Ear canals are naturally designed to expel excess wax into the outer of the ear where it can be safely cleaned out using a tissue. Though uncommon, when this process is disrupted, a buildup of ear wax (known as cerumen impaction) can cause temporary hearing loss.
While some of these reasons are avoidable, such as driving earwax too far into the canal using cotton swabs, hair pins or other objects, others are unavoidable and include aging, or abnormally shaped or narrow ear canals.
It is important to remember that soundwaves need only a narrow opening in the ear canal to be properly heard. As a result, a noticeable decline in hearing due to ear wax buildup will only occur when the wax is tightly plugged.
Hearing loss due to ear wax buildup will rarely come without other symptoms. If your hearing loss is caused by excess ear wax, you will most likely experience at least some of the following symptoms in addition to a loss of hearing:
- Feeling like something is plugging your ear.
If you do suspect your hearing loss is caused by ear wax, it is important to visit a hearing professional, such as York Hearing Clinic. They will be able to properly diagnose the cause and verify whether ear wax is the actual cause of your symptoms and hearing loss.
If your hearing loss is due to cerumen impaction, your hearing professional can also arrange to have it removed to help improve your hearing.
How to prevent hearing loss from earwax build up
As we mentioned previously, some cerumen impaction is inescapable as it is a result of the physical design of your ear canal. In most situations, however, earwax buildup is preventable.
To help prevent the buildup of wax, it is important for you to let your ear naturally expel the excess earwax. Avoid using cotton swabs or other objects to remove ear wax and wait for it to dislodge naturally into the outer ear.
For more information on hearing loss due to wax build up or to find out whether ear wax is the reason for your hearing loss, schedule an appointment today.