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Microsuction earwax removal North Devon, Microsuction Holsworthy, Ears Torbay

How to Get Relief From Itchy Ears

 

How to Get relief from itchy ears, It is almost impossible to ignore an itch anywhere on the body and the problem becomes even more distressing if it occurs in areas that are hard to reach or view. An itch in your ears is a good case in point.

soothe itchy ears- Devon ear clinic Barnstaple

Common Causes of Itchy Ears

The most frequent cause of itchy ears is irritation in the lining of the outer ear canal, such as a form of eczema(1) This can be caused by water getting trapped or an infection in the ear.

Once the itch has started, it can be hard to eradicate. A number of factors can make your ears itchy, which include:

  • Skin conditions such as dermatitis or psoriasis (2)
  • An allergic response to a new hair or skin product and earrings that contain nickel
  • Fungal infections (3)
  • Changes in atmospheric pressure
  • Wax buildup, which can cause water to become trapped in the outer ear canal, consequently irritating the lining of the ear canal and causing inflammation, with the classic symptom of itchiness

Ear Cleaning: Dos and Don’ts

Itchy ears, Devon ear clinic

Ear wax removal Holsworthy

Your ears are self-cleaning organs that naturally expel the excess wax and other impurities settled in the ear canal.

Thus, there is no need to use ear-cleaning tools such as cotton buds and Q-tips, which will only push the wax further inside and might even damage the delicate inner lining of the ear or the eardrum.

However, if you feel like your ears are clogged, unclean, or scratchy due to cerumen buildup, you can use your shower on a cool setting to irrigate the ear from the outside or go swimming.

It is best if you consult your ear, nose and throat surgeon, who will use a microscope and gentle suction to remove the wax.

Preventive Measures for Itchy Ears

People who are prone to itchy ears should adopt the following measures to keep their ears clean, dry, and itch-free:

  • The critical thing with itchy ears is to avoid getting water trapped in the ear and to have some mild steroid cream available to use at night. So, when you are swimming or showering, consider using earplugs if you are prone to itchy ears.
  • You can also effectively keep your ear dry by placing a ball of cotton wool rubbed in Vaseline into the bowl of your outer ear.
  • Regularly have your ears checked by an ear, nose and throat surgeon to make sure your ear canal is not blocked.
  • A mild steroid cream applied to the ear canal at night is usually very effective in treating itchy ears. This can be bought over the counter at a pharmacy, although stronger creams will need a prescription from your ear, nose, and throat surgeon.

Do Any Food Items Lead to Itchy Ears?

Food allergy very rarely causes ear itching, although it is a common cause of skin eczema, especially in the young.

Ear syringing Holsworthy

 

Relation Between Itchy Ears and Sore Throat

The throat and ear are inextricably linked by the same nerve supply, mainly the glossopharyngeal nerve. A sore throat can be felt like a sore ear, but the itchiness can be another way of interpreting this referred pain.

Itchy Ears in the Wake of a Common Cold

The common cold can cause disordered ear sensation, including itchiness, due to the inflammation of the nose. Such inflammation causes a blockage, which directly affects the function of the Eustachian tube.

The Eustachian tube runs from the back of the nose to the ears on each side. If the tube is blocked, then the ears become blocked, which can also be interpreted as itchiness.

Dizziness Related to Itchy Ears

The ears have two primary functions: hearing and balance sensation.

Any problem in any part of the ear can trigger the general feeling that the ear is not working properly. This can cause slight hearing loss, mild dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing/noises in the ear).

Itchy Ears During Pregnancy

Pregnancy often sets off a condition called pregnancy rhinitis, wherein swelling and blockage occur in the nose.

This can cause blockage of the Eustachian tube with subsequent ear blockage and itchiness.

Use Your Own Earphones

Itchy ears are not infective, so using someone else’s earphones is not a problem.

However, it is always better to use your own as everybody has their own set of bugs in the ears, even in healthy ears. You wouldn’t use a spoon that someone else has licked, would you?

Beneficial Oils for Treating Itchy Ears

beneficial oils for itchy ears relief- Devon ear clinic Holsworthy

Some oils can help relieve itchiness in the ear canals, just like they can help ease skin itchiness. Olive oil, for instance, has been found useful in this regard. (4)

Don’t Put Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ears

It is not a good idea to use hydrogen peroxide in the ear, as it is quite a reactive and irritant compound.

You may use sodium bicarbonate ear drops, which help to disperse wax. Otherwise, oil-based liquids such as olive oil are well tolerated and help to soothe the irritated skin of the ear canal. (4)

Avoid Artificial Ear Jewellery

Ear itchiness when wearing ear jewellery is usually caused by contact dermatitis, mainly due to the nickel in the jewellery. In this situation, it is best to buy solid silver or gold jewellery.

