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Problems That Arise From the Accumulation of Earwax

July 30, 2012
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            Earwax that yellow/orange, sticky stuff you get in your ear is actually the body’s way of protecting your inner ear drum. It is actually a liquid secreted by the cerumen glands present in the ear canals. When secreted it lines the outer ear canal to trap dust, dirt, environmental pollutants, or even bugs from getting into the eardrum. Although the main purpose of earwax is to protect the internal structure of the ear, if left alone earwax can buildup overtime and cause serious problems. Soreness, irritation, difficulty hearing, ringing, or deafness are all symptoms of excessive earwax accumulation.

            The accumulation of earwax occurs overtime, since the bodies internal systems are continually secreting it into the ear canal. Clearing excess earwax has to be done on a regular basis so that it doesn’t cause problems in the ear. One of the main problems with excess earwax is a blockage or a disturbance in ones ability to hear. Sounds may be muffled or your capacity to hear may be diminished. If left untouched bacteria that is trapped behind the earwax can cause an infection in the ear, which can lead to additional problems. Ultimately if nothing is done one may experience deafness especially while bathing or swimming.

            Removing earwax is a delicate task, as you must avoid damaging any internal structures of the ear such as the eardrum. Although, most people are taught to use q-tips to remove earwax, further research has shown that this can do more harm than good. It can further push earwax into the ear and put pressure on the eardrum. An ear syringe can be used to irrigate the accumulated wax with warm water, olive oil or warmed baby oil. This will soften the earwax so it will detach from the skin inside the ear canal making it easier to remove. You can also put Vaseline on the outer edges of the ear canal opening to catch pieces of earwax.  Leave this on over night as it will attach to any debris from inside the ear and can be easily removed in the morning. If this doesn’t resolve the problems then seek medical assistance. They have the appropriate tools to be able to look inside your ear and determine if wax build up is actually the source of your ear troubles.

ear, ear pain, earwax, ear problems