Syringing Your Ears at Moorside Surgery

Dead cells, hair, foreign objects like dust, and cerumen accumulate as ear wax. The natural wax produced by ear glands is called cerumen. It creates a barrier of skin protection in the ear canal. Every day, small amounts are produced. Ear wax occasionally breaks off and falls out of the ear in the form of flakes or crusts.

From person to person, earwax production varies greatly in volume. Some people develop earwax plugs in their ear canals. Hearing loss and a sense of fullness could result from this. It might feel uneasy. Additionally, a hard ear wax plug may occasionally result in vertigo or "ringing in the ears" (tinnitus).

The ear canal can be examined by a medical professional to determine whether an ear wax plug has developed. An ear wax plug is more of an inconvenience than a serious issue. The only time ear wax needs to be removed is if it is causing symptoms like dulled hearing. For the fitting of a hearing aid or if a doctor or nurse needs to examine your ear drum, ear wax may also need to be removed.

A word of caution: avoid attempting to clean the ear canal with cotton buds, etc. This could worsen the situation because you'll be forcing earwax deeper inside. A possible side effect is ear infection. So let the ear naturally sanitize.

What should I do if symptoms arise from an accumulation of ear wax?

Ear drops

Ear drops by themselves can frequently remove an ear wax plug. Drops are available from pharmacies. For this purpose, common products include olive oil, almond oil, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium chloride ear drops. Before using the drops, bring them to room temperature by leaving the bottle in the space for about 30 minutes. Put a couple of drops in the troubled ear. When applying drops, lie with the impacted ear upmost. To allow the drops to soak into the ear wax, stay in this position for five minutes. If you place drops in your ears 2-3 times per day for two weeks, the ear wax is softened and frequently breaks up. Wax from the ears frequently falls out in small flakes or crusts. The wax may be invisible as it exits your ear.

Ear bulbs

You can use a Bulb Syringe to self-treat ear wax if ear drops don't clear it up. A bulb syringe is a tiny rubber object in the shape of a bulb that can be filled with water and used to gently squirt water into the ear to remove ear wax. Most pharmacies sell it, or you can purchase it online. The advantages of an ear bulb include:

  • You don't need to make an appointment to see the practice nurse to use it.
  • Lowers the danger of infection from regular ear irrigation
  • Use of the bulb syringe results in the successful treatment of many patients.
  • The patient has control over the amount of water pressure used in the ear and can react to any pain.
  • It is inexpensive to purchase and reusable, allowing you to repeat the process as necessary.
  • Regular ear wax removal is beneficial for those who wear hearing aids because dense wax can occasionally cause feedback and whistling noises that degrade the sound quality.

Use of an ear bulb

(If you feel any pain while undergoing this procedure, stop right away, and seek review from the practice nurse.)

  • Fill a bowl with clean, warm (not hot) water. Fill the bulb syringe with warm water by a few quick squirts in the water.
  • Hold your head to one side so that the ear that is hurting faces up. You can carry out this task while bathing or showering, lying on the bed with a towel covering your head.
  • Pull your ear gently upwards and outwards so that the water can access the ear canal more easily. Holding the nozzle inside the ear canal, gently squirt water from the bulb syringe into the ear (but not too deeply). If more water is necessary, you can gently squirt it into the ear. To soften the wax, let the water sit in your ear for one to three minutes.
  • Leaning your head over the sink will allow water to drain. To aid in the removal of the wax and water, wiggle the outer portion of the ear.
  • If both ears are impacted, repeat for the other ear.

In the following situations, a bulb syringe should not be used:

  • If you've ever had the affected ear's ear drum perforated,
  • Ear infections typically cause pain or a foul discharge.
  • An earlier operation on the affected ear

Only schedule an appointment for ear irrigation, also known as ear syringing, if there has been no improvement after using an ear bulb.

If ear drops and an ear bulb are ineffective, ear irrigation may be required. Warm water is used to clean out the ear canal. Typically, ear irrigation with water will remove earwax plugs. However, it is only secure if the earwax plug has been softened. The risk of damaging the ear drum increases with irrigation when the wax is hard. Therefore, for two weeks prior to having ear irrigation, use ear drops (such as olive oil ear drops) to soften wax 2-3 times per day. If you have not used the prescribed amount of ear drops, the irrigation is not likely to be effective, and you will need to have the surgery again. Please cancel the appointment for ear irrigation if your hearing has improved as it will not be necessary.

Typically, ear irrigation is painless. The ear canal is flooded with lukewarm water. This causes the softened plug to fall out along with the water. When you experience pain, you should stop washing. The Nurse/HCA checks your ear and shines a light in it before you leave.

After ear irrigation, some people experience lightheadedness, but this soon passes. Up until more wax is produced to protect it, the ear canal may be vulnerable to infection for 4-5 days. After ear irrigation, some people experience ear canal inflammation. This results in itching and discomfort, but ear drops can ease those symptoms. Occasionally, ear irrigation can harm the ear or eardrum. Therefore, if any of the following occur after ear irrigation:

  • Experiencing ear pain
  • Develop a bothersome ear itch
  • Become ear-discharge-prone
  • Possess swollen tissues around the ear canal, which could be an infection

If you have certain ear issues, ear irrigation may not be advised. Especially if you:

  • Have you previously experienced complications after this procedure?
  • Presently have grommets (small plastic tubes inserted into the eardrums during surgery) in place
  • Have you ever had ear surgery? (Except for grommet removal that occurred at least 18 months ago, at which point you were released from the hospital's ear department)
  • Possess a palate cleft (even if it has been repaired)
  • Possess an ear infection or have had one within the last six weeks.
  • Have recurrent otitis externa infections of the ear canal
  • Possess or have possessed a ruptured (perforated) eardrum

You might be referred to an ear specialist for the removal of bothersome ear wax if ear irrigation does not relieve the problem or is not advised.

Can I stop ear wax from accumulating?

Some people experience ongoing ear wax buildup that necessitates occasional ear irrigation. It is advised to use ear drops frequently in this situation to prevent ear wax from gathering and forming a plug, such as olive oil ear drops once or twice a week to keep the wax soft and reduce buildup.

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