Clearing The Way
One of the most common causes of troubled hearing is a buildup of earwax or, in medical terms, cerumen. Cerumen helps protect your sensitive eardrum by trapping dirt, sand, insects and other foreign substances.
Earwax also repels water. As a moisturizer, it helps prevent excessive dryness in the ear canal and on the outer ear. And, as an antibacterial agent, it helps prevent infection.
For some of us, though, it’s too much of a good thing. Too much earwax can block the ear canal and make hearing extremely difficult. You see, excess earwax is supposed to flow outside your ear. Dried or excessive cerumen normally either falls outside the ear or can be wiped free.In younger people, earwax is usually softer and more flexible. But, as you get older, earwax can harden and become even more difficult to remove.
This “hardened” earwax is more likely to block your ear’s passage. If exposed to water, it’s more likely to swell.
What’s more, if you produce a lot of earwax, have small ear canals, or both, you may be more susceptible to blockage. If you wear a hearing aid or wear earplugs at work, you may face even more difficulty. Hearing aids or earplugs – by blocking your ear canal and preventing the flow of earwax – can actually keep your ears from naturally eliminating wax.
Regardless, if you produce too much earwax, or if its natural flow to the outside of your ear is disrupted, it can become impacted.
And your hearing can suffer.
Impacted earwax must be removed. Because it can seriously diminish hearing, excess earwax can lead to other serious social and physical problems.
Fortunately, the solution may be as simple as removing the excess earwax.
That said, it’s important to remove it properly. You’ve probably heard, “Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.” That’s good advice because if you try to remove earwax by using cotton swabs, fingernails or other small instruments, you’re likely to make matters worse.
You probably won’t remove the impacted earwax. Instead, you’ll just push it farther down, making it even harder to remove.
You Have A Choice
Fortunately, you have a choice. Improving your hearing may be as simple as clearing your ear canal by removing the impacted earwax. Our audiologists can perform this procedure. Occasionally, before earwax can be removed it must first be softened and loosened. At Hearing Consultants, we use Audiologist’s Choice, which contains Carbamide Peroxide – the only FDA-accepted, safe and effective agent for softening and loosening earwax.
Please call the office, at 513-489-3300 and schedule an appointment with one of our audiologists for a thorough ear examination, because if you have shown a tendency to build up earwax once, chances are, before long you’ll have the same problem again.