Encyclopedia of Family Health - Vol. 15

By David B. Jacoby; Robert M. Youngson | Go to book overview

Syringing

Questions and Answers

My ears seem to make a lot of
wax. Will they need syringing
regularly to clear out the wax?

Wax is a natural substance
secreted into the ear canal and it
acts as a cleanser. It picks up dust
from the canal and passes out
toward the edge of the ear. You
can then wipe it away without
poking anything into the canal.
Your ears certainly do not need
syringing unless the wax hardens
and builds up in the canal,
causing irritation, infection, or
deafness.

My four-year-old son had a runny
ear, which I thought was due to
excess wax, but the doctor gave
him antibiotics. Why was this?

You certainly did the right thing
in taking your son to have his ears
checked. Sometimes a runny ear is
due to wax, but often it is caused
when an infection in the middle
ear breaks through the eardrum,
causing a hole or perforation in
the drum to let the pus leak out.
This may be apparently painless,
or the ear may be painful until
the drum is perforated, when the
ache caused by the pressure is
released. It is better that a runny
ear is due simply to wax and not
to perforation, which can lead to
deafness unless treated quickly.
The perforation itself causes some
deafness, which disappears when
the hole in the drum heals.

Why did my doctor ask if I felt
dizzy when I had my ear syringed?

If the water is squirted too
forcibly on the eardrum, you may
feel dizzy because the inner ear
structures that help in balancing
are affected. These lie near the
drum and are affected if the
water used is too warm or too
cold. Sometimes a patient may
react so strongly to a high or low
water temperature that he or she
may lose balance and fall down.

Deafness and irritation could indicate that your ears need syringing. A doctor can soon remove the cause of the problem—hard earwax—by gently squirting water into the ears.

A doctor squirts warm water into the ear to remove wax deposits.

Usually ears are syringed to rid the outer canal of wax, which may build up and harden and result in impaired hearing. The basic process involves squirting water gently into the ear to soften the wax and to help dislodge it (see Earwax).


Conditions requiring syringing

Wax, or cerumen, is the normal secretion of the ceruminous glands that are found in the outer part of the external ear canal. Mixed with the wax is keratin, a horny material from the surface of the skin that is normally rubbed off in tiny quantities; and sebum, the greasy lubricant of the skin. Dust and other materials also find their way into the external ear passage, especially in people who have occupations such as coal mining. The amount and texture of the wax secreted vary considerably. Most people form a small amount of soft wax that works its way, unnoticed, out of the ears. It is likely to be produced in large amounts, and to become harder, only in the middle and later years of life.

Children are rarely affected by hard wax, but they sometimes put things into their ears, such as beads, pips, seeds, and small stones. In this case, nothing should be poked into the ear to try to remove the object, since poking is likely to cause rupture of the eardrum. Cotton-covered sticks are dangerous; they will push the object in farther. Instead, a doctor should be consulted. He or she will try to flush the object out with water using a syringe, while looking frequently into the ear. Or he or she might use a small hook or probe and look through an aurlscope (an instrument for examining ears). If a young child is involved, or if the object is deeply embedded, general anesthesia will be necessary. Insects also sometimes get into the ear, particularly small flies; these can cause irritation. The best treatment is to drop warm olive oil into the ear; this can be done safely at home. This kills the fly so a doctor can easily syringe it out later.


Wax buildup

When hard wax fills the ear canal it causes deafness (see Deafness). In an elderly person whose hearing is already poor, or in anyone who has diminished hearing, excess wax may make a huge

-2156-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Encyclopedia of Family Health - Vol. 15
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Spastic Colon 2022
  • Specimens 2024
  • Speculum 2027
  • Speech 2028
  • Speech Therapy 2032
  • Sperm 2034
  • Sphygmomanometer 2036
  • Spina Bifida 2037
  • Spinal Cord 2040
  • Spleen 2044
  • Splinters 2047
  • Splints 2048
  • Sports Injury 2050
  • Sports Medicine 2052
  • Sprains 2056
  • Stammering and Stuttering 2058
  • Staphylococcus 2062
  • Starch 2063
  • Stem Cell 2065
  • Stenosis 2067
  • Sterilization 2068
  • Steroids 2072
  • Stethoscope 2074
  • Stiffness 2076
  • Stillbirth 2080
  • Stimultants 2083
  • Stitch 2086
  • Stomach 2088
  • Stomach Pump 2091
  • Strangulation 2094
  • Streptococcus 2097
  • Stress 2098
  • Stress Management 2103
  • Stretch Marks 2105
  • Sty 2112
  • Subconscious 2114
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome 2116
  • Suffocation 2118
  • Sugars 2120
  • Suicide 2122
  • Sunburn 2126
  • Sunstroke 2130
  • Suppositories 2132
  • Surgery 2134
  • Surrogacy 2141
  • Sutures 2144
  • Swellings 2145
  • Symptoms 2149
  • Syphilis 2153
  • Syringing 2156
  • Index 2158
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 2159

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.