Everything You Need to Know About Ear Wax
By Top-Rated Charlotte Audiologist, Dr. Gosu
Have you ever wondered why we have wax in our ears? Or why do some people have more wax than others, and why it can get worse with age? It’s important to understand what earwax is, what it does, and how to keep it clean. Let’s answer these questions and more by taking a closer look at one of the most mysterious bodily functions.
What Is Ear Wax?
Ear wax, or cerumen, is a yellowish substance that helps protect your ear canal from bacteria, fungi, and water. It’s made up of dead skin cells and oils secreted from sebaceous glands in the ear canal. Earwax has antimicrobial properties that help keep your ears healthy and protected from infection. It also acts as a lubricant to stop the walls of your ear from drying out.
Why Do Some People Have More Wax Than Others?
The amount of wax produced varies from person to person. Genetics plays an important role in the amount of ear wax produced; some people just produce more than others. In addition, certain activities or conditions can lead to increased production of earwax - such as frequent use of headphones or earplugs, frequent cleaning of your ears, exposure to irritants or allergens, narrow ear canals
Do Wax Issues Get Worse With Age?
Unfortunately, yes! As we age our bodies begin producing less oil which affects the consistency and amount of earwax produced. This can cause dryness and build-up in the ear canal which can lead to itching and discomfort.
What Can You Do To Keep Yourself Clean?
It’s important to remember not to put anything smaller than your elbow into your ears! While cotton swabs may seem like a good way to clean out your ears they actually push dirt further down into them causing issues like impacted wax buildup or even perforated eardrums! The best way to clean your ears is with warm water irrigations or drops — these will soften any hard wax making it easier for it comes out naturally when you shower or bathe. Additionally, using over-the-counter products such as wax softeners can help break down any excess wax building up in your ears but be sure not to use them too often as they could damage your eardrum tissue if overused! Also do not use any drops if you have perforated ear or active tubes in your ear.
When Should I See A Professional?
If you suspect you may have an issue with excessive wax build-up then it might be time for a visit to the doctor! They will be able to examine you properly and give specific advice on how best to manage the problem without risking further damage - they may even refer you on for specialist treatments like micro suction if necessary! Just remember - never try DIY solutions when dealing with something as delicate as your ear - always seek professional advice first!
Having too much or too little earwax isn't just uncomfortable - it can also lead to hearing loss if left untreated! Learning about why we have wax in our ears, why some people have more than others, how age affects our levels of production, and what methods are safe for cleaning them are all important steps toward keeping ourselves healthy while avoiding potential risks associated with excess build-up or hygiene neglecting practices. Knowing when professional help might be needed is equally essential so don't hesitate if you feel there's something abnormal going on inside those little holes - better safe than sorry after all!