Many of the traditional methods that are used to clean a child’s ear can result in hearing loss. It is important for parents to understand that the ear is a sensitive organ which should be treated delicately. This includes both the eardrum as well as the ear canal. Parents should avoid the habit of cleaning their child’s ears by probing them with cotton tipped swabs.
It is normal and healthy to have some earwax within the ears as it self-cleans them while providing lubrication as well as antibacterial properties. Additionally, earwax prevents unwanted objects from entering the ear such as insects. At the same time, if too much earwax accumulates in the ear, it will need to be removed.
What is ear wax removal?
Ear wax removal is a treatment for safely cleaning the ears. The external ear of the child will be cleaned with a cloth, but nothing will be inserted into the ear canal itself. Ear wax which causes blockage in the ear can be treated by softening it. Dr. Samadi can place drops of baby oil or mineral oil into the ear. Hydrogen peroxide is also sometimes used to remove excess wax, and another popular method is ear syringing.
Ear syringing works best when the solution (usually water or saline) is heated to body temperature. This will prevent the child from becoming dizzy. This method of wax removal works best when water or saline drops are placed inside the ear canal at least 15 minutes before the treatment begins.
What are the benefits of earwax removal?
Excess wax which causes blockage in the ear is a frequent cause of hearing loss. The situation becomes worse when someone attempts to clean the ear with a cotton swab. This is because the swab does little more than push the wax further into the ear canal. Ear wax removal is a superior cleaning method because:
- It softens the wax
- Doesn’t push it deeper into the ear
- Removes the blockage
- Restores hearing
What are the risks associated with earwax removal?
While earwax removal is a safe method for cleaning a child’s ear, caution is advised if the child’s ear is perforated, a tube is present in the eardrum or their immune system is weak. Attempting to a clean an ear that is perforated may result in severe pain or even an infection. Additionally, certain medications should also not be taken if the eardrum has been punctured. A perforated eardrum should also not be exposed to water, as this may lead to an infection as well.
What does the post-care entail?
Post care procedures for earwax removal are minimal. ENT for Children provides eardrops that can be used to soften the wax within the child’s ear, and it can also be washed or even vacuumed out. In severe cases, where standard treatments are ineffective, the wax may be removed through a process called microscopic visualization. Contact us to learn more about ear wax removal and find out how Dr. Samadi can help to maintain better ear health for your child.