You may not think you’ll ever need a service like earwax removal, yet 10% of children and 5% of adults end up needing help for impacted earwax. At ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA, the experienced team frequently performs earwax removal, safely getting the waxy buildup out of the ear without harming delicate structures like the eardrum. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Sewickley, Beaver/Vanport Township, Seven Fields, or Ohio Valley in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, or use the online booking feature today.
The glands located in your ear canal produce earwax (cerumen). Many people think of earwax as a problem to clean away, but it serves an important role, and you don’t need to clean earwax unless it is impacted.
Your earwax lubricates and cleans your ears. It has antibacterial properties that protect you from ear infections. And it helps keep water, dust, and debris out of your ears.
Earwax normally works its way from the eardrum toward the ear’s opening. Once it reaches the opening, the wax dries up and naturally falls out.
You need to remove earwax when it gets impacted in your ear. Earwax may build up when the glands produce cerumen faster than it leaves your ear — or you could have a blockage that prevents the wax from leaving your ear. In both cases, the wax accumulates and gets packed into the ear canal.
You might develop earwax impaction due to conditions such as:
However, one of the top causes of impacted earwax is using cotton swabs and accidentally pushing the wax back into the ear.
As earwax accumulates and starts to get jammed inside your ear, you experience symptoms such as:
In some cases, earwax buildup causes an infection.
The problem with treating impacted earwax at home is that you’re at risk of making the problem worse. Beyond pushing the earwax deeper into your ear, many people accidentally damage their eardrum.
If you have a mild impaction, your ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA physician may only need to use ear drops to soften and remove the earwax. In more difficult cases, they irrigate the ear canal, using water to rinse away the wax. Or they could manually remove the wax using gentle suction or a tiny tool.
Then they teach you how to prevent earwax buildup from recurring. You may need to use prescription ear drops to avoid earwax impaction in the future.
If you have plugged, itchy ears or an earache, call ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA or request an appointment online today.