Close up image of ear with earwax buildup.

Chances are, earwax and its buildup haven’t been subjects of extensive contemplation for you, except maybe during ear hygiene sessions. Still, it’s crucial to have an understanding of its purpose and how it forms.

What triggers the accumulation of earwax?

Earwax, technically called cerumen, is a thick blend of debris, hair, skin particles, sweat, and ceruminous gland secretions. Earwax will show up as a waxy substance that will normally be yellow, orange, brown, or even grey.

In most instances, kids tend to generate more earwax than adults. Moreover, adult earwax is usually darker and denser compared to that of children.

Earwax goes by the outer ear canal leisurely, ultimately reaching the ear opening, where it either self-expels or gets washed away when you bathe.

Why do we need earwax?

Here are a few important functions that earwax serves:

  • Acting as a protective barrier against outside irritants including dirt, dust, and other foreign particles before they infiltrate deeper into the ear.
  • Protecting and lubricating the skin lining the ear canal, thereby preventing dryness and itchiness.
  • Helping prevent ear infections.

Earwax obstructions

Usually, there’s no critical need to clean out earwax from your ears unless it becomes impacted, a common issue associated with earwax. In some cases, earwax is unable to easily get to the opening of the ear due to narrow or abnormally shaped ear canals.

Wax can be unintentionally pushed up into the ear canal by utilizing poor cleaning methods like using cotton swabs.

Earwax blockages are frequently experienced by people who frequently use earplugs, earbuds, or hearing aids.

How is hearing impacted by excessive earwax?

Auditory health may be impeded and you might feel mild discomfort.
Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, could also occur.

Acoustic trauma might lead to long-term hearing impairment, perforated eardrums, and long-term hearing loss if earwax obstructions go ignored.

How do you tackle impacted wax?

It’s crucial that you contact us as soon as possible if you think your ears are blocked by earwax. Depending on the severity of the blockage, you might be advised to utilize over-the-counter wax softening drops or a bulb syringe for delicate irrigation to alleviate the condition.

If you’re concerned about your earwax buildup, call us today to schedule an appointment.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.