Long term senior care residents often suffer from an issue not often brought up in health and ageing discussions. Impacted earwax can fully block an ear canal and poses a larger threat to the older population than any other demographic.
As people age, the ear canal becomes thinner and earwax gets drier, stickier, and harder to remove. Unfortunately for germaphobes, the buildup of earwax has nothing to do with personal hygiene, but it is rather dependent on genetics.
Impacted earwax can cause a loss of hearing or a ringing in the ears, and it can even cause vertigo in extreme cases. Approximately 30% of seniors suffer from earwax blocking their entire ear canal. Impacted earwax can reduce hearing by an estimated 10 decibels.
Kaiser Health News found earwax removal cost Medicare $51 million in 2016, and it is a common culprit of hearing problems. Every year, about 8 million Americans go to the doctor to have their ears cleaned and earwax removed.
It is such a phenomenon, it has spawned an entire genre of viral video in which viewers watch doctors remove earwax from their patients.
Multiple solutions exist for seniors or others who suffer from excessive ear wax. There are various home remedies, including flushing the ear with water. But, most doctors do not recommend using cotton swabs.
It is best to visit a medical professional if you believe you have impacted earwax, and it affects your hearing. Doctors have the best equipment to view deep in the ear to look for impacted ear wax.
But, care professionals should check their patients to ensure they do not suffer from excessive earwax that may cause further hearing problems.
Those suffering from dementia and hearing-aid users are advised to regularly get checkups to remove excessive earwax.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.