Ear congestion is described as pressure, muffled hearing, or fullness that is often compared to being in flight or submerged under water. Pressure in your ears can be caused by a variety of factors, like a cold or flu, allergies, a sinus infection, air travel, or wax buildup.
Buildup of earwax can impair ear structures and negatively affect your hearing. Attempting to remove foreign objects or earwax with small items, such as Q-Tips, can push it deeper into the ear and potentially cause serious damage. Local MD Urgent Care can help clean out your ears and protect the sensitive structures with ear irrigation.
Ear Irrigation Procedure
Before one of our medical professionals performs an ear irrigation, they will want to look inside your ear to ensure that your symptoms are the result of excess wax buildup or foreign materials and not something more serious.
They may diagnose excess earwax by inserting an instrument called an otoscope into the opening of your ear. The otoscope shines a light into your ear and magnifies the image.
If wax buildup is the issue, your doctor will perform the irrigation in an exam room using a syringe-like tool. This tool will be used to insert water or a water and saline mixture into the ear to flush out the wax. You may feel slight discomfort from the water in your ear or from holding your ear in place.
Ear Irrigation Risks
Do not undergo ear irrigation (either at home or at a doctor’s office) if you have a damaged eardrum, tubes in your ears, or a condition that weakens your immune system. You also should not get ear irrigation if you have an active infection in your ear canal. While ear irrigation is a relatively common procedure, there are risks associated with it that you should discuss with your doctor prior to irrigation.