If you’ve ever had earwax buildup in your ear, then you know that some of the treatment options are not very fun. Wearing anything in your ear for long periods of time will cause extra earwax to appear in your ear canal. This goes for hearing aids, earplugs, ear bud style headphones and the Bluetooth devices that have become so popular. Getting sick or not keeping excess water out of your ears can also cause the wax to build up. The earwax does this in an effort to protect your ear canal from things that could be harmful. You may notice some hearing loss or have some discomfort from the buildup.
Some of the more painful ways of treating earwax buildup are done at the doctor’s office. If it is severe enough, they will decide to either flush or otherwise clean out the buildup themselves. While flushing may not sound too bad, it can actually be quite painful. Your ear may already be sensitive for the same reasons that the wax has built up. A towel is draped over your shoulder and you get to hold something that looks very much like a bedpan up to your ear in the hopes that it will catch most of the runoff. Make sure to get all of your hair out of the way as well and remove any earrings. A syringe of some sort is filled with warm water or a warm saline solution. The tip of the syringe is placed in the ear and the water is pushed in. It helps to wash out the earwax. The warmth can be pleasant, but the force of the water is decidedly less so. The other option is having the buildup scraped out. You may get confused at this point because the tools they use look very much like the instruments at the dentist’s office. The good news is that none of them are actually pointy. The bad news is that it still hurts. The person performing the procedure will be as gentle as possible, but it can still be quite uncomfortable.
There are some measures that you can take at home to keep from having to go through the painful earwax removal at the doctor’s office. Ear drops may help clear up an earache or ear infection. You can try over the counter medication or a home remedy. Wearing earplugs while showering or swimming will help keep out excess moisture, just be sure you aren’t wearing them too long or too often. Properly drying your ears after they get wet will also help prevent buildup. Treating ear infections and earaches as soon as possible will prevent more wax from building up. Go over your options with your doctor if earwax buildup is a chronic problem for you and find out what lifestyle changes you can make to avoid future problems.