At The Eastbourne Hearing Centre we are fully qualified to advise on all ear conditions and can perform safe and effective earwax removal. Should your ear condition require medical treatment, we can liaise directly with your GP or ENT Consultant.

Causes Of Ear Canal Blockage.

Ear canal blockage can occur to anybody at any time and can be caused by a variety of reasons. The shape and size of the ear canal differs from person to person with an average being usually around 24mm length. It serves as a connecting tube that runs between the outer ear to the middle ear.

One of the most common reasons for a blockage to occur in the ear canal is a build-up of excess wax (cerumen). Earwax is a natural substance found in the ears of all people and serves to protect the middle and inner ear structures from germs, fluids, dust and debris. Occasionally, for a variety of reasons, this substance can either be over produced or not be effectively excreted from the ears and causes a build-up to occur resulting in either partial or total blockage.

Occasionally ears can also feel quite blocked following a head cold or illness. This is often due to an infection and will then need treating with medication. If the person has a high fever, bleeding, discharge or has been suffering from vomiting, advice from your GP should be sought immediately.

Signs and Symptoms of Ear Canal Blockage.

The most common sign of ear canal blockage is to suffer from some degree of hearing loss. This may be minor, or fairly noticeable if total blockage has occurred. With hearing aids users, one of the most common symptoms of a wax-blocked ear is hearing aid “whistle” also known as feedback

Foreign bodies or infections of the ear can cause either earache or often pain along with a discharge from the ear and sometimes bleeding. Any degree of blockage can cause interruptions with normal ability to balance and dizziness commonly coincides with this.

Treatments For Ear Canal Blockage.

Examination using a special instrument known as a Video Otoscope is the best way of determining the cause of a blocked ear. If the obstruction is due to wax, then the use of a little olive oil followed by the gentle removal using special instruments and/or careful irrigation with warm water will be the answer. This will result in the complete removal of all wax deposits and the restoration of hearing to the previous levels. Irrigation, however must not be carried out if there is any history of perforation to the eardrum.

Where do I go for advice?

Most hearing centres in the area are really only interested in selling hearing aids. At The Eastbourne Hearing Centre we cover the entire spectrum of ear and hearing healthcare.

Published Date: 9th December 2010

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