New articles are published every month under the headings below.

Firstly if the wax is not blocking the ear canal or causing discomfort or irritation, leave it alone. We are all supposed to have a certain amount of earwax to protect our ear system and the ear canal is self cleaning with wax normally working its own way out of the ear canal. Neither cleaning with cotton buds or using self-use electronic vacuums is a good option. Cotton buds inserted into the ear canal tend to push the wax in further and are only safe to use in the most external part of the ear canal. After talking to various Ear, Nose and Throat specialists and GPs, there was concern that the 'vacuums' could inadvertently be pushed in too far and cause damage to the delicate ear drum which consists of only 3 layers of skin. There was also a query on how effective they would be given that a person using the device cannot determine if the device is sitting on the wax. In general, these ear vacuums are too weak to be effective and if they were more powerful they could potentially cause significant damage in untrained hands. If the ear canal is scraped or if wax is firmly attached to the skin of the canal, removing it can lead to bleeding and potential outer ear infections (otitis externa). This can occur in particular in older individuals whose skin is usually more fragile. A self cleaning method that is often advocated is to get a tissue and twist it into a spear shape. After having a shower, the wax in the ear canals is often softer and the tissue spear can be used to mop up any softer wax. If the wax is still present or hardened you could try using drops such as Ear Clear or seeing your GP or ENT specialist. Many audiologists also have the training and expertise to remove wax using dry methods that involve picking out the wax while visualising the ear canal through a magnified headlight.

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Deafblindness

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