Ear wax, also known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced by glands in the ear canal to protect the eardrum from damage and infections.
Ear wax normally accumulates and then dries up and falls out of the ear canal. It functions to rid the ear of dust particles and other irritants and repel water, which may contain bacteria and can cause infections.
Without ear wax, the ears would be dry, itchy and unprotected.
Symptoms of ear wax blockages may include dizziness, partial hearing loss, earache, a feeling of the ear being plugged or full and ringing in the ear.
While many people think the best way of managing ear wax buildup is to clean the wax out with a cotton swab, doing so may cause further damage by pushing the wax further into the ear canal.
For most patients, over-the-counter ear drops will be sufficient to clear the ear wax buildup. However, if a patient has a significant amount of wax blocking the ear canal, the excess wax will need to be safely removed by a trained professional.
The removal process may involve either irrigation with a warm water solution or suction treatments that make use of miniature instruments to draw the wax out.
Hanover Audiology PLLC
7484 Lee Davis Road, Suite 10
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Phone: (804) 509-1877