Ear wax (or cerumen) is a natural product produced by your ears. It is made of 3 main components:
Ear wax forms an important part of the ears’ natural defence system because it has certain antibacterial agents which help to prevent infections. As it is sticky and moist, it not only helps to moisturise the skin in your ears but also helps to trap foreign bodies and dust. Ear wax slowly works its way out of your ear, making our ears self-cleaning!
A little ear wax is perfectly normal and healthy. However, occasionally ear wax can block your ears. This usually occurs when it has been pushed in to the ear canal by a person attempting to remove it themselves. Commonly this is done by cotton buds, hairpins, paper clips or other items people use to try and remove wax.
The most recognisable symptoms of excessive ear wax are partial or total hearing loss, itching, fullness, ringing and occasionally pain. Ear wax should only ever be removed by a fully-trained professional. The ear is an incredibly sensitive organ and the slightest slip can cause long-term damage, so attempting to remove it yourself is not recommended.
Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care offer an ear wax removal service. All of our experienced audiologists use the latest technology to analyse your hearing and to accurately assess your needs. This includes removing any wax that may be obstructing your ear canal.
All three methods of ear wax removal are now available at all Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care branches.
Prior to your appointment, it is generally advised to use wax softening drops or olive oil to help soften the wax before removal. Ideally they should be used every day for a week beforehand because, although a few days’ usage is often adequate, the longer drops are used for then the more easily and comfortably the wax can be removed in your appointment.