Ear congestion due to dirt is one of the most common complaints of ENT specialists. This situation, which is immediately noticed on examination, immediately manifests itself with an obstructing dirty black color in the external ear canal. The earwax is formed by the accumulation of substances produced by the hair follicles and glands of the skin in the external ear canal over time.
The most frequently asked question by patients is the way it is cleaned. There is a common misconception that ear washing is habit-forming. Ear washing, which was a very common method in the past, has now been abandoned.
The method used today is ear cleaning under the microscope. This is done with the help of an aspirator and sometimes with curettes that will take this dirt out. The advantages of this method are many. The first of these is the possibility of detailed examination with a microscope. Thus, cleaning can be done without damaging the eardrum by seeing in great detail. Diagnosis of other diseases that may be present in the ear can also be made easily. The second is the activation of the self-cleaning function, which is the characteristic of the structure here. Although it takes some time, it is a safe, comfortable, painless method for the patient.
So, why was the ear washing method abandoned?
It is the process of cleaning the water sprayed with pressure from an injector during ear washing.
– There is a possibility of damage to the eardrum. If the eardrum is thin and/or has a hole, this can damage the middle ear.
– It’s a blind method. There is a drawback in performing the eardrum and external ear canal without determining the anatomical features.
– In hospitals where patient density is high, assistant health personnel have to perform ear washing.
For all these reasons, the ear washing process has been abandoned. I always use an ear microscope for ENT examination in my office in Istanbul. It not only makes this examination detailed, but also facilitates ear cleaning or ear interventions with local anesthesia if needed.