Can Excess Earwax Buildup Cause Hearing Loss?
To put it simply, yes. A buildup of earwax, or cerumen, is one of the most common reasons that an individual can experience conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is caused by some kind of barrier, such as wax, preventing sound from being able to travel to the inner ear. Fortunately, this kind of hearing loss can often be reversed once the blockage is removed.
Earwax is important for protecting your ear from dust, bacteria, and other harmful things. Some earwax is required to keep your ears healthy, although some people may produce excess amounts. In situations where cleaning your ears is required, you may think that a cotton swab will work just fine. However, swabs and any other foreign object should not be used to clean the inside of your ears as they can cause damage to the delicate inner ear or push the wax further into the ear. There are different approved methods of earwax removal, so be sure to speak with your doctor or hearing specialist to determine which is right for you.
Earwax Removal Methods
If your buildup does not respond to home remedies, irrigation or syringing may be used. A specialist will put water and saline or wax dissolving drops in the ear and flush it out. If you have narrow ear canals or a medical issue that prevents this method from being effective, manual removal is an option. For this method, an ENT specialist or otolaryngologist uses suction or tiny medical instruments and a microscope to magnify the ear canal and remove the wax.
Signs You Have an Earwax Buildup
Common signs that you have a buildup of earwax can include earaches, a full feeling in the ear, tinnitus, or sudden hearing loss. Occasionally, the buildup can cause an infection. If you notice any of the following signs, be sure to contact your doctor:
- Severe pain in your ear that doesn’t subside
- Drainage from the ear
- An odour from the ear
- Persistent hearing loss
The Specialists at Bravo Hearing Can Help
The hearing professionals at Bravo Hearing Centre in Etobicoke know that your hearing is essential and precious, and impacts nearly every aspect of your life. For this reason, we strive to provide the best advice and recommendations to improve your hearing health now and in the future. Our team is committed to providing services and support based on the individual needs of each patient.