Earwax is being produced in the outer part of ear canal. The wax is called cerumen and is aimed at protecting the ear. However, sometimes it causes problems, like pain, ringing, itching, infection and even hearing loss. In such cases earwax needs to be removed by a professional, who use wax-dissolving liquids and special devises not to damage ear.
Nowadays, there are lots of tools like cotton swabs and oral jet irrigators, which are used by individuals to remove earwax at home. However, the guidelines urged that people can easily damage ear while cleaning the wax themselves: cerumen can be pushed deep into ear canal and form impaction, which will farther damage hearing abilities.
Those who experience hearing problems are recommended to visit a physician every 6 or 12 months to undergo cerumen removal. Those who want to remove earwax themselves are advised to use wax dissolving liquids, which need to be applied 15 to 30 minutes before cleaning the wax. There is also an alternative method - ear candling - which is officially recognized by FDA as a dangerous procedure.
The guidelines are designed by a collaboration of a wide range of health professionals: family practitioners, pediatricians, internists, nurses, audiologists and emergency room doctors. The guidelines will be very useful for everyone, especially the ones suffering from hearing problems. According to statistics, 1 in 10 children, 1 in 20 adults, 1/3 elderly suffer from cerumen complications. About 12 million each year visit a doctor because of such complications, and about 8 million of them are undergoing a cerumen removal procedure.
The guidelines will help everyone: those who suffer ear complications and those who regularly clear earwax themselves, without suspecting that it may cause major health complications.
Ruzanna Haroutiunyan for eMaxhealth