Ear irrigation is a routine procedure used to remove excess earwax, or cerumen, and foreign materials from the ear.
The ear naturally secretes wax to protect and lubricate the ear as well as to keep debris out and hinder bacterial growth. Under normal conditions, the body keeps the amount of earwax in the ears under control. Too much earwax or hardened earwax can cause a blockage in the ear, resulting in earaches, ringing in the ears, or temporary hearing loss.
The ear, especially the canal and eardrum, is very sensitive. Earwax buildup can cause damage to these structures over time. This can affect your hearing. Removing excess earwax with ear irrigation is a safe way to minimise the risk of damage to the ear.
Sometimes foreign materials like food, insects, or small stones can get into the ear. In these cases, the goal is to safely and quickly remove the items before they move deeper into the ear or do damage to the delicate canal. Ear irrigation can be effective in removing foreign materials from the ear.
Earwax irrigation can be done by your doctor or a nurse.
What happens during the syringing?
Before your doctor or nurse performs an ear irrigation, they will want to look inside your ear to ensure that your symptoms are the result of excess wax buildup or foreign materials and not something more serious.
Your clinician may diagnose excess earwax by inserting an instrument called an otoscope into the opening of your ear. The otoscope shines a light into your ear and magnifies the image.
If wax buildup is the issue, your clinician will perform the irrigation in their office using a syringe-like tool. This tool will be used to insert water or a water and saline mixture into the ear to flush out the wax. You may feel slight discomfort from the water in your ear or from holding your ear in place.
At Medcare, the process of ear syringing is very common and is usually carried out by Susie, the nurse. For an appointment call 966 860 258 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
An ear infection occurs when a bacterial or viral infection affects the middle ear — the sections of your ear just behind the eardrum. Ear infections can be painful because of inflammation and fluid buildup in the middle ear.
Ear infections can be chronic or acute.
Acute ear infections are painful but short in duration.
Chronic ear infections either don’t clear up or recur many times. Chronic ear infections can cause permanent damage to the middle and inner ear.
What causes an ear infection?
An ear infection occurs when one of your eustachian tubes becomes swollen or blocked, causing fluid to build up in your middle ear. Eustachian tubes are small tubes that run from each ear directly to the back of the throat.
Causes of eustachian tube blockage include:
- sinus infections
- excess mucus
- infected or swollen adenoids (tissue near your tonsils that traps harmful bacteria and viruses)
- changes in air pressure
What are the symptoms of ear infections?
A few of the common symptoms of ear infections include:
- mild pain or discomfort inside the ear
- a feeling of pressure inside the ear that persists
- fussiness in young infants
- pus-like ear drainage
- hearing loss
These symptoms might persist or come and go. Symptoms may occur in one or both ears. Pain is usually more severe with double ear infection (infection in both ears).
Chronic ear infection symptoms may be less noticeable than those of acute ear infections.
Children younger than 6 months who have a fever or ear infection symptoms should see a doctor. Always seek medical attention if your child has a fever higher than 102°F (39°C) or severe ear pain.
While the painful ear condition is often linked to a dunk in the ocean or the pool, the truth is you can get it on dry land, too.
Swimmer’s ear, which has the medical name of otitis externa, is an infection in your ear canal. That’s the tube that runs from the hole on the outside of your ear to your eardrum.
Swimmer’s ear is different from the common ear infection that your young child often gets after a cold. Those are middle ear infections, or “otitis media” in doctor speak, and they happen deeper in the ear, behind the eardrum.
Usually, swimmer’s ear is caused by bacteria, but it can sometimes be brought on by a virus or fungus. Symptoms you may get are:
- Itchiness in the ear
- Pain, which can become severe
- Trouble hearing (sound may seem muffled as your ear canal swells)
- Fluid or pus draining out of the ear
Here’s one way to tell which type of ear infection you have. If it hurts when you tug or press your ear, you may have swimmer’s ear.
If you or own of your child has a suspected ear infection, don’t leave it to get worse or hope it will go away, make an appointment to see the GP at Medcare. Call on 966 860 258 or email email@example.com