Ears are naturally self-cleaning, but sometimes ear wax can build up and become uncomfortable. In these cases, you may need professional ear wax removal. How do you know when it’s become bad enough to seek out professional ear care? Here are some symptoms to watch for and some advice on why some DIY methods should never be attempted.
Because you can’t see into your own ears, you’re going to have to rely on feel to know when you have a problem. If you are experiencing popping or crackling in your ears while chewing, clogged ears with minor hearing loss, or itchy ears that drain, it’s time to see a doctor that specializes in ear care. They can examine your ears and let you know if ear wax is the culprit.
When it’s not caught early enough, impacted ear wax can lead to infection. Infections can be dangerous, causing hearing loss and inner ear damage as well as tinnitus and dizziness. The following may be symptoms that you have an ear infection: fever, draining ears, nausea and difficulty sleeping, plus ear aches and pain. Your doctor can help you heal the infection and remove the impacted wax so it doesn’t happen again.
Some people have impacted ear wax on a regular basis caused by overproduction. You’ll find this more commonly in men and the elderly. As we get older, ear wax gets drier due to lubricating glands shrinking which makes it harder for the ear to dispose of wax. If you have this problem, you should schedule maintenance appointments for ear wax removal. Some patients find that preventative cleaning every six months helps keep them clear and infection free.
What You Should NOT Try
There are a few known methods for cleaning your ears. While drops may help soften ear wax, using cotton swabs or ear candles can be dangerous and damaging to your ear canal. Swabs will simply push wax deeper into the ear canal, effectively clogging it up. Ear candles have many dangers. Not only could you burn yourself, you could also puncture the membrane that separates the ear canal from the middle ear or plug your ear with wax from the candle. You may end up seeing your doctor anyway, but for a much more serious matter.
When you’re having symptoms of excessive ear wax, it’s best to see a doctor at our clinic to prevent the development of an ear infection. Under no circumstances should you try to remove the wax yourself with cotton swabs or candles. You’ll just end up making the situation worse.
Contact Oklahoma Otolaryngology Associates today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced ent doctors.
Call our Edmond clinic at 405.562.1810 or check out our website to find the clinic most convenient for you – okoa.org.