Earwax buildup is a common issue that many Australians face.
While earwax build up is typical, there may come times when it becomes necessary to clear excess amounts of wax.
Ear wax is there for a good reason – protecting your ear canal from dirt, dust, and pesky bacteria. However, when it accumulates excessively, it can cause discomfort and even hearing issues.
From home remedies to professional services available in Perth, we’ve got all the information you need to act quickly and safely.
Read on to learn more.
Understanding ear wax
Ear wax is a natural substance produced by your body to protect and clean your ears.
At times, earwax can build up and cause discomfort, especially if you’re using cotton buds, using ear plugs, or have narrower-than-average ear canals.
Earwax buildup symptoms to watch out for
Keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs:
- Muffled hearing
- Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
- An itchy or full sensation in the ear
Earwax removal home remedies
Olive oil drops
Olive oil is a great natural softener. Just warm it up to body temperature and put a few drops into the affected ear. Lie on your side for about 10 minutes to let it work its magic.
Over-the-counter ear drops
You can find ear drops at most chemists around Perth. They usually contain hydrogen peroxide or saline, which can help soften and break down the wax.
Ear irrigation kits
These kits can be bought from chemists, too. They involve gently flushing out the ear with water. Just be cautious with this method, especially if you have a history of ear problems.
When should you see a professional?
Sometimes, home remedies just don’t cut it, or the situation might be a bit more serious. That’s when you should head to a healthcare professional. In Perth, there are plenty of options:
Hearing Care Professional at Hearing & Audiology
The clinicians at Hearing & Audiology are specially trained in wax removal. They use a combination of micro-suction and manual extraction to carefully and successfully remove wax from the ear canal. The health of the ear canal and eardrum are also examined.
GPs and ear specialists
Your local GP can assess your ears and provide treatment or refer you to an ear specialist via an ENT or audiologist.
Hospital or urgent care
If you’re experiencing severe symptoms like intense pain, discharge, or sudden hearing loss, head straight to the hospital or an urgent care centre.
How to prevent future earwax buildups
Prevention is better than cure. Here’s how to keep your ear canals clean and free of excess buildup.
- Avoid using cotton buds or other objects in your ears.
- Use a wax softening or dissolving agent regularly to keep the wax soft.
- Consider using earplugs if you’re exposed to dust or debris.
Tips and Tricks
The following methods and precautions can also be taken to deal effectively with this issue.
Dietary and lifestyle considerations
Believe it or not, your diet and lifestyle can impact wax production. Staying hydrated helps keep the wax soft, while a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation in the body, including your ears. Also, manage stress levels as stress can exacerbate the condition.
Be cautious of ear candles
You might’ve heard about ear candles for wax removal. However, most health professionals advise against them. They’re not only ineffective but can be downright dangerous, potentially causing burns and eardrum perforations.
Using Earplugs Wisely
If you frequently swim or are exposed to loud noises, earplugs are essential. However, ensure they fit properly and are kept clean, as they can contribute to wax buildup if misused.
Natural remedies and their effectiveness
Besides olive oil, other natural remedies like almond or garlic oil are sometimes suggested besides olive oil. While these can be gentle wax softeners, it’s crucial to ensure you’re not allergic to these substances before using them.
Children and Ear Care
For the little ones, it’s vital to be extra cautious. Avoid home remedies unless advised by a paediatrician. Children’s ears are more sensitive, and it’s always better to seek professional help if you suspect a wax buildup.
Some people are more prone to excessive ear wax due to the shape of their ear canals or because they produce more wax naturally. Understanding your ear anatomy can help in managing the condition better.
Remember, while excess earwax is a common issue, it’s always best to approach it with care and caution. Whether you opt for home remedies or seek professional help, the goal is to ensure your ears remain healthy and your hearing clear.
For more information, reach out to (08) 9388 8003 to learn more or schedule a consultation.