Ear Wax: What You Need To Know
What are the dangers of excessive Ear Wax?
Excessive ear wax can trap bacteria and eventually lead to an ear infection if not remedied. There are various ways to effectively and safely clear excessive wax from the ear.
- Over the Counter Drops can help remove wax. These are basically all oil and peroxide solutions (e.g. Debrox, Murine). Drops are a good solution for mild to moderate amounts of wax build up. **Drops should not be used when there is an eardrum perforation.
- Irrigation of wax via suction is also another method used to remove build up from the ear. This method is usually used by nurses or family practioners and should only be done under professional supervision. Removal of wax via suction will require a visit to your doctor.
- Please do not use Q-Tips or similar to try and remove wax from ears. Anything that can be placed in or down the ear canal can be dangerous. You run the risk of perforating the eardrum or forcing the wax further down the ear canal.
Is Ear Wax bad?
Ear wax is a normal product of the ear. It protects the skin of the ear from excess water and helps fend off infections. However. Excessive ear wax can plug up the ear which can lead to hearing reduction and an uncomfortable “full” feeling in the ear. it can lead to other issues like an infection if not properly cleaned out.
Better Hearing With Both Ears
What are the advantages to wearing both hearing aids?
- Improved Understanding: Binaural hearing helps you sort our and understand individual voices and sounds. Our brain blends signals and sounds from both ears into a single sound. With only one ear you have incomplete information.
- Less Stressful Listening: Listening with only one ear is physically tiring and stressful. Hearing with both ears allows you to hear more confidently and means you don’t have to turn your “Good Ear” towards the sound.
- Safety: Our brain locates a sound source by measuring the tiny differences in duration and intensity between your ears and interpreted by your brain. This allows you to instantaneously recognize a sound’s exact location. When a person hears with only one ear, the difficulty in location sound can be dangerous, especially around others or in traffic.
- Both Ears Remain Active: When a hearing impaired person who has an equal hearing loss in each ear wears a hearing aid in only one ear, the unused ear tends to lose its ability to hear and to understand.
- Loud Sound is Cushioned: Binaural hearing generally requires less volume, giving a more natural sound to voices and music. Sudden loud sounds lose much of their jarring effect when divided between two ears.
- Better Sound Identification: Many noises, which sound almost exactly alike when heard with one ear can be identified more easily when heard with two ears.
- Better Hearing Range: While you can hear with one ear hearing with both allow for much broader range. A voice barely heard at ten feet away with one ear can be heard up to 40 feet away with two ears.
Why is it Important to wear both Hearing Aids?
Binaural hearing or the hearing with both ears is how your brain best processes sound. The human body was meant to have two eyes, arms, legs, and ears. Try walking with one leg – is it possible, sure. But it is not nearly as effective.
Communicating with the Hearing Impaired
I’m hearing impaired, what is the best way to communicate with another family member or friend?
If you are hearing impaired and having difficulty communicating with friends or family you are not alone. And, there are many ways to help communication go smoothly. Set your stage for success by making sure you face who you are speaking to. Be sure to avoid extra noise or noisy backgrounds. Get their attention prior to speaking with them and remember, don’t be afraid to ask how you can best facilitate communication with them. Communication is a two-way street and takes work between both parties.
Remember to stay attentive to the conversation and concentrate on the speaker. Look for the visual cues in a conversation (hand gestures or facial expressions). If needed don’t be afraid to ask for written cues. Try to avoid interrupting, let the conversation flow awhile to gain more meaning. Don’t bluff. It’s okay to admit when you don’t understand.
How do I best communicate with a family member or friend who is hearing impaired?
Some good tips for communicating with the hearing impaired is to set your stage for success by making sure you face who you are speaking to. Be sure to avoid extra noise or noisy backgrounds. Get their attention prior to speaking with them and remember, don’t be afraid to ask how you can best facilitate communication with them. Communication is a two-way street and takes work between both parties.
You can always enhance your communication by keeping these things in mind:
- Don’t Shout or Raise your voice
- Remember to Speak Clearly and not too fast
- Try not to hide or cover your mouth when speaking
- Be sure to use facial expressions and gestures during the conversation
- Try rephrasing if you find you are not understood.
- Give a warning when you are changing subjects
- Remember to be patient and positive.