Wax plugs

What are wax plugs?

Wax plugs are the accumulation of earwax in the ear, which often leads to hearing loss. In the ear canal there are a number of glands and follicles that create cerumen or wax, a waxy oil that is implanted into the outer ear, where it is removed by flushing the ears. But often this wax is not removed properly and forms plugs in the ear canal, which are the most common cause of hearing loss.

Symptoms of ear wax plugs

Here are some signs to know if you have earwax plugs:

  • Sensation of plugging in the ear.
  • Ear pain.
  • Tinnitus or tinnitus: noises in the ear that are not coming from the outside.
  • Hearing loss, partial hypoacusis.
  • In severe cases it can cause fever and ear discharge.

What causes wax plugs?

Earwax exists to protect the ear from bacteria, dust, water and external agents in general. But some people produce more earwax in their ears than is removed, so the wax accumulates and hardens in the ear canal. Also during ear washing, earwax can be pushed deep into the ear and clog it.

Can wax plugs be prevented?

Proper ear hygiene is essential to prevent the accumulation of earwax that causes earwax plugs. While it is true that in some people wax production is higher, a routine ear cleaning routine will be more necessary to remove excess wax.

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Treatment of earwax plugs

In some cases the plugs can be removed by softening the wax, which is often done with water or baby oil. In most cases, the wax plug will require professional washing with a syringe that attacks the wax with pressurized water. It is recommended to leave this treatment in the hands of an ear, nose and throat specialist to avoid damage to the eardrum. The otolaryngologist may also act on the earwax plug by other methods, such as suctioning the ear canal or using a curette.