What To Expect From Professional Ear Wax Removal
Ear wax is a natural substance that helps clean out the ear canal and protect your ears from infection. Ear wax can become impacted when there is too much of it, or if it becomes hardened due to lack of moisture. The accumulation of ear wax can cause discomfort and hearing loss if left untreated.
Some people are prone to excessive ear wax production and require regular removal by a professional doctor or nurse practitioner. If you have excessive ear wax that does not respond to home treatment, a physician may recommend removal in his or her office. Earwax can be removed by yourself with a few simple steps or by visiting a professional.
Excessive buildup of earwax can affect your hearing. Your ears are self-cleaning organs and normally produce enough wax to keep them clean. But if you have a lot of earwax buildup, it may interfere with proper eardrum function and cause hearing loss. Below read more of what to expect from ear wax removal.
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What to expect from professional ear wax removal:
- A nurse will clean your ear canal with water and a small suction device.
- You may experience some slight discomfort during the procedure, but for most patients, it’s not painful. A local anesthetic can be applied to numb the area if needed.
- Afterward, you may experience some temporary hearing loss due to pressure on the eardrum during the procedure. This usually goes away within 48 hours and does not cause permanent damage.
Professional ear wax removal typically takes place in an outpatient setting such as an office, clinic or hospital. A doctor or nurse will examine your ears with a lighted instrument called an otoscope. This helps them see inside your ears so they can tell whether you need treatment for a buildup of wax. They may also put some drops in your ears to soften the wax if it hasn’t been softened naturally by swimming or showering. Special tools are used by the physician to remove the wax from the ear canal. Some doctors will use suction devices while others rely on irrigation with water or saline solution to remove the debris from the ear canal.
The tool used depends on the location and consistency of the impacted material. If you have a hard plug of wax in your ear canal, your doctor may use a curette (a small spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge) to scrape off pieces of hardened wax from inside your ears. This procedure is quick and painless, although some people may find it uncomfortable as the doctor scrapes away the waxy buildup from their eardrum. It takes about five minutes for each ear to be cleaned out completely.