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Close up image of ear with earwax buildup.

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

So why does earwax accumulate?

Earwax, scientifically identified as cerumen, is a dense blend of debris, hair, skin particles, sweat, and ceruminous gland secretions. Earwax will show up as a waxy substance that will typically be yellow, orange, brown, or even grey.

In most instances, children tend to produce more earwax than adults. Kids also normally have softer earwax that’s lighter in color than adults.

Earwax goes by the outer ear canal naturally, ultimately reaching the ear opening, where it either self-expels or gets washed out during bathing.

Why is earwax essential?

Earwax serves several crucial functions, such as:

  • Safeguarding and lubricating the skin lining the ear canal, thereby preventing dryness and itchiness.
  • Before things like dust, dirt, or other external debris get further up into the ear canal, earwax acts as a barrier.
  • Helping counter ear infections.

Obstructions caused by earwax

Typically, there’s no imperative need to clean out earwax from your ears unless it becomes impacted, a prevalent issue linked to earwax. Impacted earwax can be the result of narrow or unusually shaped ear canals impeding the normal movement of earwax toward the ear’s periphery.

Poor ear hygiene practices, such as using cotton swabs or bobby pins, can inadvertently push wax deeper into the ear canal.

Earwax obstructions are often experienced by individuals who often use earplugs, earbuds, or hearing aids.

How is hearing affected by excessive earwax?

The occurrence of earwax blockages may yield mild discomfort and impact auditory health.
Also, substantial accumulations of earwax can trigger tinnitus, a sensation of ringing in the ears.

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

Dealing with impacted earwax

It’s crucial that you get in touch with us as soon as possible if you think your ears may be blocked by earwax. You might be advised to use over-the-counter products like a bulb syringe or earwax softening drops to clear the wax out, depending on the extent of the blockage.

Give us a call right away if you need some help with an earwax blockage.

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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.

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