Ear wax and your hearing
Ear wax is a naturally occurring substance in healthy ears, but it’s quite common for wax to build up in the ear canal and can impair hearing.
How do I know if I need ear wax removal?
Sometimes you may not even know you have a wax build up or you may have a feeling of fullness in your ears, or you may have difficulty hearing. You can visit any Bay Audiology clinic, and we can look into your ear and tell you if you have wax that needs removing. Some people build up wax very quickly and require regular wax removal.
How can we help?
At selected Bay Audiology clinics around New Zealand we have our Bay Audiology Registered Nurses who can provide safe ear wax removal options. You may require our micro-suctioning service, which uses a very gentle vacuum technique to safely and effectively remove the wax.
If we don’t have our own Ear Nurse we can refer you to another trusted partner who will offer the same service using micro-suction.
What should I expect during an ear wax removal procedure?
- You will be seen by a Registered Nurse.
- Once the nurse has taken you through to the room where the appointment will take place, you will be asked to sit in a high-backed reclining chair to have the procedure done. If you are in a wheelchair, the procedure can still be performed while you are in the wheelchair.
- We will demonstrate how the equipment will work and explain what you are going to experience.
- The micro-suction procedure will be noisy but this will only be for a short period, and you will need to keep your head still.
- Depending on the specific concern, the procedure will take about 5 to 15 minutes, and can be stopped at any time at your request.
Is a healthy ear supposed to have ear wax?
Ear wax is a sign of a normal, healthy ear. Ear wax has antibacterial properties and has a role in keeping the ear canal healthy by trapping dust and debris, keeping the ear moisturised.
Cleaning your ears at home
We strongly recommend that you do not use cotton tips to clean your ears.
Cotton tips can push wax further into the ear canal where it can get stuck. They can also scratch the delicate lining of the ear canal. The best way to clean your ears is to wash the outside of the ear only with a flannel. For most people, leaving your ears alone is the best way to keep them clean. The skin inside your ear canals is like a conveyor belt moving from the inside of your ear to the outside with the wax sweeping up the dust and debris.