Common Signs You Need Professional Ear Cleaning
Unless you have a history of regular earwax impactions, you shouldn’t have to worry about cleaning it often, if at all. Earwax plays a critical role in ear health, helping to clean it of dirt and protecting the sensitive interior. However, there are signs that it is building up to a point that is potentially dangerous. These are the symptoms you need to get your ear cleaned professionally by an audiologist.
Blocked or painful ears
Since you can’t look inside your own ears, some of the first ways you can recognize an earwax impaction are the sensations that it can cause. If your ears feel blocked, full or clogged, that’s a symptom of earwax buildup. Earaches may be another symptom. Pain in the ear is often caused by infection or a ruptured eardrum. However, if you don’t remember any experience with those conditions, it may be that a ball of hardened earwax is pressed against the nerves in your ear, causing that pain.
A change in earwax color
Though we might not inspect it on a regular basis, we are all familiar with the usual color of earwax. If you ever notice that your earwax has started to get darker, it might be because there is more dirt, debris and germs in it than usual. Earwax is produced to clean this out, but when there’s a lot to clean, a lot of earwax is produced. In turn, this can lead to a blockage.
Hearing loss tends to happen gradually. Any noticeable hearing loss should be cause enough to make an appointment with an audiologist. If the change is sudden, however, that’s an indication of an earwax buildup. Hardened earwax could be blocking the ear canal, stopping sound waves from penetrating the ear. Whatever the case, the audiologist will take a closer look. If the cause is earwax, they will help clean it out. If there’s another cause, they will still help you find it and provide the solution.
Tinnitus is a symptom where you experience sounds that have no explainable source outside your own perspective. It may sound like a ringing, it may echo the rhythm of your heartbeat, it might even seem like musical notes. There are many different causes of tinnitus, but earwax buildups are the some of the most common. Loud noises, such as visiting a concert or working in a very noisy environment without the right ear protection, are another common cause, so that may also be the culprit. Tinnitus can get in the way of your hearing and make it difficult to sleep, so it’s worth having it treated as soon as possible.
If you experience any of the signs above, make an appointment with your audiologist as soon as you can. Do not attempt to clean it out yourself, especially with home remedies like ear candling or using cotton swabs. This can cause more harm than good, often leading to punctured eardrums and ear infections. Leave it to the audiologist, your specialist for all things related to hearing health.