Earwax is one of the most interesting parts of the ear. Certainly, the construction of the outer, middle, and inner ear is fascinating, but the wonder doesn’t end there. Earwax is an icky but beautiful part of our natural makeup. It is a problem, though, when it develops in excess. Here’s more about this peculiar body secretion and how to manage it with care.
What Is Earwax?
Earwax is a natural oil secretion from the ear canal that drains toward the outer ear on its own. It picks up microscopic and not-so-microscopic debris along the way, like tiny hairs, dead skin cells, and dirt. It cleanses the ear canal with no effort on our part, and also lubricates it so it doesn’t dry out. Because of its acidity, it deters fungus and bacteria from growing within this otherwise dark and moist niche. Earwax is the cleanser in our self-cleaning ears.
Why Excessive Earwax Happens
Excessive earwax can happen for a few different reasons. Old age is one of the most common; over time, earwax can become harder and not drain out of the ear as easily. As a result, it blocks the ear canal and causes conductive hearing loss. Other reasons include wearing earbuds or hearing aids, which can stop up earwax. In turn, hearing aids and earbuds can malfunction from the debris, which is why regularly cleaning of these devices is beneficial.
Healthy ears come about from regular maintenance. Taking a warm shower typically softens earwax as it mixes with the hot water. After you’re done, rub out the earwax with a cloth draped over your finger. That will help interior earwax flow out easier. Ear irrigation can also help if you have more wax; baby oil, mineral oil, or an over-the-counter product can soften impacted wax and prevent a blockage or ear infection.
Getting Medical Aid
It can be easy for impacted earwax to creep up on someone. Many don’t realize when it hits them, and medical help is necessary to remove it safely without damaging the eardrum. An audiologist can remove it with a curved tool or with irrigation. It is an easy and painless procedure, and all who undergo it are surprisingly relieved, to the extent it feels like their hearing is new.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.
Come in for a walk-in appointment on Tuesdays & Fridays from 10:00 am to 11:30 am or contact us to schedule an appointment by calling 410-698-6594 or visiting our contact page. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn for more blog posts, news, and updates!