Ear wax is produced by glands in the ear canal. The medical name for wax is cerumen. Its purpose is to trap dust and other small particles and prevent them from reaching and potentially damaging the eardrum. Wax also has anti-sceptic properties helping to reduce the risk of infection in the outer ear. In normal conditions, wax works its way out of the canal and into the ear opening naturally. The quantity of ear wax produced varies from person to person and for some the wax does not come out of the ear forming a blockage or plug and may need removing.
Irrigation involves gently squirting warm water into the ear canal via a nozzle. The water dislodges the wax, which will then come out of the ear. Some patients find the procedure quite soothing; other patients describe it as an odd feeling. It is normally a painless procedure.
Ear wax build-up can cause short-term hearing loss. If you experience decreased hearing, ear fullness, ringing in the ears, and changes to hearing aid functionality, you should seek medical help. Don’t attempt to remove ear wax yourself by using cotton swabs to clean or scratch your ears. These can cause damage to your ear canal, which can lead to many other issues.
If you think you may have ear wax build-up, are concerned about your hearing, call 01765 278 744. We can book you a consultation with our trained hearing professionals.