BLOCKED EAR: WHAT TREATMENT SHOULD I CHOOSE?
In a few words
Before going to your GP to have your wax plug extracted, have you considered an appropriate ear cleansing solution? Available from chemists, they can help you remove a cerumen plug gently at home! We will explain all this to you.
Blocked ear: formation and symptoms of a cerumen plug
Cerumen is a yellowy secretion produced by our ears. Its role is to protect the outer ear canal and the eardrum by erecting a barrier against bacteria and germs. Do I understand it that cerumen is useful for your health? Yes! But in a controlled amount. Without regular ear cleansing, these secretions can build up at the bottom of the ear canal and form a compact mass, obstructing the ear. This is known as a cerumen plug.
The symptoms of a wax plug can be the following:
- Impaired hearing;
- A sensation of blocking and pressure in the ear;
- Irritation, itching or pain in the ear canal;
- Humming or dizziness*...
What can cause a cerumen plug? Find out more!
What can I do if my ear is blocked by a cerumen plug?
Remember that it is strongly advised against trying to remove a cerumen plug yourself using an object. Furthermore, if you have an ear infection or a perforated eardrum, ear cleansing solutions are not recommended.
There are two ways of treating a cerumen plug. It all depends on the size of the obstruction. If the plug is not fully formed, an appropriate ear cleansing solution may suffice. If this technique is not successful and the symptoms persist, then the mass is too dense. In this case you must make an appointment with a specialist to perform a mechanical intervention.
Consult your pharmacist, your doctor or your ENT specialist.
Treating a blocked ear at the doctor's.
If the obstruction is too big, you must make an appointment with your doctor. The GP will first make a diagnosis to confirm that you have a cerumen plug. If you have one, the doctor irrigates the ear canal with a warm water solution using an enema pear or a little tube. The cerumen plug is then gradually extracted from the canal, piece by piece. If this operation fails, the doctor extracts the plug manually using a spoon-shaped instrument (curette).
Treating a blocked ear with an appropriate ear cleansing solution
Before making an appointment with your doctor you can try treating the cerumen plug at home with an appropriate ear cleansing solution sold at your chemist's. As mentioned above, if the wax plug is not fully formed, this method may suffice. Otherwise, an appropriate ear cleansing solution is useful as preparation for a mechanical intervention. Although it doesn't completely remove the plug, it softens it. This preliminary will facilitate the extraction performed by the doctor.
Blocked ear: what ear cleansing solution should I choose to treat my cerumen plug?
Choose an aqueous solution with cerumenolytic and cerumen-dispersant properties. What does this involve? When choosing your solution, focus your attention on the surface active agents. Their action on the cerumen plug will cause an emulsion, which will then be naturally evacuated to the outside of the ear canal.
Preventing cerumen plugs: how can I stop my ears blocking?
To prevent a cerumen plug forming, we recommend cleaning your ears regularly with a suitable product. The cleaning technique recommended is a seawater-based aqueous solution.
How do I wash my ears properly? Comparing the options available
Regular ear cleansing prevents wax build-up in the ear canal and thus the formation of a wax plug. Note that cotton buds are to be avoided as instead of removing the cerumen, they push it further into the canal, thereby making the formation of a plug more likely.
Help me choose my ear cleansing product!