Cerumen is the medical term for ear wax. A video exam of your outer ear canal is the very first procedure performed during the course of a hearing evaluation. You will be able to see what Madison sees when she looks in your ear! This is to check that the canal is clear of excessive ear wax and also that there are no abnormalities in the canal or ear drum. Ear wax should naturally work its way out of the ear over time, but in some case it becomes excessive and can block the ear canal which can cause pain, dizziness and can reduce the ability to hear.
If excess ear wax is found in the external auditory canal, then ear wax removal may be performed in our office. In some cases you may be sent home with instructions on how to soften the wax to make it easier and more comfortable to be removed a few days later, or in the case of extremely excessive wax, especially if it has been impacted, you may be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist for extraction. We can give you instructions based on your canals and type of wax issues, so that you can manage your ear wax removal routine at home, reducing or eliminating your visits for extraction.
If you are a hearing aid user, it becomes even more important for your ear canal to stay clean of wax so that your hearing aid stays clean, dry and up to peak performance. In fact, impacted ear wax can cause issues with feedback, reduced output, and can damage the device. Based on your ear canals and type of wax issues, recommendations like at-home irrigation or in-office manual removal may be made to help you keep your ears consistently clean.