The cost of this service at the LAC is £40 for one ear and £70 for both
(There is no additional charge if the wax cannot be removed on the first appointment and a return visit is required)
What is ear wax?
Ear wax is simply a natural mix of oil, fats, sweat and dead skin found in the ear canal. It isn’t really a bad thing because it helps to protect your eardrum and ear canal ear against dust, dirt and bacteria. The secretions lubricate the ear canal and prevent the skin from becoming too dry. What’s really interesting though is that contents of ear wax changes from person to person based on diet, age and race.
What can cause a build up of ear wax?
Unfortunately, some people just suffer from regularly blocked ears. This can simply be an over production of ear wax, narrow ear canals or dry skin. The causes of earwax build up can be
- Overproduction of ear wax
- Narrow ear canals
- Hairy ear canals
- Dry earwax, (not much moisture in the secretion as you get older)
- Bony growths in the ear canal can block the progress of ear wax
- An awkward ear canal bend
- Using cotton buds in the ear
- Wearing hearing aids (pushing the wax back in)
- Wearing in-ear headphones (same as above)
Symptoms of a build up of ear wax
The commonest symptom of excess ear wax is dull hearing but other symptoms can include:
- Earache (as the wax builds up and hardens, it can press against the ear canal causing pain)
- Itchiness in the ear canal
- Dizziness (ear wax blockage can occasionally cause dizziness and a feeling of unbalance)
- Tinnitus (excess ear wax can give a sense of buzzing or ringing in the affected ear)
What can you do about ear wax build up?
Generally, you should not have to do anything about ear wax, unless it is causing a problem. The ear is self-cleaning and, if functioning correctly, the wax should just drop out of its own accord. However, occasionally wax can become lodged on the canal wall and subsequently causes a blockage. Normally once this build up starts, it will just continue unless it is washed or sucked out. Eventually, the ear wax plug will grow to fill the ear canal and it is only then that you will really be aware of it.
Usually, the first indication you have a problem is when water gets into the ear during swimming or showering. Water causes the ear wax to swell and it blocks the ear canal or becomes trapped behind it making everything sound ‘underwater’. If the wax build up has got to the stage where it is causing deafness, tinnitus or is uncomfortable, it needs to be removed.
Should I Use Ear Drops?
There are several types of ear drops that can be used to loosen and soften ear wax. These can include olive or almond oil, bicarbonate of soda and hydrogen peroxide. However, drops are not suitable for everyone and hydrogen peroxide drops can cause sensitisation of the ear canal. If a perforation of the ear drum is present, ear drops are not recommended as the liquid can pass into the middle ear cavity causing discomfort.
If you are suddenly struggling to hear, it could simply be a blocked ear or two! Have them professionally cleared by qualified audiologists at our appointment-only clinic in central Leeds