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Earwax Removal? Use Some Oil


Earwax Removal Microscope

Earwax removal is a far easier process when the person uses an oil to soften the earwax and condition the skin of the ear canal. However, sometimes even with consistent use of the oil, moving earwax is still problematic. I was reminded of this last week when I was referred a customer by a colleague. 

Icky Gooey Earwax, Got To Love It

I am one of a rare breed, men and women who get excited by icky gooey earwax, the gooier the better! No, it isn't a rare fetish, it is the joy of knowing that this will wash out nicely thank you. When we remove earwax from someone's ear, the wetter the wax is, the easier it is to remove. The easier it is to remove, the better a procedure is for a customer. The key to this is the use of a good ceruminolytic, that's usually pharmaceutical grade olive oil, or almond oil, or even a mix of both.  

The oil is soaked up by the earwax, like a sponge you know, which makes it wet and sloppy. We like wet and sloppy, to paraphrase Robin Williams, maybe not in a jungle but definitely in our earwax. Wet and sloppy earwax is very easy to suck out using micro suction or wash out using irrigation. The current fashion is for microsuction earwax removal which tends to be quick, easy and without mess. I still like irrigation though, it tends to wash everything away, completely cleaning the canal and eardrum.

Even Oil Use May Not Soften It Enough

However, even using oil as prescribed may not be enough to soften up the wax. It depends on how old the wax is, the longer the wax has been in the ear canal, the higher the difficulty of removal. As I said, I was reminded of this just last week. I looked after three customers last week during a clinic, the first was an exceptionally quick procedure with the earwax in both ears just flowing out with irrigation.

The other two were not quite as easy procedures. I knew one of them was going to be a bit difficult because a colleague had referred the customer to me because he couldn't get a plug of wax to move with micro suction. In cases like this, irrigation may move what micro suction can't. The customer had used an oil as prescribed, but the plug was old, dry and pretty well lodged. I eventually broke it down with irrigation until what was left washed to the mouth of the canal so I could pull it out. The customer was shocked by the size of it and the hardness, it was like a little stone.

The third earwax removal of the day was a bit of a doozey, the customer thought there was a problem with one ear only and had been using drops on it. It turned out it was both ears and the wax had been there for a very long time. In essence, both ears were packed with wax and I do mean full to the gunwales. The customer realised he had an issue with one ear after taking a shower and not being able to hear.

Typical Presentation, Earwax Like a Sponge

This pretty typical, it is usually after a shower, a bath or a swim, it goes back to what I said earlier. Earwax is like a sponge, it will soak up fluid and expand in the ear canal. Suddenly it will block out the canal and put pressure on the ear drum and your hearing is dramatically affected. I managed to move most of the wax from one canal, but because the customer had not used oil on the other ear, there was little or no movement there. So, the customer is gone away to use oil for a week and I will remove the rest then.

Use The Damned Oil!

Okay, so sometimes the oil doesn't do the full job, but it allows some of the earwax to be removed. This exposes the rest of it to the oil, which will make sure that it can be removed at the next session. Using these oils will make it easier for you and for the professional, it makes the process more comfortable and more rapid. In my experience, this is always the case. 

A Thousand and One Earwax Removals

Speaking of experience, I actually don't know how many earwax removal procedures I have done. I know it is a fair few, but it doesn't hold a candle to a colleague of mine. Greg Clements just reported his thousandth and thousand and first earwax removal in Glasgow. Now that is a lot of icky, gooey earwax! You can read everything you need to know about ear was cleaning here.

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