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Close up image of ear with earwax buildup.

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

What causes the buildup of earwax?

Earwax, also technically called cerumen, is composed of a mix of sweat, skin particles, hair, debris, and ceruminous gland secretions. Earwax will appear as a waxy substance that will typically be yellow, orange, brown, or even grey.

In most circumstances, kids tend to generate more earwax than adults. Kids also typically have softer earwax that’s lighter in color than adults.

Earwax passes the outer ear canal leisurely, eventually reaching the ear opening, where it either self-expels or gets washed away during bathing.

Why is earwax crucial?

Here are a few essential functions that earwax serves:

  • Safeguarding and lubricating the skin lining the ear canal, thus preventing dryness and itchiness.
  • Helping counter ear infections.
  • Before things such as dust, dirt, or other external debris get further up into the ear canal, earwax acts as a roadblock.

Blockages caused by earwax

Impacted earwax is a common problem, but it’s usually the only time you need to worry about it. Impacted earwax can stem from narrow or abnormally shaped ear canals impeding the natural movement of earwax toward the ear’s opening.

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

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

How is hearing impacted by too much earwax?

Auditory health might be hindered and you might feel mild discomfort.
Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, may also occur.

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

How do you tackle impacted wax?

Should you think you have an earwax blockage, consulting us quickly is imperative. Depending on the extent of the obstruction, you may be advised to utilize over-the-counter wax softening drops or a bulb syringe for delicate irrigation to relieve the condition.

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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