Too much ear wax can create a blockage that leads to temporary hearing loss. Brian Taylor, an audiologist with the hearing aid distributor Sonus, shares information on ear wax, including how to treat and remove unwanted ear wax:
Ear Wax Is NormalEar wax is normal and healthy. Everyone makes ear wax, although some people make more than others. Sweat glands inside the outer ear canal produce it. The wax oils ear canal tissues and protects the ear drum.
Too Much Ear Wax?The healthy ear cleans itself. Tiny hairs lining the ear canal remove the wax slowly. When you clean your ear, you remove wax that moved far from its start. Do not put a finger, swab, etc. in to the ear canal. This can hurt and push the wax in deeper.
Deep Ear Wax HurtsDeep wax can cause pain, fullness, noise in the ear or hearing loss. See a doctor, nurse or audiologist to determine if the ear wax is deep. If the wax is very deep, a special microscope can [be used to] remove it.
Ear Wax Sometimes ImpactedEven though you may not stick anything in your ear, you can still experience impacted wax. This is because the ear does not work as well as you age, and health problems or hearing aids might make it harder for your ear to remove ear wax. For example, if you are 70 and use hearing aids, you might need wax removed every year or two.
Safe Ear Wax RemovalSome doctors use pressurized water to remove deep wax. If the doctor is experienced, it might be okay to use the pressurized water. It is better to use a wire loop under a strong headlamp to remove the wax gently. Or, vacuum the ear with light suction. Either way, the doctor should always view the cleaning area with a strong light. Of course, it is best to discuss different ways with your doctor.