Earwax is an accumulation of dead cells, sebum, dirt and cerumen in the external auditory canal. It interferes with normal hearing and is sometimes accompanied by headaches and earaches. Otolaryngologists can remove the earwax or prescribe special drops to dissolve it.
Earwax is part of the physiological protection of the ears. Thus, its functions include antibacterial, waterproof, and moisturising. In addition, the sticky texture of earwax traps dust and dirt. However, due to certain factors, earwax production is disrupted, leading to hearing impairment.
Excessive earwax occurs when the body produces too much wax or when it gets too far into the ear canal. According to the texture and colour, it can be pasty, wet or dry (stony). Separately, epidermal plugs are distinguished, which contain particles of the epidermis, sometimes pus.
One of the main symptoms of the formation of an ear plug is hearing loss. The following states also indicate it:
- Ear congestion;
- Slight noise or ringing in the ear;
- Pain sensations that have a short-term effect.
When the earwax formation reaches the tympanic membrane, the person's condition may worsen with headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and cough. It is due to irritation of the nerve endings of the membrane.
Removal of the earwax is performed under the guidance of an otorhinolaryngologist, as it is crucial to be aware of the integrity of the eardrum. The specialist provides the procedure in several ways: using a small curved instrument (ear probe) or a suction technique. It is also practised to wash out the wax plug using a syringe filled with warm water and physiological solution. Additionally, medicated ear drops are recommended to help soften the earwax.
It is crucial that in no case should you try to clean it yourself with a cotton swab or other objects. It is dangerous due to pushing the plug deep and causing additional mechanical damage to the ear (perforation of the eardrum).
Where can I get Earwax treatment?
What are the best clinics for Earwax treatment?
Who are the best doctors for Earwax?
Prof. Dr. med. Barbara Wollenberg from University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich
Prof. Dr. Jordi Coromina from Teknon Medical Centre Barcelona
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Suckfull from Academic Hospital Martha-Maria Munich
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Jungehulsing from MEOCLINIC Berlin
Prof. Dr. Sami Katircioglu from Memorial Sisli Hospital Istanbul