What is Cerumen Impaction?
Cerumen impaction is a condition in which earwax (cerumen) accumulates in the ear canal and causes a blockage, preventing sound from reaching the eardrum. It can be uncomfortable, and if left untreated can lead to hearing loss or infections.
What are the Symptoms of Cerumen Impaction?
• Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
• Hearing loss or muffling
• Ear fullness
What are the causes of Cerumen Impaction?
Cerumen impaction is usually caused by overproduction of cerumen along with incorrect removal of cerumen from the ear canal. Other causes of cerumen impaction include: using cotton swabs or other objects to clean the ear, earbuds, hearing aids, and trauma to the ear canal.
How to Avoid Getting Cerumen Impaction:
To avoid cerumen impaction, use a soft washcloth to clean the outer part of the ear, and avoid using cotton swabs or other objects in the ear.
How to Treat Cerumen Impaction at Home:
If you think you may have cerumen impaction, you can try to soften the wax buildup by using mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or commercial drops made for this purpose. After a few hours, use a rubber-bulb syringe to gently flush the ear with warm water. Do not use cold or hot water, as they can cause dizziness and burns, respectively. You may have to repeat to fully cleanse the ear.
How to Treat Cerumen Impaction with a Doctor:
If these home treatments don’t work, you should visit your doctor. Your doctor may use an instrument to gently remove the wax, or use more aggressive irrigation techniques.
If you think you have earwax/cerumen impaction and need assistance with removal, skip the ER waiting room and call us at Bay Mobile Urgent Care for in-home service.