Does Earwax Affect My Child's Hearing?
Earwax, known as cerumen, is common in the outer ear canal. It acts as a waterproof lubricant for the ear canal. It protects the canal and eardrum from harmful germs. Earwax also traps dust, dirt, and other particles before they can make their way into the eardrum.
Your body produces earwax on its own. The earwax will fall out, or you can remove it at times when you're bathing. Most children create enough wax to protect their ears from particles and germs.
Should I Remove Earwax?
Sticking anything inside your ear raises the risk of an infection in the eardrum or ear canal. This risk increases with children. Instead of using cotton swabs to remove earwax, make sure that your child bathes often. The steam from the bath can help loosen the earwax in the ear. Using cotton swabs could cause the earwax to become blocked in the ear canal as it hardens. This is a condition known as impaction. This condition will need a hearing care professional to remove the earwax.
If your child is complaining of ear discomfort, you should check the situation. Instead of using cotton swabs, opt for using a cloth to wipe the outside of their ear. You never want to use over-the-counter earwax removal solutions for your child. Remember that their ears are very delicate. Only hearing care professionals should stick anything into your child's ear.
When to See a Doctor?
It's true! Sometimes earwax or other ear-related conditions can cause discomfort for your child. For young infants and toddlers, you'll notice them tugging at their ears. For older children, they will complain of other issues. Itchiness, discomfort, ear pain, and even hearing problems are all common.
When you notice these symptoms, it's time to talk with a hearing care professional. They will check your child's ear and hearing loss issues. In most cases, they can remove the earwax buildup. This will help to return your child's hearing and remove their discomfort. Depending on how well your child does with doctors, we can do earwax removal at your doctor's office. If your child is afraid of the doctor, don't worry. We can also do this in an operating room under general anesthesia.
How Do They Remove Excess Earwax?
There are two different methods that hearing loss doctors will use to remove earwax from the ear. The first method involves using specialized instruments. These can suction, pull, or scoop out the hardened wax. As they remove the earwax, your child should regain their full hearing capacity.
The second method that a hearing loss doctor may use is flushing the wax out with warm water. This involves inserting drops in the ear to soften up the waxy buildup. They may ask you to do this at home before a scheduled appointment to give the drops time to work. Both of these removal tactics take a couple of minutes. They can help to open up your child's hearing to its normal capacity.
Contact Us Today
If your child is complaining of hearing loss or hearing discomfort, contact us today. Beltone of Northwest Florida is here to help your whole family hear. Let our hearing loss professionals check your child's hearing. We can make recommendations for the best course of treatment.