwax is a requirement of a healthy ear canal. It is a product of two glands that are in the ear canal: sweat glands (known as “apocrine sweat glands”) and cerumen glands (known as “sebaceous glands”). Without earwax, ear canals would be dry and itchy. As a result, the ear canals would be more susceptible to scrapes and cuts from scratching.

2. The ear is designed to naturally rid itself of earwax

The skin cells in the ear canal are “migratory” skin cells. New skin cells in the ear canal are formed near the ear drum and then tend to work their way outward over time, carrying earwax and debris with them. These are called “migratory cells” because they migrate their way from inside the ear canal to outside the ear canal.

3. Earwax problems are less common than you think

Thanks to the migratory process of the ear canal, a true “earwax problem” is not as common as you might think. In fact, those who are most at risk for impacted earwax are (1) older adults (2) hearing aid users (3) those who use cotton swabs. Rarely will a person who doesn’t fall into one of these categories experience ear canal blockage due to excess earwax.

4. Cotton swabs should NOT be used to clean your ears

Speaking of cotton swabs, PLEASE DON’T USE THEM FOR EARWAX REMOVAL! What you are actually doing — instead of removing earwax — is wiping away wax in the outer 1/3 of the ear canal and pushing any remaining wax deeper into the ear canal. The most safe, effective way to remove problem cerumen is to visit a physician or hearing healthcare professional who can see into your ear canal then determine the best way to remove the earwax, if needed. Otherwise, simple hygiene practices, such as wiping the surface of the ear canal with a cloth while showering, should be sufficient to keep earwax from causing a problem.

5. Excessive earwax can be mistaken for hearing loss

Hearing loss is often blamed on earwax, but the actual problem is with the inner ear. Thousands of people who think they are experiencing hearing loss due to wax build-up are seen annually by hearing healthcare professionals when the true problem is hearing loss.

If you have ANY questions or concerns about the health of your ear or your hearing, we hear at the Devon ear clinic can

help with ear wax removal.