Ear Wax Impaction
Dr Dennis Chua is an experienced ENT specialist and shares his experience on managing patients with ear wax problems.
Ear wax is a natural substance produced by the body. Ears have a self cleansing mechanism and there usually is no need for one to clean the ears at all.
Ear wax impaction can collect from a variety of factors including: using cotton buds to dig, eczema of ear canals, narrow ear canals or frequently letting the ears get wet.
When ear wax impaction happens, it can lead to hearing loss or ear infection (otitis externa).
Cotton buds is a common culprit resulting in ear wax impaction as the tip is round, one can often end up pushing the ear wax further in.
For ear wax that are impacted, they will need to be cleaned out safely using a microscope (aural toilet). This is a precise way using suction equipments to remove the ear wax and minimizes the risks of damage to the ear drum (tympanic membrane) or ear canal. Ear syringing though commonly performed can sometimes introduce additional moisture in the ear and this can result in an outer ear infection (otitis externa).