Earwax blockage – Diagnosis and treatment

Ear blockages/ Clogged ear wax/ the blockage of ear canal Earwax blockage happens whenever the earwax collects inside your ear or becomes too tough to wash away normally. Earwax is a healthy and essential part of your body’s barriers. It disinfects, lubricates, and defends your ear canal by grabbing dirt and decreasing the extension of […]

Ear blockages/ Clogged ear wax/ the blockage of ear canal

Earwax blockage happens whenever the earwax collects inside your ear or becomes too tough to wash away normally.
Earwax is a healthy and essential part of your body’s barriers. It disinfects, lubricates, and defends your ear canal by grabbing dirt and decreasing the extension of bacteria.

Earwax Blockage Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of clogged earwax blockage may include:

  • Earache
  • A sense of fullness or saturation in the involved ear
  • Ringing or vibrations in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Reduced hearing in the affected ear
  • Cough
  • Dizziness

Complications associated with a blocking eardrum

If the clogged earwax is not removed timely, it can read to infections of the ear canal. These may have severe outcomes. You must see your physician if you notice the following symptoms after the blockage of the ear canal:

  • severe  earache
  • any discharge from the ear
  • an earache that doesn’t recede
  • cough
  • fever
  • chronic hearing loss
  • foul smell from the affected ear
  • dizziness

Severe complications include a perforated tympanic membrane, otitis media, or a permanent hearing loss due to nerve trauma.

Earwax clogged ear in children

Earwax is also naturally produced in children just like adults. Although, you may find it tempting to remove the earwax out of your child’s ear to clean it, however, performing so can harm your child’s ear canal.
If you assume your child has earwax clogged up, it’s most satisfying to consult a pediatrician. Your child’s physician will also examine any excess wax on regular ear check-ups. He will remove it under septic measures without any damage to your child’s ear.

Further, if you see your child putting his finger or any other object in his ear due to irritation or pain, you must ask the pediatrician to examine their ears for the accumulation of wax inside.

Causes of Wax blocking eardrum-Why the clogged up ear wax hinders hearing?

Earwax accumulation occurs when your ear produces earwax more quickly than the body can remove it naturally. It occurs in many infirmities, such as:

  • The blockage of bony (osteoma)
  • Any infectious disease, including the otitis externa
  • Skin diseases including the eczema
  • Any autoimmune disease for example lupus
  • If the ear canal is narrowed from birth, or due to any chronic inflammatory state, or injury
  • Injury causes increased production of wax

Any of the above conditions can cause a physical blockage inside the external ear. Other disorders cause increased production of earwax. In other cases, the reason for excessive earwax impaction is not known. The physical blocking of the ear canal hinders the airwaves from reaching the eardrum. Thus the production of sound is impaired and hearing is affected in impacted earwax blockage.

Earwax blocking eardrum

Any objects that you place in your ear to remove wax can lead to the impaction of earwax on to the eardrum. It happens most often in children and young people. These age groups have no other disorders of ear mostly.

For example, if you practice removing the earwax by using the cotton swabs, the wax will push deeper into your canal. It will put pressure on the eardrum and will be more difficult to remove. Over time, it can cause a complete ear blockage. It can thus even damage your eardrum as well. Also, hearing aids and swimming plugs may have the same effect when used repeatedly.

How the doctor will diagnose the clogged ear earwax

Your physician can diagnose and determine whether you have earwax blocking your ear by seeing inside your ear using a specific device, called an otoscope, that lights up and magnifies your inner ear.

How to clear blocked ear wax/

Earwax blockage treatment/ Cleaning a blocked ear/ Ear blockage removal

Your physician can extract any excess wax applying a little, curved device called a curet or through using suction while examining the ear.
Your physician may also extract the wax applying a rubber-bulb syringe filled with warm water.
If earwax accumulation is a recurring issue, your physician may advise that you utilize a wax-removal medication, for example, carbamide peroxide. You must use them just as guided as these drops can irritate the fragile skin of the eardrum and your ear canal.

Alternative medication for earwax blocking ear/ earwax plug removal

Some people practice ear candling, a technique that comprises placing a lighted, low, cone-shaped candle inside the ear, to attempt to remove earwax. The heat from the flame of the candle produces a vacuum seal and the earwax responds to the candle.

Though, ear candling is not a suggested approach for earwax blockage. According to researches, it has been discovered that ear candling does not work. It may also cause injuries, such as ear canal obstructions, burns, and also perforations.
It is always suggested to speak with your healthcare expert before attempting any alternative treatments for removing earwax.

Home remedies for ear wax blockage removal/home remedies for clogged ear wax removal/Blocked ear wax remedy

These easy measures can help you discard excess earwax that’s obstructing your ear canal if your eardrum does not accommodate a tube or have a hole inside it;

    • Dissolve the wax. Use an eyedropper and apply some drops of baby oil, glycerin, mineral oil, or hydrogen peroxide inside your ear canal.
    • Apply warm water. After a day or two, the wax is softened. Now use a rubber-bulb syringe to smoothly eject warm water inside your ear canal. Bend your head down and move your outer ear upward and backward to level your ear canal. After you are done watering, tilt your head to the downside to allow the water to drain out.
    • Wipe your ear canal. When finished, smoothly wipe your outer ear using a clean towel or any hand-held dryer.

You may require to repeat the wax-softening and the irrigation of ear canal procedure several times to allow all the excessive earwax to fall out. Though, the softening agents will only soften the outer layer of the wax. It may cause the earwax to lodge even deeper in the ear canal or impact it against the eardrum. So, if your symptoms do not recede after a few treatments, you must consult a doctor.

Clogged ear wax removal kits

  • Earwax extraction kits in stores too can be effective at removing wax buildup. Discuss with your specialist for guidance on how to accurately select and apply alternative earwax removal techniques.

My ear blocked with wax-What to do?

You should never try to dig out extra or hard earwax with readily accessible items, for example, a cotton swab, a paper clip, or a hairpin. In doing so, you can attempt to push the wax farther inside your ear and can cause severe injury to the covering of your ear canal or eardrum called the tympanic membrane.

Preparing for your appointment with the doctor for earwax blockage removal

It is quite likely that you start the process by consulting your family physician or a general practitioner. But, in some unusual cases, you may be transferred to a specialist in ear disorders (ENT specialist).

While you are planning for your appointment, it is always a good approach to write down a list of questions.

Your specialist may have queries for you as well. He or she might ask the following:

  • How long have you been encountering symptoms, such as ear pain or difficulty in hearing?
  • Have you had any discharge from any of your ears?
  • Have you ever experienced pain in the ear, difficulty in hearing, or drainage in the past?
  • Are these symptoms occurring persistently or occasionally?

Earwax clogging my ear-What should I do in the meantime?

Never try to dig out earwax with any kind of cotton swabs or other items — for example, hairpins or pen lids. This can force the wax farther inside the ear and can create serious injury to the ear canal or eardrum.

How can you prevent ear blockage due to wax

Earwax blockage can be easily prevented by avoiding attempts to remove the wax by using cotton swabs or other objects that will cause to push the wax even deeper into the ear canal. Avoid using low-quality swimming aids or damaging hearing aids.

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