One of the most common phone calls that my hearing care clinic receives is: Do you provide professional ear wax removal? Obviously, as Doctors of Audiology we say yes and that we not only provide ear wax removal services but that we also educate patients on causes of ear wax build up and that we instruct patients on cerumen management systems that they can utilize at home in order to reduce their need of in office ear cleaning.
Ear wax build up is extremely common with hearing aid use and in many cases patients can be taught successful ear wax removal techniques to successfully perform ear cleaning at home as part of their hearing care plan. That being said however, once most patients learn about and experience our new ear cleaning service via the earigator wax removal system they opt for ear irrigation in office on a routine basis not only for removing their cerumen but also for the pure pleasure of the massage like sensation that it provides.
Features and Benefits of Earigator
Historically when having cerumen removed patients have experienced manual removal with instruments, irrigation via large intimidating syringes or suction removal via a vacuum system. Although all three of these methods are effective they each have downsides that can lead to a less than pleasing experience.
Manual removal utilizes metal instruments that can cause pain when coming into contact with the bony portion of the ear canal. Large metal syringes used for irrigation have unregulated water flow that can cause painful irritation to the canal wall and or the eardrum. Suction, my preferred method prior to the earigator in trained hands although painless can be very loud and uncomfortable.
The primary benefit to the patient of the Earigator is the soothing comfort of the procedure itself. Imagine body temperature water being massaged into your ear and bathing your external auditory canal with warmth and gentle pressure that eliminates ear wax in minutes in most cases causing most patients to ask Is that it? Are you done?
Fully automated temperature and water pressure controls ensure comfort and safety. The stable body temperature provided by the Earigator ensures comfort and avoids the triggering of vertigo often caused by manual irrigation systems. The highly effective and pain Earigator has been used on tens of thousands of patients without any adverse effects. Patients simply sits back and enjoys the feeling of warm water bathing their ear canal in a massage-like pattern without lingering pain commonly associated with traditional ear wax removal procedures.
What to Expect During Earigator Session
First and foremost you should expect a relaxing, pain free and effective procedure when using the Earigator to remove your ear wax build up. Most patients report a desire for us to keep going even though the wax has been removed and many patients schedule routine visits just for the massage-like experience.
Are There Any Risks or Complications Linked to Earigator?
Addiction to the comfort is a possibility! In all seriousness though there are possible complications if you have a history of middle ear surgeries, eardrum perforations and or chronic ear infections so our audiologists will be sure to ask you these questions prior to using the earigator.
Tips for keeping your ears healthy and free from wax build-up
The external auditory ear canal is lined with follicles of hair above the skin and below the skin lies glands that produce oily secretions called cerumen. Ear wax typically, self-clears from the ear thanks to the outward migratory growth of skin from the eardrum towards the opening of the ear canal. At the opening of the ear canal ear wax will either fall out on its own or be removed while washing.
Should wax not self clear, be removed during washing or managed by an audiologist it can build up and actually cause a conductive hearing loss. Wax induced hearing loss is common and we see at least three patients per month suffering from long term hearing loss that was simply caused by wax and corrected via the use of the Earigator.
Although ear wax protects the ear, too much ear wax can occlude the ear canal and cause hearing loss. Some patients simply produce more wax than others, while others may have excessive ear hair or coarse hair that prevents wax from migrating out of the canal. Additionally, hearing aid use may impede self clearing of wax from the canal reinforcing the need for consistent follow up care not only to service your hearing aids but to maintain good ear health.
Historically, though the leading cause of ear wax build up leading to impaction that I see clinically has been due to patients’ trying to get their ear wax out with cotton swabs, bobby pins, pen caps and / or streaming water from the shower head or from a bulb syringe. Even though patients may clear some of the wax they inadvertently push the wax deeper and wind up blocking their ear canal. As a result, I’m a strong advocate of not reaching into your own ear.
Should you desire to remove ear wax build up, consider using any number of FDA cleared softening agents and / or hydrogen peroxide. Simply laying your head flat and pouring a capful of hydrogen peroxide into your ear canal and allowing it to soak for two minutes once a month is typically enough to manage ear wax. For heavily impacted ears I recommend two times daily for four days to really soften up ear wax followed by a visit to the clinic for the use of the Earigator for complete wax removal. Obviously, if you have a history or eardrum perforations please do not put liquids in your ears as described above.
Ear wax removal no longer has to be scary or painful! Thanks to the Earigator you can now experience a Spa like procedure that is painless, fast and extremely effective at managing ear wax.