Final Word

An itch in the ear can be extremely uncomfortable and impossible to ignore, but a lot of people make the condition worse by poking their ear with sharp objects, such as cotton buds, bobby pins, coat hangers, and toothpicks, to quell the itch.

As difficult it is to resist the urge to scratch, you must realise that your ear cavity is extremely sensitive, which can incur severe trauma through the abrasive rubbing action of invasive tools.

Moreover, the thrusting of these objects can push the naturally occurring cerumen (earwax) deep into the ear canal and even damage or perforate the eardrum. Thus, you have to be extremely gentle and cautious when handling the inside of your ear.

If the itch is persistent, consult an ENT specialist to determine the underlying cause and then seek appropriate treatment.

The Devon Ear Clinic is based in Torrington and close to Barnstaple, Holsworthy, Bude, South Molton, Bideford, Hatherleigh. We specialise in ear wax removal using Microsuction 
Earwax Microsution Barnstaple

Earwax Buildup: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

 

Located in Torrinton a few minutes drive from Barnstaple, the Devon ear clinic normally has appointments available daily.

The ear canal is lined with sebaceous and ceruminous glands that produce a greasy, viscous substance called cerumen, more commonly known as earwax.

This oily secretion lubricates the ear canal and forms a protective covering over the delicate skin of the inner ear to trap invading germs, dust, and other irritants. Moreover, it serves as a medium for carrying dead skin cells and dust out of the ear.

Earwax is vital for the health of your ears but it can be a problem if it is secreted in excess amounts or accumulates over time.

Why Does Earwax Accumulate?

how does earwax accumulate inside the ear canal?

Earwax naturally migrates from the back of the ear canal toward the ear opening, assisted by the constant jaw motions while talking, chewing, and yawning. Once it reaches the ear opening, earwax dries up, turns flaky, and falls out of the ear on its own.

Any disruption in this natural migratory process can lead to the progressive buildup and hardening of cerumen within the ear canal known as impaction.

An overproduction of cerumen can also overwhelm the self-cleaning mechanism of the ear and cause an earwax buildup or blockage. (1)

Causes of Earwax Buildup/Blockage

what causes earwax buildup?

Ear wax removal Barnstaple North Devon

Need your ears syringing? We have appointments available weekly.

The following factors can lead to the buildup and impaction of cerumen, resulting in an ear blockage:

  • Certain ear infections such as swimmer’s ear can cause a narrowing of the outer ear canal due to inflammation and can pave the way for earwax accumulation.
  • Dermatological conditions such as eczema are characterised by hardened wax secretions and dry, flaky skin, both of which can contribute to excessive cerumen accumulation.
  • Autoimmune conditions such as lupus can also lead to excess earwax buildup.
  • Some trauma or blockage within the ear canal can also trigger an overproduction of cerumen, eventually resulting in a blockage.
  • Unnecessary ear cleaning by inserting your fingers, cotton swabs, or other invasive tools into your ear canal can push the wax deeper into the ear and lodge it against the eardrum.
  • Osteomata, which is characterized by the development of harmless bony protrusions in the external ear canal, can disrupt the self-cleaning mechanism of the ear.
  • The regular use of earplugs, music earplugs, or even hearing aids can push the earwax further into the ear canal, leading to blockage.

Signs and Symptoms of Earwax Buildup

Some of the signs and symptoms of the accumulation of excessive earwax include:

  • A feeling of blockage or fullness in the ear
  • Earache
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear
  • A foul smell coming from the ear
  • An uneasy sensation inside the ear
  • Hearing problems, including temporary deafness (2)
  • Itchiness in the ear
  • Ear discharge
  • Vertigo (dizziness)

Medical Treatment for Earwax Blockage

Your doctor decides the appropriate treatment after examining the extent of earwax impaction and ruling out an ear infection or a pierced or perforated eardrum.

treatment for earwax blockage Barnstaple North Devon

The standard treatment options for earwax removal include:

1. Ear drops

OTC hydrogen peroxide or enzyme-containing ear drops can be administered daily for a few days to dissolve the impacted earwax so that it can move more easily out of the ear canal.

2. Ear irrigation

This process involves flushing your ear canal with a controlled, pressurised flow of warm water to dislodge and expel the impacted/excess earwax.

Although ear irrigation can be done using a metal syringe, an electronic ear irrigator is a safer and medically preferred option. (3)

3. Microsuction

Microsuction is a slightly discomforting but largely painless medical procedure that requires the patient to stay very still as the earwax is suctioned out of the cavity.

