Have you recently been finding it difficult to hear? Or have you been experiencing an increase in earwax buildup and don't know what to do? A professional ear cleaning appointment with us might be just what you need for overall wellness. Here's what to know about the benefits of professional ear cleaning.
What is Professional Ear Cleaning?
Earwax buildup is common in older adults and people with hearing aids. A trained healthcare professional known as an audiologist or an ENT physician can help diagnose whether you have a buildup of earwax and require professional ear cleaning.
Professional ear cleaning, also known as a cerumenectomy, involves removing ear wax using suction or irrigation, as well as specialized instruments and a microscope to help magnify the ear canal.
What Are the Benefits of Professional Ear Cleaning?
There are multiple benefits to undergoing a professional ear cleaning. Ear wax, or cerumen as it's medically known, is made up of oil released from the glands in the ear canal. Ear wax protects the ear from infection, dust, and foreign substances and typically moves from the ear canal towards the outer ear by regular jaw movements such as chewing. When this process slows, patients may experience an impaction of ear wax, which can result in symptoms like:
- hearing loss
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- itchiness in the outer ear
- a sense of fullness
- pain in the ear
- odor in the ear
Your healthcare provider will have the correct tools to diagnose ear wax impaction and safely remove the buildup without damaging your ear canal or affecting your hearing. Patients with a hole in their eardrums should always seek professional help to avoid developing an ear infection or the chance of fluid buildup entering the inner ear.
What to Expect During a Professional Ear Cleaning Appointment
You might wonder what to expect during your appointment if you've never had a professional ear cleaning before. A certified audiologist or ENT physician at Sample Audiology Clinic will begin by asking you a comprehensive set of questions to determine your current health and any symptoms of cerumen impaction that you may be experiencing.
During the professional ear-cleaning process, your physician will use a microscope and specialized tools to look inside your ear and determine the degree of impaction. They may use one of two methods to remove the blockage:
- Irrigation - this is the most common method
- Suction and a curettage - makes use of a curve, a long tool that's used in addition to suction to remove the buildup of cerumen in the ear canal
If earwax buildup is expected, your doctor will recommend additional preventative sessions every six to a year, depending on the severity of your symptoms.