Close up image of ear with earwax buildup.

You most likely don’t give much thought to earwax accumulation unless you’re in the process of cleaning it out. Nonetheless, comprehending what causes earwax, how it forms, and its purpose is crucial.

What triggers the buildup of earwax?

Earwax, technically called cerumen, is a dense blend of debris, hair, skin particles, sweat, and ceruminous gland secretions. This earwax presents with a waxy texture and can exhibit shades of orange, yellow, gray, or brown.

While the production amount of earwax varies from individual to individual, adults typically generate less earwax than kids. Moreover, adult earwax tends to be darker and harder compared to that of kids.

Earwax gets discharged or washed out after going by the outer ear canal and reaching the opening of the ear.

Why is earwax crucial?

Earwax serves several essential functions, such as:

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

Earwax blockages

Typically, there’s no critical need to clean out earwax from your ears unless it becomes impacted, a common issue associated with earwax. Sometimes, earwax is unable to easily get to the opening of the ear as a result of narrow or unusually shaped ear canals.

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

Individuals wrestling with hearing loss who use earplugs or hearing aids are also predisposed to experiencing ear canal blockages.

How is hearing affected by excessive earwax?

Auditory health might be impeded and you may feel minor discomfort.
Also, substantial accumulations of earwax can induce tinnitus, a feeling of ringing in the ears.

Neglected earwax obstructions might escalate into middle ear infections, perforated eardrums, or lasting hearing impairment as a result of acoustic trauma.

Dealing with impacted earwax

If you suspect an earwax blockage, consulting us quickly is imperative. You may be advised to utilize over-the-counter products such as a bulb syringe or earwax softening drops to clear the wax out, depending on the severity of the obstruction.

If you’re concerned about your earwax buildup, call us right away 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.
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