Auckland Ear Wax Removal & Cleaning
Ear wax removal
Our ear canals have specialised cells that produce cerumen, commonly known as ear wax. Ear wax is our natural ear cleaner; it also lubricates our ears and has an antibacterial function.
Some people have ear wax accumulation over time; they may have a narrow or bendy ear canal, or their natural wax system may not be working so well. Using cotton buds can disrupt the natural ear wax migration and even push the wax further down your ear canal. Also sometimes using hearing aids or earplugs may stop the wax migrating out of your ear canal and this can cause wax build up.
Your ear canals must be clear of wax before we do a hearing assessment. We have a wax clinic set up at Auckland Hearing; where the Audiologist can remove your wax before the hearing test if needed.
When should I have my ear wax removed?
A wax blockage may affect the result of a hearing test because we are trying to find out the very quietest sounds you can hear. Even if there is only a partial blockage, we may still need to remove it. Insert earphones are used to test your hearing, these go deep down into your ear canal, and we would not like to push wax further down your ear canal towards your eardrum.
If you have hearing aids or are thinking about getting them, a partial wax blockage is also likely to affect the way they work (possibly causing acoustic feedback or blocking sound ).
Before testing your hearing at Auckland Hearing, we will look in your ears to check your ear canals and eardrums are healthy and free of wax. If your ears are blocked with wax, we will remove it before beginning the hearing test. In most cases, we can do this during your appointment.
Before your wax removal appointment
Please do not poke a cotton bud or anything else into your ear canal as it may push it towards your eardrum, and please do not use wax drops as in some cases this can melt the wax down onto your ear drum which can affect your hearing and make it more difficult to remove.
A wax blockage can cause hearing loss because it can act as an earplug and stop sound passing through your ear canal to your eardrum. Sometimes taking the wax out, can help you to hear better. However, if there was a gap through the wax to the eardrum, there may be no change to your hearing after the wax is taken out.
If you feel your hearing has not improved after having the wax removed we will screen your hearing to check if there is hearing loss. You may then decide to do a full diagnostic hearing test which will help us understand the cause of the hearing loss and we can let you know what to do next.
An ear nurse will offer you safe removal of ear wax or other debris blocking the ear canal using a microscope and gentle micro-suction. Suctioning is less traumatic than syringing and has a lower risk of infection. Ear nurse specialists are trained in ear health.
People are often tempted to use cotton buds or other items to clear their ears. This can push the wax further down the canal, further impacting the wax or may even push it onto the eardrum – which is very uncomfortable. It is also possible to puncture the eardrum, which is very painful and can have long-lasting effects.
The skin on our bodies is replaced and regenerated constantly. For most of our bodies, the old skin comes off on our clothes or when we dry ourselves with a towel. We do not usually have contact with the skin in our ear canals so it is the job or the ear wax to escort the old skin cells out and away.
The skin in your ear canal naturally grows in an outward, spiral pattern. Your natural jaw movement like talking and chewing keep the process moving. Dead skin cells stick to the wax and they migrate slowly and constantly from deep in our ear canal – near the eardrum – to the entrance of the ear. For most people ear wax clears by itself with a normal face and hair washing.
Our ear canals have specialized cells that produce cerumen, commonly known as ear wax. Ear wax is our natural ear cleaner, it also lubricates our ears and has an antibacterial function.
Some people have ear wax accumulation over time; they may have a narrow or bendy ear canal or their natural wax system may not be working so well (perhaps from using cotton buds in their ears). Also sometimes using hearing aids or earplugs may cause wax build up as the ear canal is blocked and the wax cannot migrate out all the way. An ear nurse specialist is the best professional to see if you need wax removed.