Close up image of ear with earwax buildup.

It’s likely that earwax and its accumulation haven’t been subjects of significant 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, also technically called cerumen, is made up of a mix of sweat, skin particles, hair, debris, and ceruminous gland secretions. Earwax will show up as a waxy substance that will normally be yellow, orange, brown, or even grey.

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

Earwax goes by the outer ear canal leisurely, eventually reaching the ear opening, where it either self-expels or gets washed out when you bathe.

Why is earwax important?

Here are a few important functions that earwax serves:

  • Before things such as dust, dirt, or other outside debris go further up into the ear canal, earwax acts as a barrier.
  • Helping prevent ear infections.
  • Preventing itchiness and dryness by moisturizing and safeguarding the lining of the ear canal.

Earwax obstructions

Usually, there’s no crucial need to remove earwax from your ears unless it becomes impacted, a prevalent issue linked to earwax. Impacted earwax can stem from narrow or abnormally shaped ear canals hindering the normal movement of earwax toward the ear’s opening.

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

Earwax blockages are frequently experienced by people who frequently use earplugs, earbuds, or hearing aids.

How excessive earwax can impact hearing

Auditory health may be impeded and you may feel slight discomfort.
Also, significant buildup of earwax can trigger tinnitus, a sensation of ringing in the ears.

Untreated earwax blockages might intensify into middle ear infections, perforated eardrums, or enduring hearing loss as a result of acoustic trauma.

Addressing impacted earwax

It’s crucial that you contact us as soon as you can if you think your ears are blocked by earwax. Depending on the severity of the obstruction, you may be advised to use over-the-counter wax softening drops or a bulb syringe for delicate irrigation to alleviate the condition.

If you’re worried 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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