Ear Wax


Ear Wax Build-up: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Ear wax is a natural substance produced by the ear to help clean and protect it. Ear wax is a normal occurrence and serves an important role in safeguarding the delicate structures of the middle and inner ear, preventing infection.

However, too much ear wax can impact your ear health and cause symptoms such as:

  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • A feeling of blockage or fullness in the ear
  • Pain or itching in the ear
  • Balance issues, dizziness and Vertigo
  • Itchiness, ear aches, and even infections If improperly removed
  • Blockage of electronic earbuds and equipment

If you experience any of these symptoms, professional ear cleaning may be beneficial for you. The following individuals, in particular, can benefit from professional ear wax removal:

  • Those who wear headphones or earbuds for extended periods

  • Individuals who use hearing aids

  • People with narrow ear canals

  • Regular users of cotton buds

  • Individuals who frequently wear earplugs

diagram of ear

Typical Treatments for Ear Wax Build-up

When it comes to treating wax build-up, there are several common methods available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore these options:

  • Over-the-counter ear drops: These drops can effectively soften ear wax, facilitating its drainage. However, it’s important to note that they may require multiple applications over several days. In cases of hard and impacted wax, over-the-counter drops may not completely resolve the issue.
  • Ear irrigation: This procedure involves gently flushing warm water into the ear canal to remove the accumulated wax. However, it’s important to be aware that ear irrigation is typically performed without direct visualisation of the ear canal. This method carries certain risks, including ear canal infection (otitis externa), dizziness, and potential perforation of the ear canal.
  • Microsuction and manual removal: This technique involves using a small, vacuum-like device in combination with specialised tools to remove the ear wax. One significant advantage of this method is that the specialist can continue to visualise the ear canal throughout the procedure, ensuring safe and precise removal of the wax.

Why have your ears cleaned and checked by an Audiologist?

Whilst you can opt to try over the counter products to manage wax, or consult with a nurse or doctor, audiologists offering wax management can offer advantages:
  • Professional Expertise: Audiologists trained in ear wax removal have a thorough understanding of the ear anatomy and the proper techniques to remove wax without causing harm or injury to the ear. They can conveniently remove the wax whilst checking all other aspects of your hearing condition.
  • Prevention of Complications: Improper wax removal attempts, such as using cotton swabs or other objects, can push the wax deeper into the ear canal, leading to blockages or impaction. Trained audiologists can carefully remove wax to prevent complications like ear canal obstructions, pain, and temporary hearing loss.
  • Proper Examination: Sometimes, the presence of excessive wax can hinder a comprehensive examination of the ear. By removing the wax, trained audiologists can better assess the ear health, identify any underlying conditions, and provide appropriate recommendations or referrals for further treatment, if necessary.
  • Safety and Hygiene: Removing earwax in a controlled clinical setting ensures a hygienic and safe procedure. Audiologists follow strict infection control measures and use specialised tools to remove wax effectively while minimising the risk of infection or injury.

Hearlix: your professional solution for wax build up

At our Balmain Hearlix clinic, Dr. Annemarie is specially trained in ear wax removal using microscopic magnification which allows for a thorough examination of the ear canal while effectively addressing wax build-up. This technique provides a safer and more precise approach to ear wax removal.

During your wax removal appointment, you can expect the following:

  • Review of your recent ear health history
  • Video otoscopy to examine your ear canal for wax and identify any other ear health concerns
  • Safe and effective wax removal using micro-suction or manual removal with a curette (no syringing is used)
  • A final video ear canal examination is provided to show you the clean and healthy state of your ear canal.

For wax removal in both ears, please allocate approximately 30 minutes for your appointment. A referral is not necessary.

If your hearing does not improve after wax removal, Dr. Annemarie can proceed with a comprehensive examination of your ear drum mobility, middle ear structures, and hearing assessment.

Book your wax removal appointment now to ensure optimal ear health and enhanced hearing. Our team at Hearlix is dedicated to providing exceptional care for your hearing needs.