My name is Mark Edgar, and I’ve been a dedicated audiologist for over two decades. Providing top-notch care to my patients is truly my passion.
When it comes to ear health, excessive earwax build-up can be a real problem. It can cause blockages and pressure and even lead to hearing loss.
Fortunately, we offer earwax microsuction to remove the blockage and immediately alleviate symptoms.
Sometimes the blockage can feel sudden, catching you off guard and causing discomfort. However, it’s important to note that this build-up may have occurred gradually over time without you noticing. Once you spot the symptoms, seeing your audiologist as soon as possible will save time and discomfort.
What is Earwax?
Earwax, cerumen, is a natural substance that protects the ear canal. It traps dirt, dust, and other particles that can enter the ear. Many people recoil at the mention of earwax. It’s a natural and very clever fluid the body creates to protect it. If earwax accumulates, it can cause a blockage, discomfort, hearing loss, and even infection. It’s advisable to seek help.
What is Microsuction?
Microsuction is a safe and effective method of earwax removal. We use a small, handheld suction device with a microscope. We carefully insert it into the ear. The microscope helps us guide the device and see what’s happening inside the ear.
This magnifies inside the ear canal, showing earwax and also other debris. It provides a complete picture of the inside of the ears.
It is highly probable that if there is a build-up of earwax in one ear, there will also be a blockage in the other ear. Therefore, it is crucial to review and assess both ears.
“Microsuction is quick and painless and typically takes only a few minutes.”Mark Egdar
Why is Microsuction the Best Way to Remove Earwax?
Microsuction is the best and only way to remove earwax for several reasons:
We monitor the inner ear and magnify it throughout the microsuction procedure.
- Firstly, the microsuction tool allows us to be very precise. We can remove earwax without damaging the delicate anatomy of the ear.
- Additionally, microsuction is a dry method of earwax removal, so water is not risky to enter the ear canal and causing an infection
- Microsuction is a safe and effective method of earwax removal for people of all ages. This includes children and adults with hearing aids. You can read more information about our earwax microsuction services here.
Avoid any other method of earwax removal besides microsuction, at all costs. Despite, many experts advising against the use of ear candles these treatments are offered up and down the UK. Together with, irrigation and any form of self-treatment I strongly recommend avoiding it. Earbuds or cotton buds are also very dangerous because they can do more damage. Take my advice, the only person to treat your ears should be a specialist. It’s advice that can save your hearing. You can read more about this in this article in the Daily Mail, where I advise why you should avoid home cleaning kits.
Where do you go to get help with excess earwax?
Until recently, GPs in England offered microsuction for earwax removal. However, in April 2021, NHS England issued new guidance stating that GPs should no longer provide microsuction for routine earwax removal due to the risk of infection and potential damage to the ear.
According to the NHS, it is recommended that patients seek ear care services from trained audiologists and ear care specialists.
Some patients may experience a one-off issue with earwax, while for others, it may be a recurring problem. In such cases, there is no requirement for a referral from your GP or NHS 111. Instead, if you are facing an ear blockage, it is advisable to directly contact an audiologist near you.
Like any patient relationship, having a healthcare professional that you know, knows you, and you have complete faith in is always a great place to start. I have patients who I have been treating for many years.
Why Does Earwax Build-Up Affect Certain People?
Certain factors can increase a person’s likelihood of developing earwax blockages, so being aware is helpful. Some of these factors include:
- Age – As we age, our ears tend to produce less earwax. This can lead to dryness and an increased risk of earwax blockages. Our hearing is also in decline as we age read more about how we can manage hearing loss symptoms as we age
- Ear Canal Shape and Size – The shape and size of your ear canal can significantly impact your susceptibility to earwax blockages. Individuals with narrow or curvy ear canals are more prone to experiencing such blockages. This is because earwax is more likely to become trapped within these types of ear canals.
- Ear Hygiene – Earwax serves the purpose of cleaning and protecting the ears. However, it is important to note that using cotton buds can have adverse effects. Cotton buds have the potential to push earwax further into the ear canal, thereby increasing the risk of blockages. As a precautionary measure, it is advised to avoid using cotton buds for cleaning your ears.
- In-Ear Devices – Wearing hearing aids, earplugs, and in-ear headphones can heighten the risk of earwax blockages. To reduce this risk, it is advisable to be aware of the time you wear these devices. If you are a hearing aid wearer you can also discuss how best to manage an excessive earwax with your audiologist
- Medical Conditions – Conditions such as eczema or psoriasis can contribute to the excessive production of earwax, thereby increasing the risk of blockages. If you have either of these conditions, it is important to be aware of this potential risk. Regular monitoring and appropriate ear care, including seeking assistance from healthcare professionals, can help minimize the impact of excess earwax production and blockage formation.
Here are some signs that you may have an earwax blockage:
- Earache: Earwax blockage can cause pressure and pain in the ear
- Reduced hearing: Earwax blockage can reduce your ability to hear sounds, incredibly high-pitched sounds
- Tinnitus: Earwax blockage can cause ringing, buzzing, or other noises in the ear
- Dizziness: Earwax blockage can affect your balance and cause dizziness
- Itchiness: Earwax blockage can cause itchiness in the ear
- Discharge: If you have an earwax blockage, you may notice a discharge from the ear
- Fullness in the ear: Earwax blockage can cause a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek ear care services from a trained audiologist or ear care specialist. We examine your ears and determine if you have an earwax blockage. Learn more about our earwax removal services.
You don’t need a GP or any other type of referral to be treated by me at my Marylebone clinic. Simply, book an appointment.