Water and wax have had a love hate relationship over the years. Many people believe including the Harvard Medical School that even a few drops of water directed inside the ear canal can help budge problematic wax.
Related: Why Microsuction is The Best Way To Remove Earwax
This might be the case for say soft wax. But what happens when the earwax is like a hard rock which is often the case when we see our patients? In our humble opinion, water could be more destructive than beneficial. Why I hear you ask?
Well let's take two recent examples of patients in the last two days. Everyone knows that in the Summer the perfect place to go is the swimming pool to cool down. In Australia, swimming pools are packed to the rafter on hot days not to mention our beaches.
In the last two days, we have had 2 patients that went swimming and only after after going swimming did their ears become blocked and the need for treatment become necessary. In both cases these patients had dry hard rock-like wax in their ears. So what's going on?
My hypothesis is that despite the excessive wax in each of these patients' ears, there was probably still a (ever so small) gap between the earwax and the wall of the ear canal. Large enough for even a small drop of water to block. Hence the instantaneous blocked feeling these patients felt upon immersing themselves in the swimming pool.
Back-up a minute. You're probably asking well if water is so bad for the ears, why do GPs use water syringing to dislodge earwax? Well the simple answer is they shouldn't. A study published by the RACGP (Australia's Head GP Association) admitted that syringing carries several risks and should only be administered under certain conditions several of which that will be mentioned below.
It also mentioned the astonishing fact that 1 in 5 medico-legal cases involving GP malpractice is do to problems arising from water syringing. If this no warning signal to the dangers of water syringing then you are braver than me.
Water that can become trapped inside the ear canal can give rise to outer ear infections that can be both bacterial and fungal in nature. For some, this can mean months of prescribed ear drop use, avoidance of water in the ears (so no swimming :( ) and hearing problems that can make anyone lose their mind.
In summary, use water in your ears for earwax at your own peril. Whilst for some this may be a quick way to remove wax, for many, it will just push the wax further in or even worse, give birth to an infection. We can never be too sure of the sterility of the water we use even when boiling it. So why risk it?
If you would like to have your ears Professional Cleaned using Quick, Safe, Precise & Gentle Microsuction Earwax Removal, then look no further than Hear Clinic, your Melbourne earwax removal specialists.
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