The ears supply us with a hugely important function called hearing, which happens to be one of the five senses. Many ear-related issues can cause diminished or complete hearing loss, such as tinnitus, age-related hearing loss, ear infections, acoustic tumors, or Meniere’s disease, to name a few. Earwax is another cause of hearing loss, and despite the bad wrap, it is a beneficial substance that aids in collecting debris, hair, and dead skin cells. Without it, we would have far more infections, and the ears would be itchy and uncomfortable. Earwax has even been found to contain antibacterial properties. However, it could be said that there is too much of a good thing, and this statement could be applied to earwax.
When too much earwax gets lodged into the canal, it can cause some degree of hearing loss, earaches, or ear infections. Earwax is formed by secretions produced by the sebaceous glands in the outer ear canal. When produced in appropriate amounts, the wax naturally evacuates the ear canal while sleeping, in the shower, or just going about daily activities. Some people are more prone to an overproduction of ear wax. This excess can be attributed to age, skin conditions like eczema, or excessive sweating.
Many people who have bothersome earwax want to remove the ear wax as fast as possible. However, over-the-counter products, such as candles, q-tips, and other invasive products, are not recommended by otologists, or ear doctors. Usually, invasive products like the ones listed above, push the ear wax further back into the canal. There are earwax removal products that are approved by your physicians like a hydrogen peroxide ear soak, ear drops, or bulb syringe. To utilize the hydrogen peroxide method, tilt your head to the side and pour a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the clogged ear. Let the peroxide soak in your ear for a few minutes and then tilt your head back to a neutral position to let the soak drain out. Earwax should come out with the soak. Also, you could instill a few drops of hydrogen peroxide with a bulb syringe to provide more force when trying to loosen the earwax. Lastly, there are earwax removal drops, which soften the wax, that you can get at your local pharmacy.
Bottom line, there should be no foreign objects forcibly placed into the ear. This can not only cause the earwax to be pushed further back, but it also can cause a ruptured eardrum. If the above recommendations do not relieve the discomfort, go to your primary care provider. They have specific tools that are unique to this procedure. Also, they have the appropriate equipment to see within the ear to assess for other problems. Any earwax removal procedure, whether at home or the doctor’s office, should not cause any pain. If pain occurs during the procedure, stop what you are doing and consult or tell the physician. In conclusion, earwax is a beneficial substance naturally made by the body to protect the ears, although sometimes this natural compound can cause some discomfort. If you are having ear problems, speak with a physician today at Shifa4U.