Producing ear wax is a normal process and you are producing it all the time. 

Since your ears are self-cleaning, your ear wax will gather all the dirt, debris, and bacteria that are trying to get into your ears throughout your day. 

Naturally, your earwax will move out on its own. It will just fall out as you go about your day, such as when you’re eating food or talking.

Blocked ears occur when you’re preventing that process from happening.

Why Do We Need Earwax?

Earwax, or ‘cerumen’, is created by the glands inside your ear canal. We need earwax production to prevent infectious germs from contacting the delicate inner workings of the middle ear and eardrum. It traps the debris so it can be removed before causing any damage.

Most of the time, earwax will work its way out of the ear canal, carrying those unwanted contaminants with it while you talk or chew. However, sometimes it accumulates rather than exiting.

This can cause obstructive hearing loss and contribute to damage or performance issues in your hearing device.

How Do I Know if I Have Too Much Earwax?

Earwax build-up creates complications for everyone, including hearing aid users. When earwax cannot exit the ear canal, it causes infections and irritation. 

Build-up muffles or blocks the amplified sound of your hearing aid, rendering it ineffective. Additionally, the earwax obstruction causes reverberation, causing a high-pitched whistling sound.

The majority of all hearing aids we see returned for repair are damaged by earwax build-up inside the unit. Not only does earwax in the vents and receivers of your hearing aid block its effectiveness, but the chemical composition of earwax contributes to the degradation of delicate internal circuitry. 

This damage decreases hearing aid performance and threatens to shorten the hearing aids’ life cycle. 

For More Detailed Information About How to Remove Earwax, Schedule A Hearing Assessment Right Here

How Do I Unblock My Ears?

You can try over-the-counter cleaning products such as Debrox, which work well for a lot of people. Or you can also use hydrogen peroxide, which is the cheaper option.

Both are very common and easy to find. Follow the instructions on the box. You can do it at home, but if that doesn’t seem to work, then make an appointment with us. We can take a look in your ear to see what’s going on, and we can provide that cleaning for you.

Methods to Remove Earwax

We use three different ways to clean out your excess earwax. 

Irrigation — This is the most popular method and works well with many people. We slowly add water to your ear until the blockage is loosened. Once that happens, the excess wax falls out quickly.  

Suction — Similar to a vacuum, we use a small instrument that pulls the blockage to the front part of the ear. This works excellent on earwax that is not impacted. 

Curette — This is for stubborn earwax that needs a little bit more effort to remove. A curette is a small curve instrument that is like a tiny spoon. It has a loop on the end, so it’s not a dull edge. This method works great if your earwax is impacted.

How to Get Your Earwax Cleaned Professionally

We are always ready to help our patients with any hearing problems they have. The best way to do that is to help with prevention. Even if you suspect you don’t have a problem right now, it’s never a bad idea to have routine cleaning no different than you would with your teeth. 

If you have any questions, please call us at one of our six locations, and we would be happy to discuss all your concerns in a no-obligation phone call. You can request a call-back here as well

Don’t wait until there is a problem; let us prevent it from happening at all.

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Lance Nelson, AuD, CCC-A

Dr. Lance Nelson graduated with his AuD from Purdue University in 2010. He worked at Spokane ENT Associates, Lafayette ENT Associates, and at the Lafayette Otolaryngology Associates. Dr. Nelson is experienced in working with infants, children, and adults is Board Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a Fellow of the California Academy of Audiology. His research on Digital Noise Reduction was published in 2009. He is fluent in Spanish. His hobbies are ocean sports, running, and music.