Ear lavage, or ear irrigation, is a common procedure used by medical professionals for ear wax removal. Specialized glands in the outer half of the ear secrete a substance that can cause wax buildup in the ear canal. Known as cerumen, earwax lubricates the canal to keep out dust and debris as well as protect against bacterial and fungal infections. Excessive earwax is one of the most common causes of acute ear problems. Once wax is impacted in the canal, the blockage can cause hearing loss, ear pain, dizziness or infections. When the function of the ear canal is working correctly, ear wax removal is usually not necessary. Jaw motion from chewing typically transport earwax to the opening where is flakes and falls out.
As you age, glandular secretions change consistency, so excess wax does not travel as well through the ear canal. Medical ear wax removal is preferred if your ear canal is narrow, your eardrum has a perforation or drainage tube, or other methods have failed. Excess earwax may cause one or more of the following symptoms:
- Coughing from an Itch
- Earache or Fullness
- Itching, Odor or Discharge
- Odd Noises in the Ear
- Partial Hearing Loss
- Plugged Feeling in the Ear
- Pressure in the Ear
- Tinnitus or Ringing in the Ear
You should never probe the ear canal with cotton-tipped swabs, bobby pins or twisted pieces of paper to dislodge the wax. Objects can push the wax deeper into the canal leading to serious problems. Do not irrigate your ears at home if you have diabetes, a perforated eardrum, an ear tube or weakened immune system. Also, using ear candles is a widely perpetrated hoax that doesn't work. In fact, the Federal Drug Administration has issued FDA regulatory actions due to the imminent danger posed by ear candling.
If you suffer from the symptoms listed above, contact Delta IMC for professional ear wax removal. Orlando patients can call (407) 985-1940 to schedule a preventive cleaning.