Earwax is a naturally produced substance that safeguards the ear canal. It is a mixture of debris from different elements bound together with a fluid secreted by glands inside the ear canal. Earwax helps filter the dust, protects the ear canal from infection, and keeps the ears clean. Usually, earwax is a self-discharging liquid that does not cause any issues. When the ear canal skin becomes flaky, the wax is carried to the outer portion of the ear canal and drains by itself from the ear. However, when the earwax blocks the ear canal, it increases the risk of infection and hearing loss.
What Are the Causes of Wax Build-Up?
Some children are more disposed to having a significant amount of wax build-up in the ears. It may be due to several reasons, including
- Ear canals that are narrow or not fully formed
- Presence of hair in the ear canals
- Bony growths in the ear canal’s outer parts
- Flaky skin near the ear
- Hard wax
- Previous instances of earwax blocking the ear canal
- A harmful habit of sticking objects in the ears
- Recurrent ear infections
- Using cotton to clean the inside of the ear
- Learning difficulties
- Children using hearing aids
What Are the Symptoms of Earwax Buildup?
- Too much earwax can cause ear rubbing or poking sensations in the canal.
- Ear wax becomes hard and dry in the ear canal, creating a feeling that an object is stuck in the ear
- Complete blockage of the ear canal can cause subdued or lowered hearing.
- Presence of large pieces of earwax inside the ear canal
The Procedure for Earwax Removal
At Healthy Kidz Pediatrics, we employ several methods to remove the excess earwax. As a preliminary step, we may irrigate the ear canal with water. A controlled water flow is sprayed into the ear canal to remove the wax accumulation. If this does not work, we may use a suction device called a curette to clean out the wax.
Steps to Prevent Ear Canal Blockage
Children who experience repeated ear canal blockage because of excess earwax are at a higher risk of hearing loss. It will help if you follow the below mentioned steps.
- Talk to your child's pediatrician about proper ear cleaning techniques
- Please do not use a cotton wipe to clean as it may push the wax further into the ear
- Teach your child not to insert objects in the ears.
- Ear drops can be used to soften and loosen the earwax.
If you want earwax removed for your child, visit our office, Healthy Kidz Pediatrics, at 215 S Power Rd #106, Mesa, AZ 85206. You can also reach us at (480) 214-0051.