What is ear wax?
People often ask us why we have ear wax. It is not, as many people would believe, as a result of poor hygiene. It is actually a clever mix of ingredients which have an important role in protecting and cleaning our ears.
Wax can not only trap dirt and creepy crawlies, it lubricates the skin and provides anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to keep the ear healthy. For most people ear wax naturally migrates out of the ear canal, cleaning it as it moves along. For some however wax can be a real issue, building up and becoming hard and compacted requiring clinical removal.
How can you tell whether you have a build up of wax? Obviously you cannot see into your own ear canals. If you are unsure, give us a call and we can look in with our video otoscope and show you on a screen exactly how much wax is in the ear. The most common symptoms of excessive wax include feeling blocked, a reduction in hearing, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness and discomfort.
We do not recommend using cotton buds due to the risk of damaging the ear drum. They can also push the wax further down and compact it making it more difficult for it to naturally migrate its way out of the ear.