#1 Impacted Earwax
The production of ear wax can be excessive in some people. This can happen when water gets trapped in the ear, or when the ear is injured or occurs for no particularly obvious reason.
#2 Small insects
A myriad of insects may reside temporarily in the external auditory canal. Amongst all, small cockroaches are most commonly found in the ear canal as they prefer the warm, dark environment. A crawling and moving insect can be uncomfortable and may risk injuring the inner ear and the eardrum. Mineral oil is used to kill the insects before one attempting to remove it.
#3 Cotton bud
It is a common routine for some to attempt cleaning their ears using cotton buds. This can actually push the wax deeper into the ear instead of getting it out. As a consequence, leading to ear wax impaction, resulting to discomfort and decreased in hearing ability. Also, repetitive friction may cause skin tear in the ear causing bacteria to set in. This might result in an ear infection.
#4 Beads and plastic toys
This occurs in toddlers and children who place items in their ears out of curiosity.
#5 Button Batteries
Button batteries can be found in toy or hearing aids. They can cause destruction to the ear canal because of electrical currents and pressure exerted by the battery in the small ear canal. There have been reports of injury to the eardrum and skin of the ear canal.
Looking after your ears (Water Precaution)
It is imperative to keep water out of the ears and keeping them dry. Water can be a vehicle for germs and bacteria growth when present in the ear canal. Interestingly, the worst water is bath water; even soap or shampoo water can potentially carry a large number of germs.
It is advisable for the below products when swimming or washing head and hair:
- Cotton wool plug covered in Vaseline
- Earplugs during swimming
- Shower cap
Tips for good ear care and prevention of ear infection
- Keep the ears dry especially bathing or swimming.
- Earplugs at all time during swimming. Earplugs need to be regularly cleaned and changed.
- Keep ears dry after swimming
- Dry the ears using a dry towel.
- Avoid using cotton buds or sticking metal ear pick into your ears.
- Regular cleaning and nightly removal of hearing aid
- Clean the ears regularly by a doctor if you have excessive earwax
Who should be more concerned?
Preventive interventions should be considered in people with a recurrent ear infection or patients with a skin condition involving the ear.
Have You Heard of Ear Toliet?
Ear Toliet Procedure is using Instrumentation and Microsuction to Remove Ear Wax
This enables the medical practitioner to clean the ear canal with greater precision and reduced patient discomfort whilst concurrently enabling the medical practitioner to inspect the ear canal and tympanic membrane are in detail.
As an ancillary benefit, this method allows 2-handed working which further minimizes the risks of human error.
Due to the increased precision and stability, microsuction is often used in situations where ear irrigation is inappropriate or for patients with a deficiency in the ear drum (eg hole in the ear) or having previous ear surgeries.
- Patients with an ear infection will benefit as ear irrigation will not be safe in this group of patients
- Patient with build- up of ear wax causing symptoms
- Patient with anatomical variations of the ear canal
- Patient wearing hearing aids
- Children who able to understand instructions and willing to cooperate
The Ear Toliet (Ear Wax Removal) Procedure is only available in our Dr Tan & Partners @Raffles Place in Singapore.
If you are interested in this service and wish to find out more, please call +65 6962 7144 or visit our clinic at our Raffles Place Branch or drop us an email at email@example.com