If you’ve noticed that your hearing has deteriorated recently, there are lots of potential reasons for that. It could be because of a buildup of earwax. This can cause hearing loss, both directly and indirectly. It’s important to ensure earwax is dealt with in the correct and proper way because it carries many potential risks to your hearing if it’s not.
Wax buildup usually only leads to temporary hearing loss but other problems can develop too if the problem isn’t successfully treated. Find out everything you need to know about earwax and its link to hearing loss below. The first step towards sorting out your problems is education.
How Earwax Can Lead to Hearing Loss
When earwax compacts in the ear canal, it can block the canal and prevent you from hearing correctly. That’s how temporary hearing loss is generally caused by earwax buildup. This isn’t pleasant and the ear will normally feel full when the earwax begins to compact in this way. The hearing loss experienced is usually not permanent.
There are some long-term impacts earwax buildup can cause, however. For example, you might experience tinnitus as a result of your earwax buildup. And although tinnitus can be treated in various ways, there’s not a simple or easy way to cure it or rid yourself of it once you begin to experience it. Tinnitus can be linked to hearing loss too.
The Causes of Earwax Buildup
So, what causes earwax to build up in your ear canal? Some people naturally produce more earwax than others and that’s something that can’t be combatted directly. Having more earwax doesn’t necessarily lead to a blockage in the ear canal. It’s actually the case that blockages are usually caused by attempts at removing earwax.
When you try to remove earwax at home with earbuds and other such instruments, it can simply push the earwax further into the ear and cause compaction and blockage. That’s obviously not what you want to happen, so it’s best to avoid using earbuds to get wax out of your ear. Using headphones a lot can even lead to earwax buildup.
The Symptoms of Earwax Buildup
As mentioned above, one of the things you’ll notice if you’re experiencing earwax buildup is reduced hearing. You might notice that the ear canal feels full in a way that it usually doesn’t. Many people also feel an aching sensation in the ear when the wax becomes really compacted. It’s a feeling that’s hard to ignore.
It can also lead to tinnitus, which manifests itself as a buzzing or ringing sound in the ear. In some circumstances, earwax buildup can also lead to infection if it’s not properly treated. This could manifest itself via ear drainage, severe pain, dizziness, or fever. If any of those symptoms are noticed, you should see a doctor right away.
Getting Rid of Earwax
It’s never a good idea to try to get rid of earwax buildup by yourself at home because this generally only leads to more problems. It’s something that should be left to the professionals who know what they’re doing and are able to remove the wax in a safe way. That’s something that’s not possible when you’re doing it yourself. If buildup hasn’t yet occurred and you simply want to remove excess wax from your ear, you can do this by yourself, as long as you’re careful. Ear irrigation techniques can be helpful or you can try to soften the earwax with a substance such as baby oil or hydrogen peroxide.
Seeking Help From a Hearing Care Professional
There are many ways in which a hearing care professional might be able to help you if you have a problem with earwax buildup or hearing loss caused by earwax buildup. They carry out the procedures that remove earwax safely all the time, so there’s no reason why they can’t do the same for you.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms above and you think your hearing is deteriorating, you should go out of your way to seek help from a hearing care professional. They’ll be able to get to the bottom of the problem and provide a treatment that fixes it.
If you have noticed a buildup of wax in your ears, talk with a hearing care professional at our office to find out more about your treatment options. We’ll be able to help you find out if the hearing loss is being caused by earwax buildup and, most importantly, what can be done about it going forward. Contact us today to talk with our professionals at one of our convenient locations: (888) 553-7520