Ears blocked with wax?

DID you know that in Hobart alone there are up to 15,000 people who suffer the negative effects of earwax impaction?

This issue affects between two and six per cent of the population, and can cause unwanted symptoms such as loss of hearing, ringing in the ears, itching, a feeling of fullness and pain.

This naturally occurring effect in your ears could be causing you hearing loss and unnecessary discomfort.

Many Tasmanians who suffer with wax in their ears use cotton buds or bobby pins as their solution, but the experts tell us that they shouldn’t be used to try and clear the ear.

Not only can these instruments cause trauma to the ear, but they may also push the wax further down the ear canal causing hearing loss and potentially infection. The message here is please don’t do this.


Risk factors for wax impaction and blockage include:

  • Excessive earwax production.
  • Narrow, curvy or hairy ear canals.
  • Advancing age.
  • Wearing hearing aids.
  • Using cotton buds, hairpins or other objects in the ear.
  • Working in dusty environments.
  • Developmental delays.


Divers and surfers may also be at risk, where the higher pressure under water can cause wax to be pushed down the ear canal or up against the drum.

The colder Tasmanian waters can also cause those who swim or surf to develop bony growths in their ear behind which wax can become trapped.

While wax impaction can seem debilitating, there is a simple and safe solution available to you – micro suction and curettage.

This dry technique, available previously only through Ear Nose and Throat surgeons, is now also available in Hobart as a dedicated clinic.

Micro suction is a safe, comfortable and effective technique used to remove earwax.

It can be used to clear wax, remove foreign bodies and clear debris in the ear canal related to infection allowing for better penetration of treatment drops.

Removing fully impacted earwax prior to a hearing test is essential to allow a test to be performed or for a GP to diagnose any conditions where a clear view of the eardrum is important.

While excessive earwax isn’t the sole cause of blocked ears, it is a good idea to eliminate this as a reason prior to investigating alternative causes.

The new service available in Hobart does not require a referral and will take little more than 30 minutes of your day.

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About the Author: Eastern Shore Sun

The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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