The ear canal has cells within it that produce cerumen, otherwise known as ear wax, but a build up of this can sometimes lead to temporary hearing loss and pain. Hidden Hearing explains how this can be dealt with safely:
• The amount of ear wax produced by the ear varies from person to person and some people will experience build up at a much faster rate. Ear wax should naturally fall out of its own accord but excessive build up can be removed by a GP with a painless process called syringing.
• It is important to remember that nothing should be inserted into the ears to remove dirt, debris or wax – including cotton buds. According to the head of the Ear Nose and Throat department at St Barthlomew’s in London, 25-50% of cases are ‘traumatic perforations’ caused by direct injury such as a cotton bud being used to clean the ears.
• The outer ear, (the viable part) should be cleaned with a wet facecloth. The ear canal (non-visible) does not need to be cleaned in most cases and will be naturally loosened by water during hair washes and showers.
• Hearing aids should be regularly cleaned of wax according to care instructions.
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