About Ear Wax
Everything you need to know about earwax
Cerumen glands are specialized glands responsible for creating ear wax actively. They are situated under the skin of your ear canal. Cerumen ducts are connected to these glands via which ear wax travels to the surface of the skin and gets deposited in your ear canal through cerumen pores.
Have you ever wondered about the purpose of ear wax? Not many people are aware of how vital ear wax is for the protection of ears. It is ear wax that protects the ears by surrounding the foreign bodies. The foreign bodies which could be dead skin cells, microbial organisms or other debris are enveloped by the ear wax and then removed from the ear canal as the earwax migrates outward.
Furthermore, earwax is crucial in maintaining normal PH levels in the ear and repelling insects.
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BUT WHAT TO DO WHEN WE DEVELOP TOO MUCH EARWAX?
Too much of anything can be detrimental, and earwax is no different. If earwax is not treated, it builds up, and it becomes challenging to get rid of it. Your ears then feel blocked, and your hearing is compromised. Indeed, in some severe cases, pressure and pain might be felt continuously.
Some symptoms of earwax buildup include:
- Compromised hearing
- Pain in ear
- Noises in the ear or tinnitus
- Whistle sound from hearing aid
- Own voice appearing deeper
- Itch in ears
Earwax is among the leading causes of whistling hearing aid
Earwax becomes even more problematic for people who use hearing aids. Hearing aids start whistling loudly and might also seize to function owing to wax buildup. This whistling only stops when the earwax is removed. Once this is done, the sounds of the hearing aid can easily travel via the ear canal without any whistling sound being produced.
Do not try to tackle the problem yourself!
It is vital to give up your habit of cleaning ears using plastic buds that have cotton on their edges. This has been reaffirmed by Otolaryngology academies. Guidelines have been published for ear care wherein it is mentioned explicitly that excessive cleansing of the ears needs to be avoided, and you should not use a lot of cleaning items for the purpose. The thing is, when you push in the cotton sticks, there is a risk that the wax is pushed inwards instead of coming out, thereby increasing the problem.
As per the recommendation of otolaryngology academies, you should get your ears cleaned by an expert audiologist only.
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The Benefits of Earwax
Too little ear wax in the ear canal makes your ears feel itchy and dry. The right amount, on the other hand, can prove to be quite beneficial.
- Dust, bacteria, and germs are prevented from entering your ears.
- The slow-growing bacteria are caught.
- The skin of your ear canal does not get irritated by water
It is crucial that your ears have an adequate amount of wax. The excess wax leads the atrial canal as the cells migrate naturally. Movements of the jaw further aid the removal of wax. Once the wax finds its way to the outside of the ear, it either falls off or is removed when you take a shower. However, in some cases, earwax builds up gradually, and a specialist is needed to deal with it. It is advisable that ears are checked annually to make sure that your quality of life is not compromised.