In most cases, ear wax is beneficial and self-regulating, but sometimes it can accumulate and lead to discomfort or hearing problems. At Louisiana ENT Specialists, we understand the challenges of ear wax buildup. 

What causes ear wax buildup?

Ear wax is typically produced in the ear canal as a protective mechanism. It helps to trap dust, debris, and foreign particles, preventing them from reaching the eardrum. Over time, the ear wax dries up and is naturally expelled from the ear. However, in some cases, ear wax can accumulate and harden, leading to a condition known as cerumen impaction. Common causes of ear wax buildup include:

Narrow or twisted ear canals

Some individuals naturally have narrower or more convoluted ear canals, making it easier for ear wax to become impacted.

Excessive ear wax production

Some people produce more ear wax than others, increasing the likelihood of impaction.

Using cotton swabs or objects

Inserting cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other objects into the ear can inadvertently push ear wax deeper into the ear canal, contributing to buildup.

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Symptoms of ear wax buildup

Ear wax buildup can result in a range of symptoms, including:

  • Hearing Loss: Ear wax impaction can partially or completely block the ear canal, leading to a noticeable decline in hearing.
  • Earache: The pressure and blockage caused by ear wax can result in ear pain.
  • Tinnitus: Ear wax impaction may cause ringing or buzzing in the ear.
  • Dizziness: Disrupted ear function can lead to balance problems and dizziness.
  • Cough: In rare cases, ear wax impaction can stimulate the cough reflex due to its proximity to the ear canal's nerve endings.

How to treat ear wax buildup at home

If you suspect ear wax buildup, there are a few home remedies you can try:

  • Over-the-counter ear drops: Special ear drops are available at most pharmacies to help soften ear wax and facilitate its natural expulsion.
  • Warm water rinse: Gently flushing the ear with warm water using a bulb syringe can help remove softened ear wax.

It is essential to avoid inserting cotton swabs or any objects into the ear canal, as this can push the ear wax deeper and potentially damage the eardrum.

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When to seek professional assistance

If home remedies are ineffective or your symptoms worsen, it's advisable to seek professional help. At Louisiana ENT Specialists, we offer expert care for ear wax buildup. Some situations where you should consult a healthcare provider include:

Severe ear pain

If you experience intense ear pain or discomfort.

Hearing loss

If ear wax impaction leads to a significant decline in hearing.

Tinnitus or dizziness

If you have persistent tinnitus or dizziness.

Previous ear surgery

If you've had ear surgery or a history of ear problems, it's best to consult a specialist.

Diabetes or a weakened immune system

If you have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, it can increase the risk of ear complications.

Treatment options for ear wax buildup

At Louisiana ENT Specialists, we offer a range of effective treatment options for ear wax impaction, depending on the severity and individual needs. These may include:

  • Ear irrigation: A gentle irrigation technique using warm water to flush out ear wax.
  • Ear wax removal tools: Specialized instruments designed to remove ear wax safely.
  • Microsuction: A gentle and precise method using a microscope and a low-pressure suction device to remove ear wax.
  • Ear drops: Prescription ear drops that help soften and facilitate the removal of ear wax.
  • Manual removal: In cases where other methods are ineffective, a healthcare provider may manually remove ear wax using specialized tools.
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Why Choose Louisiana ENT Specialists for ear wax buildup treatment?

Selecting Louisiana ENT Specialists for ear wax buildup concerns means choosing a team of dedicated ENT specialists with a reputation for providing the highest quality medical and surgical care. Our extensive experience, compassionate care, and commitment to excellence set us apart in the field. 

With over 45 years of service and a network of over 25 physicians and specialists across six locations in Louisiana, Louisiana ENT Specialists prioritizes a patient-first philosophy. We take the time to understand your unique needs and deliver personalized care to ensure your well-being. Don't let ear wax buildup disrupt your life or hearing. Contact Louisiana ENT Specialists today to schedule an appointment and find relief from ear wax-related issues.

With 6 convenient locations around the Louisiana area, we're never far away.

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