What Is Impaction

Say Goodbye To Q-tips

Cerumen, also known as ear wax, is a chemical produced for self-cleaning by the body. Naturally, the wax works its way out of the ears by chewing and other jaw movements.

The wax collects moisture, dirt, bacteria, and other debris. Many people never need to clean their ears. However, it can buildup and affect your hearing. When it reaches this level of blockage, its called Cerumen Impaction.

If you have impaction, you may suffer from symptoms such as:

  • aching
  • impaired hearing
  • fluid drainage
  • inflammation or ringing
  • unpleasant odor coming from the affected ear
  • dizziness
Those who use hearing aids or ear plugs are more likely to develop impaction.
According to 2017 guidelines for removal of impacted earwax issued by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, up to 2/3 of people in nursing homes may suffer from this condition. Excessive or impacted cerumen is present in 1 in 10 children, 1 in 20 adults, and more than one-third of the geriatric and developmentally delayed populations.

 

METHODS TO TREAT IMPACTION

 

Damp Cloth

  • Cotton swabs may push wax deeper. Use cotton swabs only on the outside of your ear. If none are available, try wiping the area with a warm, damp washcloth.

Earwax Softener

  • Many pharmacies sell over-the-counter eardrops that soften earwax. These drops are typically a solution of salt, mineral oil, and hydrogen peroxide

Ear Syringing

  • You may also choose to use a syringe in order to irrigate your ears. You’ll gently rinse out the ear canal using water or a saline solution. This method is often works better if you use some type of wax softener 15 to 30 minutes before irrigating.

  • It’s best to warm the solution to your body temperature to avoid dizziness.

Ear Candling

  • Contrary to popular belief, there is no scientific evidence that ear candling pulls out debris from the ear canal According to the American Academy of Audiology. Measurements of the ear canals before and after candling actually show an increase in wax because of the deposits of the candle itself
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