checking for ear wax

What’s up with ear wax?

Sometimes hearing loss is very apparent if someone is repeatedly asking others to repeat or has the television up too loud but sometimes hearing loss may start with having difficulty hearing certain pitches such as timers or birds. An Audiologist is able to diagnose the etiology (the cause or set of causes) of the hearing loss.

Audiologists are able to remove ear wax. Earwax is good; it keeps your ear clean and free from infection. Earwax acts just like mucus in our nose and throat, by catching bacteria and viruses, so they don’t travel further into the body. However, forced or ‘impacted’ earwax can cause an infection. Keep in mind earwax catches bacteria; if you were to then use something like a cotton bud to push the earwax into the inner ear, you would be doing the work for the harmful bacteria. This can cause sudden blockages as the ear swells to protect the body.

It can also cause sudden inflammation, which pushes against nerves and the delicate parts of your ear. It can lead to permanent damage if done with vigorous force. However, an audiologist will diagnose the issue, give you treatment to lessen the damage and advice on how to avoid infections from occurring again. Ear candling is often mentioned in the office. Ear candling is a hoax and does not remove ear wax. Ear candling — a technique that involves placing a lit, hollow, cone-shaped candle into the ear canal — can cause serious injury.

Research shows that ear candling is ineffective at removing earwax and is also not an effective treatment for any other conditions. In fact, the technique can actually push earwax deeper into the ear canal. Ear candling can also lead to:

· Deposits of candle wax in the ear canal
· Burns to the face, hair, scalp, ear canal, eardrum and middle ear
· Puncture of the eardrum

If you develop an earwax blockage, avoid ear candling. Instead, consult your doctor about simple steps you can take to safely and effectively remove the wax.

If you have a concern about earwax or wondering if it may be the root cause of your hearing issues, schedule an appointment with us today (423) 641-0956.

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