Ear Wax in Tarzana

Ear Wax - Marc Cohen M.D, Tarzana Surgeon

Ear Wax

The ear canal secretes a waxy oil common known as earwax, or cerumen, which protects the inside of the ear from dust, microbes, and foreign particles. It also prevents irritation of the ear canal skin from water.

When excess wax is produced, it naturally exits the canal and ear opening, and gets washed away. However, there are some instances when the glands are overactive, and produce so much more earwax than can be removed naturally, causing it to harden and block the ear.

When cleaning your ears, you can unknowingly push the wax deeper and cause a blockage that leads to temporary hearing loss. Blockage can also occur due to the frequent use of earphones, preventing the natural removal of wax from the ear canal.

Other causes of earwax buildup include:

  • Secreting dry earwax - due to aging
  • Narrow or hairy ear canals
  • Bony growths in the ear canal

Symptoms of earwax buildup

The buildup of wax in your ear can cause:

  • Tinnitus
  • Earache
  • Itchiness
  • Hearing loss
  • Vertigo
  • Ear infections

Treatments for earwax blockage

The symptoms tend to improve once the blockage is removed. It is important that you don't insert any objects in your ears, including earbuds, as they're likely to push the hard earwax deeper into the ear. Instead, visit your ENT specialist for professional help.

Depending on your case, Dr. Cohen may recommend:

  • Eardrops - to soften the wax so it can come it easily
  • Ear irrigation - the use of an electric water pump to wash the ear wax out
  • Microsuction - the use of a small device to suck the wax out
  • Aural toilet - the use of a small hoop to scrape out the wax

Contact Dr. Cohen for advice on the best remedy for your case.