Ear wax, also known as cerumen, plays an important role in maintaining the health of our ears. It acts as a natural lubricant and also has antibacterial properties.
However, excessive ear wax can sometimes lead to complications that go beyond just discomfort. In some cases, the buildup can result in serious pain, hearing loss, and other health issues that require medical intervention.
At that point, the problem may become so severe that professional ear wax removal is required to successfully address the symptoms. Here’s why you may need to consult a specialist like New York ENT for proper treatment.
When Should Ear Wax Be Removed?
The American Academy of Otolaryngology recommends ear wax removal only when symptoms require it. These symptoms can range from a mild inconvenience to more severe health issues, such as:
- Pain or a feeling of fullness in the ear
- Partial hearing loss
- Itching, foul odor, or discharge
- Extreme coughing
- Tinnitus (ringing or other noises in the ear)
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is a sign that you may need to have your ear wax professionally removed.
Home Remedies for Ear Wax Removal
For those experiencing mild symptoms, at-home remedies may be an option for ear wax removal. However, any self-treatment should be done cautiously, and avoid the insertion of any objects into the ear canal. At-home remedies include:
- Cleaning the outer ear with a soft cloth
- Saline solution irrigation
- Dissolving wax inside the ear canal with solutions such as baby oil, mineral oil, glycerin, or peroxide-based ear drops
Professional Ear Wax Removal
If symptoms persist or worsen, it’s crucial to quickly consult an ENT specialist for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan. Depending on the severity of the ear wax impaction, New York ENT doctors may recommend various treatments such as:
- Prescription ear drops to soften ear wax
- Special instruments and microscopic visualization to remove wax
- In-office ear wax extraction procedure
Schedule a Consultation Today
Excessive ear wax buildup is more than just an annoyance — it can lead to a range of health issues that require professional intervention.
At New York ENT, the practice’s board-certified physicians have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of ear conditions. If you’re experiencing symptoms from ear wax buildup, don’t ignore them.
Schedule an evaluation with New York ENT’s experienced ear doctors today. You can call the office at 212-873-6168 or schedule an appointment by filling out an online form.