The doctor may also use a small device such as a curette or a cerumen spoon to manually remove the impacted wax, usually when all the other methods have failed.

How Is Earwax Blockage Diagnosed?

Diagnosing an ear blockage involves the following steps:

1. Medical history

Your ENT doctor or otologist will first review your medical history and symptoms.

2. Ear exam

The doctor will then look inside your ear cavity through a magnifying tool called an otoscope for any sign of impacted earwax.

3. Banji’s test

Sometimes the impaction is so severe that it clogs the entire ear canal such that the doctor is unable to see through it and has to resort to other diagnostic techniques such as Banji’s test.

It involves pulling the pinna, or the outermost part of the visible ear, making room for the sound to travel through the congested ear canal and momentarily improving the patient’s hearing. However, if there is no improvement in sound perception, impaired hearing may be due to something other than cerumen impaction. (4)

Risk Factors

The following risk factors can make you increasingly predisposed to developing an earwax-induced blockage:

  • Certain anatomical features such as a narrow or underdeveloped ear canal can make you prone to earwax buildup.
  • Some people, such as those of East Asian descent, produce a less fluid form of cerumen that is more likely to clump and form a blockage.
  • This condition is more common in people with a history of impacted earwax and recurrent ear infections.
  • People with excessive hair growth in the ear canals have a higher likelihood of developing earwax blockages.
  • People tend to secrete harder and drier earwax as they get older, which is then more prone to impaction.

Possible Complications

complications of excessive earwax buildup

Barnstaple ear wax removal

Earwax blockage due to cerumen accumulation/impaction can lead to the following complications if it is not treated properly or if it escalates to a serious degree:

  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Middle ear infection
  • Outer ear infection such as swimmer’s ear
  • Vertigo characterised by dizziness and disorientation, typically when the earwax gets pushed against the eardrum or tympanic membrane
  • Persistent tinnitus, marked by a ringing or buzzing sound in your ear

When to See a Doctor

Prompt medical assistance is particularly warranted if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistently high fever
  • Constant nausea
  • Severe vertigo that can disrupt your body balance to such a degree that it becomes difficult for you to walk
  • Sudden loss of hearing
  • Yellow or green pus-like discharge from the ear canal
  • Acute ear pain or bleeding after inserting an ear cleaning object into the affected ear canal

Final Word

Your ear is a self-cleaning organ that gradually but systematically eliminates the old earwax. Thus, deep cleaning your ears is not required unless there is enough earwax buildup to cause symptoms such as earache or hearing problems.

There are some self-care measures and home therapies that may assist with the expulsion of excess earwax but refer to an ear specialist before starting self-treatment.

Ears Microsuctioned at our Torrington ear clinic. See our fees page for more info

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.
Torrington ear wax clinic

Bideford Ear wax Removal

We are based Near Bideford and are a dedicated ear wax removal clinic.

 

We are based Near Bideford and are a dedicated ear wax removal clinic. We are constantly hearing stories about cotton buds and ear wax, but have you ever heard that you shouldn’t stick cotton buds in your ears? Maybe you’ve even read the back of a box of q-tips. If so, you know that q-tips are not designed to clean your ears.

Cleaning your ears with a q-tip may cause damage to the eardrum, and could force earwax further down your ear canal, causing a blockage. Doctors are very serious about proper ear care, and they stress that you should never use a q-tip to clean the earwax from your ears.

Microsuction ear wax removal Bideford

 

If q-tips aren’t doctor recommended, what is the best way to clean my ears?

The safest and most effective method for removing earwax is by applying a few drops of olive oil, mineral oil, or over-the-counter ear drops into the ear canal. These fluids will help to break down the wax, and allow it to naturally work its way out. While this method may work for those with average earwax production, it may not be enough for those that naturally produce an excess of earwax.

To further loosen earwax, it is recommended that you lightly irrigate the ear canal. This can be done by running water from your hand to your ear, or by tilting your head in the shower. Make sure the incoming water pressure is very low and let the water rest in your ear canal for a few minutes before tilting your head back to its normal resting position. Warm water will help to loosen the ear wax, but make sure it’s not too hot.

If you continue to experience excess earwax production it is recommended that you receive professional ear cleaning services several times a year.

If you’re concerned with your earwax production and are experiencing discomfort, hearing difficulties, or itching or drainage from the ear canal, you should consult with your doctor immediately.

We use Microsuction for the removal of ear wax which is now the preferred method the NHS recommend

If you live in or near Bideford and would like a quick appointment without the wait or the travel to Barnstaple contact us by phone or here.

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