What is Ear Wax?
Ear wax can accumulate in the ear canal and cause hearing loss and local irritation. The color can be yellow, brown, or reddish and has no particular meaning. A doctor will use an otoscope and light source to make the diagnosis of ear wax blockage, and then determine the best approach to remove the debris. Although sudden hearing loss can be alarming, if caused by wax, the fix is relatively simple and quick.
Ear wax is also called cerumen and is designed to protect the ear drum from foreign material like bacteria, viruses, and fungi while lubricating the ear canal. Often the ear wax will accumulate and fall out of the ear or be easily removed. Other times it can become impacted and prove stubborn to remove. There are home remedies that can be tried like a product called Debrox, but sometimes professional help is needed. If your home remedy doesn’t relive the ear wax blockage, come into Mountain Medical Urgent Care and our medical experts will help.
Ear Wax Blockage Symptoms?
- Hearing loss
- Tinnitus (ringing)
- Pain, itching, and irritation
How is Ear Wax Removed?
Gentle warm water irrigation is used to dislodge the ear wax after a period of wax softening occurs. The nurse will usually put hydrogen peroxide into the canal and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. Then water water will be gently infused into the canal forcing the wax out. The process is painless and quick. Sometimes both ears need irrigation and your provider will advise you at the time of your Bend Urgent Care visit.
How do I Prevent Ear Wax Blockage?
- Don’t Use Q-Tips
- Ear Candles aren’t effective or safe
- Avoid over cleaning the ear
- Don’t put any objects in the ear canal
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