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Can earwax cause hearing loss?

Can earwax cause hearing loss?

Earwax can certainly cause hearing loss. But it doesn’t occur as commonly as one might think. In fact, very few patients who are seen by hearing healthcare professionals have hearing loss that is literally due to excessive earwax (cerumen impaction).

More likely, the patient has experienced a gradual decline in their hearing over time and the hearing loss has become enough that the patient is starting to have difficulty communicating with others.  It is when communication starts to become affected that people seek help.

What, you might ask, causes cerumen impaction? Anything that affects the normal outward flow of ear wax may cause impaction, such as advanced age, narrow or abnormally shaped ear canals, use of a hearing aid, incorrect use of cotton swabs, or using needles, hairpins, or other objects to clean the ears.

A full earwax blockage is very rare

What is important to know here is that soundwaves only need a tiny opening in the ear canal to reach the eardrum. So, unless the ear canal is plugged tightly with earwax, there shouldn’t be a noticeable hearing loss. When cerumen impaction is severe enough to cause hearing loss, there will likely be other signs and symptoms noticed, such as dizziness, ear fullness (a feeling that something is plugging up your ear), itchiness or pain in the ears and/or ringing in the ears. Rarely does cerumen impaction occur without additional signs that “something is wrong.”

Nantwich Hearing Centre can help remove excessive earwax

The good news is that hearing loss caused by cerumen impaction is easily treated. If your hearing loss is as simple as having your ears cleaned, GREAT! If not, visit us and you will be in the right place to accurately uncover what might be causing your perception of hearing loss.

Setting up an appointment with us is easy and convenient. Just get in touch and we’ll arrange an appointment that is suitable for you.



Get An Earful Of This

Earwax! It’s not the most pleasant subject matter and not really something most people want to talk about but we do because we think it’s pretty amazing stuff.

Earwax (scientific name is Cerumen) is a combination of Sebum, skin cells from inside the ear, and secretions form the ceruminous glands in the outer ear canal. It may not look the prettiest but it performs a number of important tasks.

Like our nose hair and eyelashes, earwax shields our body from outside invaders such as dust and bacteria that can enter the ear, irritate, inflame and infect. It even keeps out creepy crawlies!

Just as our tears lubricate our eyes, earwax lubricates our ears. Without enough earwax our ears would feel dry, itchy and even painful. You’d soon be crying!

Thanks to earwax our ears are self-cleaning. When you chew or move your jaw, you help to keep earwax churning slowly from the eardrum to the ear opening where it will then dry up, flake off and fall out.

So are you starting to love it just a little bit more?

The downside to this clever substance is that if you produce too much of it or it fails to leave the ear of its own accord you may experience a variety of not very nice symptoms. Ears blocked with wax can cause discomfort, pain, tinnitus, hearing loss and poor performance of hearing aids.

You should never ignore the above symptoms. The longer you leave it the longer the treatment will take and problems will only improve with safe treatment. A word of warning here…..please do not go mad with a cotton bud, which will only push the wax further into the ear canal and make it difficult to remove.

Of course you can see your own GP but if you are struggling to get an appointment or find the service is no longer available we are happy to help.

At Nantwich Hearing Centre we use a method of dry removal and low pressure irrigation to safely and effectively remove ear wax. We are a BSHAA registered centre for clinical ear care and wax removal and can offer appointment times at short notice to suit you.

We recommend that you treat the ear with an olive oil spray for a few days leading up to your appointment. The spray will provide a measured dose easily without the risk of ear discomfort and will aid the removal of wax. We have Earol in stock.

We can then offer you regular ear health checks to avoid future problems.

So we understand you may not want to “talk ear wax” with your family and friends but if you are suffering and no-one else wants to listen come and talk to us!