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If you’re experiencing bothersome ringing or a muffled sound in your ears, make an appointment with Theodore Gerard A. Caspe, MD, right away. He’ll check your ears to determine if you have wax buildup or if there’s a more serious issue. He can provide relief from earwax buildup with a simple in-office procedure called an ear lavage. Call or book online to schedule an ear exam at Dr. Caspe’s Rancho Cucamonga, California, clinic.
Earwax (or cerumen) serves a beneficial purpose in the ears, lubricating and protecting them from infection. It provides a barrier against foreign particles entering the ear. Earwax is also part of the ear’s self-cleaning system. Using a cotton swab to clean the ear yourself can interfere with that delicate process.
Most of the time earwax movement is self-regulated, but it can sometimes build up and cause irritation or complication. A buildup of earwax can cause several bothersome side effects, including:
An ear lavage is a treatment that uses saltwater and diluted hydrogen peroxide to irrigate your ear canal and remove excess earwax.
Dr. Caspe first looks inside your ears with an otoscope to determine whether it’s excess earwax causing your issue or something else. If earwax buildup is the cause, he can perform an ear lavage in his office.
Dr. Caspe uses a syringe-like tool to insert a saltwater solution into your ear. You hold the solution in your ear for several minutes; the solution softens and flushes out the wax.
When Dr. Caspe tells you to drain your ear, you hold a cloth and tilt your ear over the cloth to collect the drainage. He then looks in your ear again to make sure the blockage has been cleared.
The structure of the ear is very delicate and complex, and poking and inserting objects in the ear can be dangerous. Performing at-home techniques may cause irreparable damage to the eardrum, especially if you have an ear perforation, an active infection, diabetes, or tubes.
It’s best to allow a professional to perform ear treatments, including ear lavages.
Ear candling can burn your ear, spread infection, or cause other serious injury. Doctors also warn against putting cotton swabs and pointy objects in your ear. While swabs may remove some wax, they will push some of the wax deeper into the ear where it doesn’t belong.
If you have a plugged or ringing ear, make an appointment online or by phone to have Dr. Caspe check your ears in the comfort of his Rancho Cucamonga, California office.