Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Cerumen Removal: Why We Do What We Do


By Laura Mergen, Au.D., CCC-A, Audiology Consultants

Under normal circumstances, wax and dead skin is naturally removed from ear canals through everyday movement of the head and jaw and through the growth of the skin lining the ear canal. Unfortunately, wearing hearing aids can disrupt how the ear cleans itself, leading to occluding and impacted wax. Occluding and impacted wax can affect hearing and hearing aid function. It can also make performing some hearing, hearing aid tests, and services difficult or impossible.

In some cases, we are able to remove wax and skin debris, which is completed primarily by curette. However, sometimes it is in the patient’s best interest to see their family physician to have it removed. Despite efforts to be careful, injury to the delicate skin of the ear canal is a possibility. If a patient is on blood thinners or has a bleeding disorder, we are not medically equipped to handle a situation in case of such an injury. Likewise, if a patient has a suppressed immune system, or diabetes, which makes the patient more susceptible to infection, it is outside our scope of practice to monitor for and treat potential infection at the injury site.

Having to see a family physician or specialist for wax removal, then rescheduling a hearing test or other appointment can understandably be a hassle for patients. We always keep our patients’ best interest at heart, and at the top of that list is their safety.

If you have questions or would like further information regarding this topic, please contact Audiology Consultants at 563-355-7712, or email Ellen at everlo@audiologyconsultants.com. Visit our website at audiologyconsultants.com.