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The Problems with Too Much Earwax
Earwax is one of those things that may seem like a nuisance, but earwax serves a very important purpose. It’s there to protect the insides of our ears from any debris like bacteria or dirt. Earwax also prevents water from being trapped inside the ear which can minimize ear infections, and earwax also has a number of antibacterial and antifungal properties. For all of the great functions it serves, we can run the risk of having too much earwax. What do we need to know?
What Are the Causes of Excessive Earwax?
The body is very good at removing earwax, for example, talking or chewing causes the jaw to move, forcing the earwax to go to the outer ear. Earwax usually falls out by itself, but there are a number of causes for earwax build-up including:
- Trapped earwax: If you are someone who uses cotton swabs to clean your ears, this can be a very ineffective practice because you are pushing the earwax back inside the ear.
- A narrow ear shape: If you have a narrow ear shape, either due to numerous ear infections or excessive hair in the ear canal, this can result in a lot of earwax building up.
- Inflammation of the ear canal: A condition like swimmer’s ear keeps the air moist, which can increase bacteria.
What Are the Signs of Earwax Build-Up?
Some of the common symptoms of earwax build-up include the following:
- Hearing loss: Because you are blocking your ears, this means you are less able to hear as effectively as you would with clear ear canals. Additionally, if you experience hearing loss, the condition can worsen over time.
- Tinnitus, also known as a ringing or buzzing in the ears.
- Earache or feeling like your ears are blocked.
Who Is More Likely to Get too Much Earwax in Their Ears?
It’s not necessarily something that happens to everyone. Approximately 10% of children and five percent of adults are more prone to getting earwax, but there can be specific types of people who are more prone to it.
- Older people
- People with a lot of hair in their ear canals.
- People with uniquely shaped ear canals.
- People who use hearing aids or earplugs.
- People who insert items into their ears, such as cotton swabs.
What Are the Best Ways to Remove Earwax Build-Up?
There are methods you can do to remove earwax at home, however, it’s important to remember that a lot of many popular practices, such as ear vacuums or ear candles, do not show any evidence that they get rid of earwax. But there are things that we can do, such as using medical-grade almond oil or olive oil. However, if you choose professional earwax removal, this is a far safer approach because the person conducting the removal knows what they are doing.
What Are the Best Ways to Prevent Earwax Build-Up?
Even when you clean your ears correctly, you may still get earwax build-up. Everybody’s unique in this department. You may get more wax build-up because of how your ear canals are shaped or just how your body makes wax. But if you have concerns, there are some things you can do to avoid excessive build-up, including:
- Have your ears cleaned regularly every six to 12-months.
- Adding softening agents like olive oil on a regular basis.
- Avoid wearing earplugs excessively.
- Avoid wearing hearing aids for up to eight hours during the night.
- Avoiding the use of cotton swabs.
The last point is one of the best ways to prevent any blockage caused by a build-up of earwax. Cotton swabs should only be used on the outside of the ear rather than putting them directly into the ear canal. If you put a cotton swab in too far, this can push the earwax further into your ear canals, which can have negative long-term effects.
Earwax is a very important part of our biological functions. But if we let earwax build up, it can irritate our ears and stop us from hearing effectively. However, having too much earwax should never be an issue. You can reduce excessive earwax with some of the right practices but it’s also important to note that the right advice will ensure you look after your ears properly.
If you want more information on how best to look after your ears and minimize excessive earwax build-up, you can get in touch with the Quality Hearing Aid Center at (248) 430-8791 and we will be more than happy to help!