• Earwax, also called “cerumen”, is produced by glands located in the skin of the outer ear canal
  • The production of earwax is a natural process that cleans, protects, and lubricates the ear canal
  • People most likely to experience a problem with earwax buildup include: wearers of hearing aids or ear plugs, those who use cotton swabs of other items inside the ear, and those with ear canal deformities that prevent natural earwax removal
  • Symptoms of earwax blockages include: earaches, feelings of fullness in the ear, partial hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing or noises in the ear), itching, odor, or discharge from the ear, coughing, pain, or infection
  • Sticking cotton swabs or any other objects in the ear only push wax deeper in the ear canal and can lead to wax blockages against the eardrum
  • If cotton swabs are pushed too deep in the ear, this can also cause trauma and damage to the ear drum
  • Home treatments for earwax blockages are most often used to soften wax in the ear; however, it is important not to resort to these methods if there is a possible perforation in the ear drum, as that could potentially lead to an infection
  • At Alpine Ear, Nose & Throat, physicians and physician assistants often remove earwax with the assistance of a microscope, in order to ensure no damage occurs to the eardrum
  • ENTs most often utilize a special ear vacuum or small tools to manually remove wax safely and efficiently, which minimize the risk of infection compared to remedies performed at home
  • Earwax removal done by an ENT is generally quick and painless
  • It is recommended that patients prone to repeat wax impaction and all hearing aid users see an ENT for routine ear checkups and preventative ear cleanings every six to 12 months
  • Many hearing aid wearers report an increase in earwax production, since hearing aids can stimulate glands in the ear canal and prevent the normal migration of wax from the ear
  • Routine cleanings are imperative to hearing aid users as earwax can clog hearing aid microphones and receivers, which impair their overall quality and performance
  • Audiology assistants at All About Hearing in Fort Collins and Loveland can demonstrate how to properly clean and maintain hearing aids
  • All About Hearing offers weekly hearing aid Clean & Check times from 10-11 am every Wednesday in the Fort Collins office and 9-10 am every Thursday in the Loveland office

To learn more about ear cleanings or hearing aid maintenance, please visit our offices or contact us at (970) 221-1177.